Jose Mourinho may continue to stubbornly insist that Manchester City remain title favourites ahead of his Chelsea side, as per BBC Sport, but few will be in any doubt that the Portuguese has his sights firmly set on a Premier League title.
Such was the ruthlessness with which Chelsea dismantled a 10-man Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 that many will now see the Stamford Bridge outfit as favourites for the title.
Holding a nine-point lead over fourth-placed City, who have three games in hand, Chelsea still face a threat from Liverpool and Arsenal, who both sit seven points behind in second with a game in hand.
As the season enters the home straight with only 10 games remaining, let's take a look at how we think the results will pan out next weekend.
|Hull vs. Manchester City||Saturday, March 15||12.45 p.m. GMT/07.45 a.m. ET||0-3|
|Everton vs. Cardiff||Saturday, March 15||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||2-1|
|Fulham vs. Newcastle||Saturday, March 15||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||1-3|
|Southampton vs. Norwich||Saturday, March 15||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||2-2|
|Stoke vs. West Ham||Saturday, March 15||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||1-2|
|Sunderland vs. Crystal Palace||Saturday, March 15||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||1-0|
|Swansea vs. West Bromwich Albion||Saturday, March 15||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||1-1|
|Aston Villa vs. Chelsea||Saturday, March 15||5.30 p.m. GMT/12.30 p.m. ET||0-4|
|Manchester United vs. Liverpool||Sunday, March. 16||1.30 p.m. GMT/8.30 a.m. ET||1-1|
|Tottenham vs. Arsenal||Sunday, March. 16||4 p.m. GMT/11 a.m. ET||1-2|
Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
England's attack against Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday was essentially Liverpool-lite. Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard. The missing ingredient was, of course, Luis Suarez. But who better to replace the Uruguayan than England's talisman, Wayne Rooney?
FourFourTwo's James Maw certainly agreed with Roy Hodgson that Liverpool's system could be successfully transplanted into the England side, as he tweeted:
England should just play as #LFC at the WC. [Back 5] Gerrard, Henderson, Wilshere [as Coutinho]; Sterling, Rooney [as Suarez], Sturridge.— James Maw (@JamesMawFFT) February 27, 2014
Which player is better?
Yet, England looked toothless going forward. Rooney failed to provide the spark that ignited the Liverpool contingent in the same way that Suarez does week in, week out. When put in such stark comparison with a player of genuine pedigree, Rooney looks a pale imitation.
The match showed Manchester United's deficiencies, just as well as it did England's.
And that's why, when United head into this North West derby, they will go in as underdogs for the first time in many years.
Brendan Rodgers has developed a fluid Liverpool attack anchored by captain Steven Gerrard and ignited by the indomitable Suarez and his energetic sidekicks, Sturridge and Sterling. The same cannot be said of a Manchester United side bereft of confidence.
United recovered from their Champions League humiliation at Olympiakos with a convincing 3-0 victory at strugglers West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. But a further step up in quality will be required if they are to take something from the Liverpool encounter.
Much like this weekend's FA Cup fixtures, Premier League derbies often produce illogical and unexpected results. So despite Liverpool's exceptional form this season, they will struggle to snatch a victory in this, the most prestigious of local derbies.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Arsenal
Spurs haven't lost in five north London derbies at White Hart Lane, but Tim Sherwood's men have struggled to compete with the top four this season.
The gap between Spurs' Champions League ambitions and the reality of their position could not have been made more apparent than in their 4-0 demolition by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Who will win the north London derby?
Until the sending off of Younes Kaboul, it had been a competitive encounter, but a Demba Ba brace soon destroyed Spurs' diminishing hopes of playing Champions League football next term.
Arsenal will be weakened by the loss of Jack Wilshere, but the Gunners were in imperious form as they swept past a dangerous Everton side 4-1 in the FA Cup. Mesut Ozil marked a welcome return to form with the opening strike and three assists. Olivier Giroud put aside accusations of profligacy in front of goal with two strikes.
Arsenal have proved a more resilient side this season, and that trait will prove key against a Spurs side devoid of confidence or momentum. Ozil's return to form is a timely boost for the Gunners, and the German should help orchestrate a victory, albeit a tight one, at White Hart Lane.
Hull City 0-3 Manchester City
Manchester City will understandably have two eyes firmly fixed on the return leg of their Champions League second round at Barcelona, which falls only three days before the visit to Humberside.
But such is the depth of Manuel Pellegrini's squad that the trip should present little challenge to the title contenders. City's front three of Alvaro Negredo, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have plundered 66 goals between them this term, as per BBC Sport. Whichever of that triumvirate is selected by Pellergrini will enjoy plenty of chances to add to that tally.
This is not to say that Hull have not enjoyed some good form of their own of late. There was no better illustration of this than their 3-0 victory over Sunderland to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time in 84 years.
The Tigers currently sit in 13th position in the Premier League, five points clear of the relegation zone. Clubs fighting for survival are among the most dangerous opponents as the season reaches its climax, but City's formidable attack, orchestrated by David Silva, will be too strong for Steve Bruce's men.