Premier League weekend preview: Manchester United could be crowned champions - and Reading and QPR could go down
A look ahead at this weekend's possible outcomes
Some sides may still have six games to play in the Premier League this season - but much could be decided in this weekend's round of fixtures.
Manchester City could be officially disposed of their crown while at the other end of the table there might be just one remaining berth in the bottom three to be decided.
Here, we take a look at the permutations for the top and bottom of the table, as well as the battle for the top-five and European football next season.
This weekend, Manchester United host Aston Villa and Manchester City travel to Tottenham. It is the reigning champions who play first, with a tough task at White Hart Lane on Sunday lunchtime. Should Roberto Mancini's side lose to top-four chasing Spurs - United could be crowned champions the following night. Sir Alex Ferguson's men play relegation threatened Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Monday. If City have lost, and United win, the Red Devils will be celebrating their 20th league title.
Both Reading and QPR - who are currently 10 points adrift of safety - could see their hopes of survival extinguished this weekend. However, things would really need to go against the beleaguered sides.
QPR host Stoke at Loftus Road and Reading play at Carrow Road against Norwich - both sides would have to lose if they are to be relegated this weekend.
They would then have to witness some fine results from their fellow relegation contenders. Sunderland would need to beat Champions League chasing Everton at the Stadium of Light and Newcastle would need at least a point away against West Brom. While those results aren't out of the question, relegation would only be sealed if Aston Villa left Old Trafford with all three points when they play Manchester United on Monday evening.
While they may mathematically have a chance of winning the title, for Manchester City the league is all about European qualification now. Victory for them at Tottenham this weekend would take them to 71 points, a figure that will be unobtainable by sixth placed Everton should they drop any points between now and the end of the season. Should City win and Everton fail to take all three points away at Sunderland this weekend, City will be assured of at least a Europa League place - although Champions League qualification will be only around the corner for the Sky Blues.
No other side can guarantee European football this weekend, although a win for Tottenham would leave only Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Everton, Liverpool and West Brom with a mathematical chance.
This weekend's Premier League fixtures...
Fulham v Arsenal 15:00
Norwich v Reading 15:00
QPR v Stoke 15:00
Sunderland v Everton 15:00
Swansea v Southampton 15:00
West Brom v Newcastle 15:00
West Ham v Wigan 15:00
Tottenham v Manchester City 13:30
Liverpool v Chelsea 16:00
Manchester United v Aston Villa 20:00
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