Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed the Barclays Premier League title is now a straight fight between Manchester United and Arsenal.
If United overcome Wigan at the DW Stadium, their advantage over Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea will stretch into double figures. With only 11 games of the season remaining, it would give any of that trio a virtually impossible task to claw their way back into it.
"Either Arsenal or ourselves will win it," declared Ferguson. "Normally two teams break away."
Even Chelsea, who have yet to play United this term, would only be able to claw six of the 15 points back if they were to emulate last term's achievement and record a league double.
The odds are stacked against them all, leaving Ferguson to conclude that what had looked like a five-team fight for glory a matter of weeks ago, will now be between two.
The United boss continued: "At particular moments in the season, it looks good as has been the case for the last few years.
"But all of a sudden, as you come towards to the end, there are always two teams. That is the way it is looking at the moment."
Chelsea skipper John Terry did try to exert some pressure on United earlier this week by wondering whether they would buckle under the pressure. As he spoke the words, Terry must have known he was attempting to place a question mark over the most experienced team in the league; the one least likely to crumble in the latter stages.
"You try things. We all try things," said Ferguson. "But it won't be easy to come back from that kind of points deficit.
"I said some time ago, the team that is most consistent would win the league. That is why I stress that we have to keep our momentum going and get that consistency."
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