Bruno Fernandes' lack of impact in games against Manchester United's top six rivals continues to be held against him.
The Portuguese star scored from the spot back in October in the 6-1 loss against Tottenham.
That remains his only goal against a top six side this season as his team struggle to take points off their rivals.
Next up for United is the Premier League's toughest assignment – a trip to Manchester City.
Fernandes will need to perform if the Red Devils are to get anything from their clash at the Etihad and avoid involving themselves in a top four battle having drawn four of their last five games.
On a personal note, Fernandes is also favourite for this season's PFA Player of the Year award.
His closest competition are City duo Ruben Dias and Ilkay Gundogan.
Should the 26-year-old play a starring role in ending City's long winning run it should put to bed the idea that he doesn't show up when the stakes are high.
It may also prove decisive in the battle for the Player of the Year gong.
United will have to pay £4.2m to Sporting Lisbon should Fernandes win the award however as per a clause inserted in his transfer.
The midfielder joined in January 2020 for an initial fee of £46.6m.
Various add-ons mean United have already paid Sporting £55m, but that could increase.
Fernandes was largely nullified in his side's draw at Chelsea last weekend and could not spark them into life in the midweek goalless draw at Crystal Palace.
Former United man Lee Sharpe, who won three league titles, hit out at United's No 18 this week insisting he is yet to be convinced.
"I know everyone is raving about him and I'll probably get slagged off for it but I'm still not quite sure about Bruno," he told Ladbrokes.
"He did come in and set the world alight but since then – apart from penalties – he's not really done anything.
"For me, he seems to give the ball away far too cheaply and he's not getting as involved as I'd like."
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