At 5pm on Saturday, three things are likely to happen: Early Doors will be beset with a mild yet growing panic about what to do with the rest of its weekend once the Neighbours omnibus finishes, man of the people Lewis Hamilton will be getting a good night's sleep as he prepares to start the Malaysian Grand Prix from pole position, and Arsenal will be four points clear in third place.
If Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur in tomorrow's lunchtime kick-off and then the Gunners win at home against Aston Villa then they will steal a march in the race for the third and final automatic Champions League place.
Should that transpire, it will represent a remarkable turnaround in the club's fortunes. As recently as the end of January, Arsenal were 13 points off the pace set by their north London neighbours.
At the start of the year, consecutive league defeats at Fulham, away to Swansea and at home to Manchester United looked set to end Arsenal's season a month earlier than the February collapse which has become their trademark in recent years.
It looked like club chief executive Ivan Gazidis's long-held assertion that the Gunners could survive without a season of European football would be put to the test. They faced a fight to even qualify for the Europa League, sitting as they were two points behind Liverpool. Hardly auspicious circumstances.
During the defeat at home to United, Arsene Wenger was roundly booed by fans at the Emirates for his decision to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Andrei Arshavin with 15 minutes remaining.
There were chants of "You don't know what you're doing!" aimed at the French manager, who had revolutionised the club. He was written off by some as a basket case, a man who was once a pioneer rendered redundant as the rest of football caught up with him.
Things were so bad for Wenger that even footage of him failing to put his hand in his pocket went viral, cited as evidence of how he had lost his marbles and needed to call it a day.
Since then, however, the Gunners have embarked on a six-match unbeaten run in the league which has propelled them up to third.
En route to the top three, Arsenal dished out a 5-2 thumping to Spurs, giving their local rivals a case of the yips from which they are yet to recover.
That was the first of three straight league defeats for Spurs, their worst run since Harry Redknapp ended Juande Ramos's reign of terror in October 2008. They ended that barren stretch on Wednesday against Stoke, but even then it took a stoppage-time leveller from Rafael van der Vaart to avoid making it four losses on the spin.
Now is not the ideal time for Spurs to travel to Chelsea, where they have not won at all since the Premier League began. In fact, the last time Spurs won at Stamford Bridge was the same weekend Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
The contrasting momentum between Spurs and Chelsea is startling. While Spurs are very much on a downward trajectory, Chelsea are very much enjoying a revival. Only a visit to Manchester City ended their run of four straight wins under Roberto Di Matteo's laissez-faire management, and even then it took a late comeback to consign them to defeat.
Chelsea's players are enjoying their newfound autonomy under Di Matteo, whilst Spurs are struggling to come to terms with the widely predicted departure of their own manager.
Come Saturday evening, it is likely that Wenger will be able to sit back and revel in his two nearest rivals scrapping it out beneath his team, who will be sitting pretty as London's top club once again.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I want to apologise to Jamie Thomas, I have arranged for a letter and a signed shirt to be sent to his home address." — Wayne Rooney says sorry after a wayward shot in the warm-up before Saturday's match at Wolves flew into the crowd and broke a nine-year-old boy's wrist.
FOREIGN VIEW: "It is a decisive and strategic step that will strengthen our institution in the Middle East and Asia." - Real Madrid president Florentino Perez announces plans for the club to build a resort in the United Arab Emirates. The $1 billion 'Real Madrid Resort Island' will feature sports facilities, a marina, luxury hotels and villas, an amusement park, a club museum and a 10,000-seat stadium with one side open to the sea.
COMING UP: Full previews of all the weekend's Premier League fixtures, plus team news for all the other major leagues in Britain and Europe, are on their way.
Jim White and Paul Parker will be delivering their latest columns, and Pitchside Europe will be running the rule over the European match of the weekend.
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