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Our very own Mystic Meg - otherwise known as Simon Bird - gazes into his crystal ball ahead of the weekend's top flight fixtures
Ding ding. Round one of the Premier League title play off with City vs United.
That's what Manchester derby games amount to these days with their rivals' challenge ailing and inconsistent.
There are few moments in football history to match the finale of last season's title race. United players on the pitch at Sunderland thinking they had won at the last hurdle, only for news to seep through about Sergio Aguero's clinching injury time goal and delirium at the Eithad Stadium.
The look on the United player's faces as their glory was snatched away was painful to see. Wayne Rooney talked of storing up that moment and using it to fuel a reversal of positions.
But that is history, retaining the title is now City's test and boss Roberto Mancini reckons crashing out of Europe this week will boost their chances. That will be especially true later in the season when United will be fighting on all fronts.
Sir Alex Ferguson had some stern words for his defence this week admitting United are vulnerable to balls into the box and asking "God knows what will happen" if they defend like that on Sunday.
The key lies with Robin van Persie and Rooney. If they are on song this will be a high scoring draw. If not City could scrape it.
This is going to be a big season for Everton. Not distracted by Europe, and with a formula that is producing slick football, David Moyes' players will push into the top four or five.
This is a testing period for Everton but they have come through games against Manchester City and Arsenal with two draws, and now a clash with fourth placed Spurs will be a powerful marker as to how high they can go.
Spurs have bounced back from their 5-2 thrashing by Arsenal with a series of decent results in the league and Andre Villas-Boas could end up doing just as well as Harry Redknapp did last season.
There is a genuine debate to be had about Arsene Wenger's future. But the man who has built Arsenal into a powerhouse of the league, and one of the few financially viable clubs, does not deserve chants of "you don't know what you're doing."
Smooth progress in the Champions League (wouldn't Manchester City have killed for that) has been undermined by league form that leaves Arsenal 15 points off the top in tenth. Being without a win in four games, and the last two being defeats also does little to calm the frustrations.
Meeting West Brom, the surprise package of the league this season, could worsen that run, but a bounce back has to start somewhere, and the Baggies bubble may have burst with two consecutive defeats of their own.
Martin O'Neill's position is one of the most fascinating in the league. Most mangers would have been fired by now for the run Sunderland have been on since mid February. Four wins in 27 games is not very inspiring, but O'Neill has persistently insisted he is in it for the long term.
There is also a feeling that owner Ellis Short genuinely wants stability. However there comes a tipping point for every manager. Is he still inspiring his players? Can he really be judged on a squad he has largely inherited?
Those are the key questions. The results are unclear. A woeful first half against Norwich, a much better second half, but far too late because Sunderland were already two down. A run of one win in ten games at the Stadium of Light is also damaging.
Chelsea need to find their form in the league after their 6-1 win in Europe. Rafa Benitez is firefighting at the moment after two draws and a defeat. Sunderland could be the perfect place to get that first win.
Harry Redknapp brought a glimmer of hope to QPR, but that will soon be extinguished unless they get their first win of the season. They need to win 32 points from 23 remaining games. Ten wins and a couple of draws. Look at it that way and it seems an almost impossible task.
Clive Rose / Getty
If the victory doesn't come at Wigan then you have to wonder where it will come from.
Wigan were unlucky at Newcastle on Monday with the early penalty and sending off of Maynor Figueroa, but recovered well in the second half. Which Wigan will turn up?
The Saints could set themselves up for a real crack at survival over the next four games. A tough start to the season distorted their potential, but confidence must be growing, and a win against Reading would be a huge boost.
Southampton play Reading and Sunderland - the teams surrounding them in the next two games -followed by trips to Stoke and Fulham which could yield points.
So Darren Bent is still in the dark over his exile at Villa. There's been no bust up, no advice on why he's out, just silence and guess work.
Villa want £18 million, the cash they paid Sunderland, to sell Bent in January, and at least that would raise funds and put an end to a brooding situation that is doing Paul Lambert no favours as his side hover just out of trouble.
Stoke have perked up recently and will fancy their chances of keeping the points ticking over.
A couple of months ago Norwich looked down and out after they conceded five and four to Liverpool and Chelsea.
Now they are nine games unbeaten and looking half way to safety. There was always a spark of good football there and coupled with a bit of resilience and confidence Chris Hughton will lead his men to another season in the division.
Swansea will be fending off inquiries for Michu, one of the bargains of the season, who has scored 10 goals in 15 games since arriving from Rayo Vallecano. Signed for £2million, Michael Laudrup says he would now be worth £30 million. Shoot down Norwich and many a rival boss will be kicking themselves for missing him.
Brendan Rodgers wants a fresh batch of Liverpool stars to pick up the baton of responsibility from skipper Steven Gerrard and he has rejected talk of selling Pepe Reina.
It may feel like Rodgers is firefighting for a few more months yet as he rebuilds Liverpool and tried to string together more consistent results. At the moment there are not enough back to back wins.
West Ham's bid to re-home at the Olympic Stadium progressed this week, and they certainly struck gold against Chelsea last week pulling off a win.
Alan Pardew rested his entire first team for the clash with Bordeaux and is expected to be able to recall Hatem Ben Arfa after his hamstring lay off.
Newcastle have yet to win away from home and have to improve that record to make significant in roads into the top ten. Ben Arfa being fit is a big boost, and the form of Vurnon Anita in the win over Wigan is also encouraging.