PLAYER TO WATCH: Wayne Bridge
All eyes will be on Wayne Bridge shortly after 12:30 on Saturday when his Manchester City side line up in the Stamford Bridge tunnel alongside John Terry's Chelsea.
Inevitably, there will be pressure on the left-back to shake his former friend's hand and everyone is waiting to see if he will or not.
To be honest, if he refuses to take Terry's hand, I wouldn't blame him and it should never be held against him. It's a personal thing and he should not be questioned for whatever he decides to do.
Bridge's feelings for Terry are clearly strong - strong enough to effectively end his own England career.
It must have been the most difficult decision he has ever made and one that he has not taken lightly - especially considering he knew he would most likely have been playing in England's opening game against the United States in South Africa.
It was an independent, brave and unselfish decision made for the good of the nation. And for that he deserves a pat on the back.
It is impossible to know how he feels - never before has such a situation been played out so publicly or in the same way.
All I know is that it would have taken something huge for me to have taken a decision not to travel to the World Cup in 1990.
Like Bridge, I was on the periphery of the team but I was just pleased I was travelling. I was recovering from a broken toe and was having cortisone injections in each groin just to be able to walk properly. I was also carrying a hernia but I still got on the plane - that's how much it meant to me.
But they were physical problems. Bridge's are emotional and altogether different. And because we cannot begin to understand what he is going through, his decision to withdraw from World Cup contention certainly does not deserve the criticism it has attracted.
UPSET OF THE WEEKEND: Stoke City v Arsenal
Arsenal's trip to the Britannia Stadium presents the best chance of a big upset this weekend.
Stoke are well-organised at home and physically strong while Arsenal can be the exact opposite, particularly at set-pieces - Stoke's forte.
Sol Campbell has to play for Arsenal if they are to match the Potters' muscle - they have no one else who is prepared to put their heads where it hurts. It's not going to be pretty and while Campbell is limited on the floor, his prowess will be needed in the air.
But it is not just a physical advantage that Stoke hold over Arsenal - the Gunners are not mentally strong enough either. Arsene Wenger always seems to have his excuses ready before the game and they are more often than not wheeled out afterwards too when things do not go to plan.
I can't understand why Stoke get knocked for their style of play. It's not against the rules to play to certain strengths and if launching long throws work for them, so be it. There's no shame in using that to their advantage.
Stoke are becoming an established Premier League side - and they deserve to be. They are the kind of team who should be in the top flight - they're a big club, well-supported and with a lovely stadium.
Their progress was evident in the FA Cup earlier in the season when they beat Arsenal 3-1 at home and it would take a brave man to bet against them repeating that feat on Saturday.
MATCH OF THE WEEKEND: Aston Villa v Manchester United
The first major piece of silverware of the season is up for grabs on Sunday when Aston Villa play Manchester United in the Carling Cup final at Wembley.
It is a repeat of the 1994 final, in which I played, and like then, United head into the game as favourites.
Sixteen years ago, Villa beat us 3-1 on the day to deny us what would have been a treble. We'll have to see if Villa can do that again, but certainly their game plan has changed little.
Martin O'Neill's side aren't the most expressive team in the Premier League and, as in '94, their best chance of success will be to hit United on the counter.
Villa have taken four points off United already this season, so we all know what they are capable of, but very few teams beat United twice in a season and with Wayne Rooney is his current form, they will be difficult to topple.
UNDER PRESSURE: Roberto Mancini
Manchester City, under Mancini, have not moved on from where Mark Hughes left them.
There was a lot of hype soon after he took over when City put a string of victories together and he has certainly boosted scarf sales, but since then they have fallen away a bit.
The pressure is on for City to win a trophy - and soon - but disappointment in both cups this season has left them scrambling for fourth place in the Premier League.
But there are no guarantees, and they look like they're going to fall further behind in the race for a Champions League spot with Chelsea coming up on Saturday.
Unfortunately, many more setbacks and Mancini, who no doubt will have seen how Mark Hughes was fired, will have to start looking over his shoulder.