Manchester City's loss away to Burnley last week means that Chelsea are now very much the almost nailed on favourites to win the 2014-2015 Barclay's Premiership title.
The "rat race" is for second to fourth places now includes Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Southampton with Spurs all but out of this race after a 3-0 hammering at Old Trafford last Sunday.
The 2014-2015 Barclay's Premiership season is getting down to the endgame with Chelsea and Manchester City the only two clubs in with a realistic chance of winning the title, with Chelsea firm favourites.
The more interesting race is for third and fourth places with Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Southampton and Spurs all vying for the remaining Champions League spots.
This weekend is a tale of two derbies as Spurs face Arsenal in the North London derby while Liverpool and Everton square off in the Merseyside derby. Most pundits will be playing it safe and going for the draw in both this games, though two narrow away wins are also on the cards.
At the bottom both Leicester, QPR and Burnley will be hoping home advantage counts against Crystal Palace, Southampton and WBA respectively.
The first match of the 2015 Atlantic Cup takes place in New Jersey on Sunday, and we are confident in D.C. United's chances.
D.C. United go on the road for the second time this season, and hope not to repeat the result of their first road trip. Our writers are again confident, with only one of us predicting something other than a win.
MLS is back, and we give you our predictions for the very first league game.
D.C. United open their regular season against the Montreal Impact tomorrow afternoon. After showing improvement in the second leg of their series against Alajuelense, our panel is fairly confident. How do you feel about this game?
In what could be United's final game for awhile, they try to claw back against LD Alajuelense.
Whatever slim hopes D.C. United have in the Concacaf Champions League will be put on the line tonight, as the welcome LD Alajuelense to town for the second leg of this quarterfinal. For obvious reasons, we are not very optimistic on United's chances (though we do predict wins), but leave us your predictions in the comments!
Our staff is confident in D.C. United's abilities going into their first competitive match of 2015.
Welcome to the 2015 edition of our staff and reader predictions! We kick of United's campaign with their trip down to Costa Rica in the Concacaf Champions League. Our staff is rather bullish, with only one of us predicting that D.
With a deadline within 2 days, we give you our thoughts on what will happen between MLS and its players' union.
With the possibility of strike starting as soon as tomorrow evening out there, MLS and its players' union are pushing themselves to the brink. The writers here at Black and Red United decided to use our regular predictions format to let you know what we think will happen in this negotiation; put your contributions in the comments!
It's that time of year, everyone! When MLS seems likely to go on a work stoppage, but the media needs to pretend they aren't, because if we think they will and they play on as normal, starting with LA vs. Chicago on Fridaythe 6th, we'll have egg on our face...
Alan Pardew lost his first game in charge of Crystal Palace last week and will be looking not to add to it tomorrow against bottom side Leicester City who have signed Andrej Kramaric to try change their poor form in-front of goal this season.
Can't see anything less than a comfortable home win here even if Manchester City have looked vulnerable without Yaya Toure while on International duty, Hull to me look destined for relegation if not a very tight battle to survive this season and even with that Steve Bruce may see the exit door before the end of the season as they look in free-fall right now.
Aston Villa come into this visit of the League leaders off a 5-0 spanking against Arsenal last Sunday and barring a minor miracle surely won't be able to take anything against Chelsea despite Jose Mourinho's winless streak at Villa Park.
Prediction: Chelsea @4/11
Scorecast: 0-4 @14/1
First Goalscorer: Branislav Ivanovic @14/1
Jose Mourinho has a surprisingly poor record as a coach against Aston Villa at Villa Park in the Barclays Premier League with Chelsea (W0 D3 L2).
Manager-less QPR will hope they can rediscover their winning ways at Loftus Road following their 3-0 defeat to Manchester United last week while the visitors will also want to get back to winning ways with a win tomorrow which would see the Saints reclaim third spot with Manchester United not playing till Monday night.
Swansea got backed to winning ways last week as they snatched victory against Southampton at St Marys and will be looking for another victory against Sunderland who are not exactly the most free-scoring side at the moment especially away from home!
West Brom spanked Burnley at the Hawthorns in the reverse fixture at the end of September 4-0 however a repeat score-line may be asking a bit much from the Baggies who no doubt will be more defensively adapt than they were against Tottenham last week which could see few chances in the game as Burnley are rather shy of goals also this season.
Expect the usual feisty Merseyside Derby tomorrow which has not seen a red card in their last six meetings which is at least something, and although Liverpool were far from impressive in mid-week I expect them to have enough quality tomorrow to beat an Everton side who just haven't looked anything like the side which produced some explosive football last season which leaves the Toffee's manager staring the bullet straight in the face right now!
There's very little separating these two sides both on paper and reality as they occupy fifth and sixth place in the league and given the usual fireworks which accompany North London Derbies tomorrows early clash at White Hart Lane will be no different and expect Theo Walcott to bare the brunt of a lot of abuse from the home fans after his 2-0 finger salute over a year ago when he was lifted off on a stretcher in his last North London Derby!
Only a goal seperates these two sides who desperately need all three points tomorrow to try avoid the relegation dog-fight with Sunderland ahead and with home advantage will be favourites for victory against Sean Dyche's Burnley who have showed a bit of fight of late which has got them out of the bottom three but just by one point!
Crystal Palace have looked a formidable top half side since Alan Pardew's appointment as the former captain remains unbeaten thus far and the visit of a very unconvincing Everton side will hold no fears for the Eagles faithful!
