A chastening home defeat to Manchester City has given Premier League leaders Manchester United all the incentive they need to win against Stoke City on Sunday and move closer to sealing a 20th title.
Champions City cut United's lead to 12 points after Monday's 2-1 win at Old Trafford, though with seven games remaining the Premier League trophy appears destined to be prised from their grasp by their neighbours.
City manager Roberto Mancini has already conceded the title to United but a fired-up Stoke, dragged into a relegation battle by a dismal run of form, will be desperate to take at least a point from Alex Ferguson's men in the 2:05pm kick-off.
Ferguson promised his side would "have a go" on Sunday and have three wins and a draw from their last four trips since Stoke returned to the top flight.
Stoke, in 15th but only three points above the drop zone, have just one league win this year.
Sunderland sit one place above the drop zone and a highly-charged atmosphere is certain when they head a few miles north to take on bitter rivals Newcastle on Sunday.
Sunderland are level on 31 points with 18th-placed Wigan Athletic and after a run of nine games without a win, new manager Paolo Di Canio has told his players they have to "fight a war" at St. James' Park.
On Saturday 16th-placed Aston Villa, on 33 points, host Fulham while bottom club Reading host Liverpool and second-last Queens Park Rangers travel to Everton, in what is swiftly becoming the pair's last chance at a miraculous escape from relegation.
Arsenal can further unhinge Tottenham Hotspur's pursuit of a top four spot knowing a victory at home to Norwich City on Saturday would lift them a point above their north London rivals into fourth.
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Saturday 13th April
Sunday 14th April