Just a dozen games remain in the Premier League campaign. That is 12 games standing between Premier League glory and losing out to a cross-city rival. Manchester United's run-in looks more favourable, but the Manchester City have the quality to ensure first place and will not easily be surrendered.
Here are six games that will influence whether the Premier League trophy is adorned in blue or red ribbons come May.
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The visit of Bolton Wanderers to the Etihad Stadium presents the Blues with the opportunity to open up a five-point gap before Manchester United visit White Hart Lane the following day. An imperious 100 percent record at home this season has spearheaded the title challenge and will prove vital in the coming months.
The Britannia Stadium has proved a "bogey ground" for the Blues in recent years, but if the club are to fulfill their title aspirations, victory over Stoke is a necessity. Stoke were thoroughly outclassed in the game at the Etihad earlier in the season but will prove to be an entirely different prospect on their own turf.
United play host to Fulham two days later on Monday night football, ensuring City have the chance to exert further pressure.
City have won once at the Emirates this season already in a Carling Cup clash, but that will count for nothing come April 8. Arsenal demonstrated their devastating offensive capabilities in last weekend's North London derby in a result which could see the club springboard towards Champions League qualification.
Queens Park Rangers visit Old Trafford in the day's earlier kickoff.
Moved to Monday night due to the Manchester Marathon that weekend, the derby could be the crunch game that decides which side of the city eventually ends up with the league title.
United were humiliated in the equivalent fixture at Old Trafford and will be wanting revenge, while City will know that they are more than capable of dispatching their neighbors.
If the title race goes down to the final day of the season, home advantage could prove significant. Mark Hughes will be desperate to throw a spanner in the City charge, with a team including three City academy products in Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joey Barton and Nedum Onuoha.
Should this look advantageous, however, you only have to look at United's opponents for the day, Sunderland, who possess no fewer than five United academy graduates. Could club bias eventually settle the title?