Less than a week remains in the 2013-14 Premier League season, and the coming days will dictate who sinks and who swims, with matters still in need of deciding at both ends of the table.
Manchester City and Liverpool are currently level on 80 points apiece at the division's summit. Each have two games left to play, but the Citizens are nine better off in terms of goal difference and will win a second title in three seasons as long as they can beat Aston Villa and West Ham in their remaining fixtures.
Chelsea also maintain some hope of clawing the trophy back, but following Sunday's 0-0 draw with Norwich City and with just one game left in their season, Jose Mourinho's chances look dim.
We'll be discussing storylines from all angles of the English top flight, as well as a breakdown of the latest title race odds ahead.
|Position||Club||Games Played||Goal Difference||Points|
|12||West Ham United||37||-9||40|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||36||-13||36|
Liverpool's 2-0 loss against Chelsea a week ago put an end to their 11-match winning streak and helped Manuel Pellegrini's City pull themselves back into contention for the title, but Brendan Rodgers' side can head back into the lead on Monday evening.
The Reds travel to Crystal Palace, by no means an easy fixture considering Tony Pulis' introduction of a reformed defensive structure at Selhurst Park. However, Rodgers is quoted by the Daily Mail's Dominic King and Sami Mokbel as being upbeat about his team's chances:
If there is any team that can score goals and turn it around, it will be us. That will be our aim. We aim to score goals and be defensively strong. I have seen it before. Chelsea beat Wigan 8-0 in the last game of the season (in 2010).
The Merseysiders are currently listed by Oddschecker.com as 10-3 underdogs to win the title while Manchester City are the clear favourites at 2-9.
Chelsea, who travel to Cardiff City next Sunday for the final fixture of their campaign, are massive outsiders at 250-1, and a win for Liverpool on Monday would eradicate any hopes of Mourinho winning the league in his first term back at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United could do the unthinkable by failing to qualify for any European football next season if Tottenham are successful in claiming a point or more from next Sunday's season closer at home to Aston Villa.
Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal have already been confirmed as the four teams heading into next term's Champions League while Everton will be playing Europa League football.
The Independent's Sam Wallace says that United's road back to the Champions League will be a long one in the wake of their quarter-final exit to Bayern Munich in this year's tournament:
Bayern 3-1 MUFC (4-2 on agg). Close but not close enough. United's journey back into Europe elite will be a long one http://t.co/V2YxAZZOZC— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceIndy) April 9, 2014
Fortunately for a Ryan Giggs-led United, the club has a chance to bounce back from Saturday's miserable 1-0 defeat at home to Sunderland with a midweek fixture opposite Hull City first.
Depending on how the home encounter goes, the Red Devils can either count themselves out of the race for a spot in the Europa League's third qualifying round or hang onto the slimmest of hopes that they succeed where Spurs cannot next Sunday, facing a daunting trip to Southampton.
Fight Against The Drop
It's already been confirmed that Cardiff City and Fulham will claim two of the three relegation spots this season, but the Canaries' 0-0 stalemate at Chelsea means that Norwich have a last-minute lifeline for their survival.
Sunderland sit one place and two points ahead of the Norfolk outfit with a game in hand, but matters are complicated by the emerging news that those parties in threat of the drop are seeking that the Black Cats receive further punishment for fielding an ineligible Ji Dong-won earlier in the season, per The Observer's Daniel Taylor.
Gus Poyet's men face West Brom this Wednesday, where a point, combined with their advantageous goal difference, should be enough to secure top-flight status for another season.