Manchester United continued to exert their dominance over the English Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool. The Red Devils lead by seven points, giving themselves a little breathing room for the season's second half.
Chief rival Manchester City have managed to stay within striking distance. City picked up an impressive win over Arsenal to keep pace with United, but are still going to need an extended run of poor play from them in order to make a charge.
After the Manchester rivals, there's a gap back to the next wave of clubs, which includes Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton and the Gunners. Their league title hopes are all but gone, so the race to secure European spots is officially on.
As if that wasn't enough, the January transfer window is producing some intriguing storylines as well. Let's take a look at some of the latest transfer talk, followed by a preview and predictions for the week ahead in the EPL.
Galatasaray are still waiting on a decision from Wesley Sneijder, who's hoping to secure a move to the Premier League instead of heading to Turkey. The midfielder was phased out by Inter Milan, leading to the endless transfer talk since the winter window opened.
Andy Hunter of the Guardian reports the 28-year-old Netherlands international is generating interest from Manchester United and Liverpool, but both clubs are banking on him taking a pay cut before moving forward with a potential deal.
While it's no surprise Sneijder would like to test his talents in the EPL, the latest development puts even more pressure on him to make a decision. He would provide a boost to both United and Liverpool, but only if it comes at a reduced cost.
Gareth Bale is one of the Premier League's brightest young stars and a crucial part of Tottenham's squad. He has already found the net nine times during the current EPL campaign, tying his career high, and he should only continue to improve moving forward.
A player with his type of talent is always going to attract outside interest, which is something Spurs are doing their best to ignore. Lee Bryan of the Daily Mail reports the club is asking for £55 million for the 23-year-old star, with Real Madrid serving as the most interested party.
That's an astonishing asking price, but probably serves more as a warning to stay away from the midfielder than what Tottenham would actually expect to get for him. They have to do everything in their power to keep Bale in the fold.
Queens Park Rangers are going to need to illustrate massive improvement in the second half in order to avoid relegation. The Hoops are currently five points from safety. They will likely need some reinforcements in order to eliminate that deficit.
One player on manager Harry Redknapp's list of targets is Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila, according to John Cross of the Daily Mirror. He reports the QPR boss went on a scouting mission to see the France international in action.
M'Vila has been a popular transfer target in recent years, but has remained with Rennes. While adding him to the squad would definitely help the club's shaky defense, finding a reliable striker to boost the attack should come first for QPR.
Manchester United have lost just once since late November and haven't dropped a Premier League contest since Norwich City stunned the Red Devils on Nov. 17. So it's easy to see how they opened up such a large lead.
The Red Devils will face a tough challenge on Sunday as they travel to face a Tottenham side that has an unbeaten run of more than a month going. A scoreless draw with QPR wasn't the result Spurs were hoping for leading up to the marquee encounter, though.
For Tottenham to earn all three points, they must find a way to slow down Robin van Persie. The star striker has been a tremendous addition for the Red Devils. He leads the league with 17 goals, including one in the victory over Liverpool.
Liverpool vs. Norwich City
Liverpool were just starting to find their form before losing to United. They can't allow the defeat to push them into another extended slide like earlier in the campaign. The Reds should be able to handle a Norwich squad that has struggled in league play recently.
Prediction: 2-0 Liverpool
Manchester City vs. Fulham
All Manchester City can do is keep winning and hope United let them back in the race. City's defense has been in fine form since the calendar flipped to 2013, which boosts their chances, but they are still a clear underdog against United. Fulham shouldn't provide much resistance, though.
Prediction: 3-0 Manchester City
Newcastle United vs. Reading
This is a critical match for Newcastle. The club's attack has struggled mightily since Demba Ba left for Chelsea. A home loss to Reading, who beat West Brom over the weekend, would put them in a serious relegation fight.
Swansea City vs. Stoke City
Stoke's vaunted defense has allowed seven goals over the past two matches, albeit against Manchester City and Chelsea. The Potters must refocus their defensive effort in order to remain in the top half. Swansea are coming off a scoreless league draw with Everton.
West Ham United vs. Queens Park Rangers
West Ham have scored 19 of their 24 goals at home, illustrating the vast difference in form when they play at Upton Park. While QPR have played better as of late, the Hammers should be able to secure all three points.
Prediction: 2-1 West Ham
Wigan Athletic vs. Sunderland
In another match in which relegation will already be on the mind of both sides, Sunderland can open up a nice gap for themselves with a victory. However, Wigan understand how important defending home turf will be from here on out.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Aston Villa
Even though West Brom have hit the skids as of late after an unexpectedly terrific start, they still hold a distinct advantage over an Aston Villa squad that has the league's worst goal differential. The Baggies should get back on track with a win.
Prediction: 2-1 West Brom
Chelsea vs. Arsenal
Chelsea received a lot of help from Stoke's Jon Walters, who gift-wrapped two own goals to help the Blues overcome some sluggish attacking. The Blues must now take advantage of the Gunners, who have been out of form lately.
Prediction: 2-1 Chelsea
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United
The match of the week should live up to its billing. The combination of Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale should be able to keep Spurs competitive at home, but how well they defend the dangerous United attack will decide the outcome.
Southampton vs. Everton
Everton let two more points slip away in a home draw with Swansea. The Toffees can get them back by going on the road and earning all three against Southampton. The Saints haven't been able to develop any momentum this season.
Prediction: 1-0 Everton