Prediction Crystal Palace17/10
Scorecast: 3-1 @20/1
First Goalscorer: Dwight Gayle @13/2
Only one of the last eight meetings in all competitions has ended as a home win in this fixture (two draws, five away wins).
West Brom look defensively better under Tony Pulis's stewardship and the visit of Tottenham won't be too much of a worry for the Baggies however if Tottenham are to keep their outside Champions League hopes alive they must turn this tricky away tie into a win and could just sneak it if there Leugue Cup Semi-Final win during the week on aggregate wasn't celebrated too much!
The imminent return of Daniel Sturridge will surely have the Kop in full voice tomorrow as they look to squeeze into Champions League contention with a win against West Ham who blitzed them 3-1 at Upton Park in September, however Liverpool have shown signs of returning to their attacking play of last season since the turn of the year and with a potent striker to lead the line could easily just sneak this one at Anfield tomorrow!
Despite Manchester United looking far from convincing at the back, with half the season gone surely LVG's men couldn't be beaten by Leicester City again who still prop up the Premier League table on 17 points and a revenge mission for the club's most embarrassing loss in the league this season is surely on the cards despite the Foxes recent turn in form a win at Old Trafford tomorrow is surely beyond them?
The loss of Diego Costa through suspension for his stamp on Emre Can in midweek could be a major factor in Chelsea's clash with Champions Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening, who like Chelsea don't seem to be firing on all cylinders lately with both side's enduring embarrassing defeats in the FA Cup last week, and with both sides looking to avoid defeat for opposite reason's this one could turn out to be a game which offers more hype than bite!
Steve Bruce's lack of striking options could cost them their Premier League status this season and he will know all three points are a must tomorrow against Newcastle who haven't been in great form themselves since the departure of Alan Pardew, however John Carver's appointment till the end of the season should give the players and fans a bit of closure and a win tomorrow would be a great start for the newly appointed Magpies manager.
If Watford want to stay in the play-offs and stay in touch for automatic promotion to the Premier League this season they must beat rock bottom Blackpool today at Vicarage Road and I see no problems for the Hornets in this tie having hit five without reply against Charlton at home last week!
Games between these two sides are never short of goals and todays clash between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad has the potential to be another classic as the returning Sergio Aguero goes head to head with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez to grab the headlines and all three points for their respective sides today.
West Ham should get back to winning ways today at home to a Hull City side who have been struggling to hit the target this season and with the loss of Hernandez and Jelavic not helping matters could find it tough in staying up, while West Ham who haven't really got going since the turn of the year should take confidence in their penalty shoot-out win against Everton in midweek and unlike their opponents today have a firing striker in Andy Carroll who can win it for the Hammers!
Alan Pardew looks set to hand Arsenal loanee Yaya Sanogo a starting berth in the hope of elevating Crystal Palace out of the relegation dog-fight while also pushing rivals Burnley further into the shite, although having already shared a bore draw in the reverse fixture in September there is no reason to suggest both clubs won't share the spoils again tomorrow!
Leicester City will be hoping to continue their dream start to 2015 with another win tomorrow against stoke who they beat 1-0 at the Brittania in the reverse fixture, however it must be noted that Stoke battered them but just couldn't break them down and with the return of Bojan Mark Hughes will be hoping he can ensure there will be no repeat scenario!
Jermaine Defoe's record in his previous debuts are second to none and should he score tomorrow they'll probably be calling for a return to the England squad for th former Tottenham striker, However another new kid on the block Harry Kane could upstage the new Sunderland man having had a rest in midweek!
League leaders Chelsea will be looking for a repeat performance which seen them come from a goal behind against Swansea at Stamford Bridge to record a 4-2 win in September which seen Diego Costa grab a hat-trick and if in similar form tomorrow could repeat the dose, however midfield will be key tomorrow and given Chelsea's dominance in that area right now they should be able to take another step towards the Premier League title!
Sothampton may have beaten Newcastle 4-0 in the reverse fixture but with seven squad members missing through injury and International commitments could struggle tomorrow as they visit St James Park most notable absentee's will be central defenderToby Alderweireld and midfielders Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin who picked up injuries Wanyama as early as Wednesday in their Third Round replay victory against Ipswich, while Newcastle will be looking for their first point since Alan Pardew's departure and have had some pretty decent form at home this season .
Louis Van Gaal will be under pressure to come up with a victory tomorrow having been beaten by Southampton last week at Old Trafford for the first time since 1988 which leaves United with the same amount of points as this time last year when David Moyes was in charge, however the player's seem to still have faith in LVG something the lost with Moyes mid way through the season when finishing outside the European spots, however I'm sure going to Loftus Road won't be as easy as people may think given their record at home this season!
Arsenal will hope they can put in a better first half performance than they did in the reverse fixture last month when they found themselves 3-0 down before the break and eventually losing 3-2, however the Gunners are a different beast at the Emirates as are Stoke and a home win looks the most likely result tomorrow.
Manchester United having really been firing on all cylinders despite a run of ten games unbeaten and were blessed to beat tomorrows visitors Southampton in the reverse fixture before Christmas, however one thing the Red Devils are showing in abundance is their believe in the way their manager Louis Van Gaal wants them to play which bodes well for the title outsiders who failed and lost confidence in David Moyes last year!
Wigan beat Birmingham 4-0 in the reverse fixture and Gary Rowett's men could face a similar trouncing should they put in a first half performance like they did last week against Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup although they did show great character to turn around the 2-0 deficit in the second half and given their recent league form should be able to gain revenge against Wigan today.