With the two Manchester clubs pretty much dominating the top of the table for most of this Barclays Premier League (BPL) season, one of the more intriguing sub-plots has been the fight for the two remaining Champions League places.
This weekend will see a major showdown, and a possible reshuffle that could have a significant impact on the remainder of the season.
Four teams are in the battle for the two spots, with Tottenham Hotspur seemingly on the point of implosion, Arsenal looking vulnerable, Chelsea resurgent and Newcastle continuing to make like black-and-white- striped dervishes.
Spurs appeared to be in total command of third spot only a couple of months ago, but a disastrous run of form has left them clinging on to fourth.
Let's be frank, they don't look capable of beating anyone at this point.
The impact of Sunday's ultimately humiliating 1-5 exit in the FA Cup semi-finals at the hands of Chelsea is going to be difficult to assess before they take to the field again.
But it is clear that Spurs are weary, that their players are dispirited (if not entirely broken), and manager Harry Redknapp has one of the biggest challenges of his managerial career right in front of him.
A season that promised so much for them - weren't some of us talking up their BPL title credentials only a few weeks ago? - is in serious danger of petering out with nary a whimper.
At this juncture of the season, an away game against Queens Park Rangers is just what the doctor would have ordered only on pain of being struck off.
QPR are fighting for their Premier League lives, and have proven to be very tough opponents on home soil - ask Liverpool and Arsenal, both of whom have tasted defeat in Loftus Road in recent weeks.
Spurs could do with a confidence boost, but they will be only too aware that they will have to fight for everything, as well as having to contend with an intimidating and boisterous crowd in Loftus Road that is often so close to the players that nostril flare is visible.
Furthermore, by the time Spurs kick off, they could be in sixth place - ramping up the pressure a few more notches.
This is because both Chelsea and Newcastle are in action earlier in the day, and wins for them would take them above Spurs - a situation almost unthinkable at the turn of the year.
Chelsea are nigh on rampant at the moment, with 10 wins and two draws in the 13 games in all competitions since Roberto di Matteo took the helm, including a startling 1-0 win against Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Arsenal host the Blues in tomorrow's early kick-off, with the Gunners off a shock home defeat by Wigan and certainly questioning their insuperability, following a run of nine league wins in 10 games that put them in charge of third spot.
Newcastle, meanwhile, having already confounded all the critics this season, will be very confident of picking up an 11th home win of the season and moving up to the top four, if they can get the better of a Stoke City side that have not travelled that well all season.
The fact that all four teams from third to sixth in the table are playing on the same day, one after the other, makes for an intriguing match day, with Champions League qualification and the riches it brings very much up for grabs.
Catch Andrew Leci on Monday Night Verdict every Monday at 8pm on ESPN