Manchester United appear to have the bit firmly between their teeth as the end of the season nears. A slip at Everton aside, they have swatted opponents aside with ominous ease lately, propelled by Wayne Rooney in the richest vein of form of his career. A Rooney injury seems the only way the champions can slip up.

Remaining fixtures: Bolton (A) 27 Mar; Chelsea (H) 3 Apr; Blackburn (A) 11 Apr; Man City (A) 17 Apr; Spurs (H) 25 Apr; Sunderland (A) 1 May; Stoke (H) 9 May.

Arsenal have dusted themselves down from a second round of demoralising defeats at the hands of their rivals to stalk their way back into contention by beating the lesser lights consistently. The spirit shown has been remarkable but the suspicion remains they could crumble if they come within reach of the title.

Remaining fixtures: Birmingham (A) 27 Mar; Wolves (H) 3 Apr; Spurs (A) 10 Apr; Wigan (A) 18 Apr; Man City (H) 24 Apr; Blackburn (A) 1 May; Fulham (H) 9 May.

Chelsea have chosen the worst time to suffer a crisis of confidence. While their rivals go through the gears, the wheels are in danger of coming off at Stamford Bridge. How quickly they recover a winning habit will determine the strength of their title bid. Luckily, Pompey are next.

Remaining fixtures: Portsmouth (A) 24 Mar; Aston Villa (H) 27 Mar; Man Utd (A) 3 Apr; Bolton (H) 13 Apr; Spurs (A) 17 Apr; Stoke (H) 25 Apr; Liverpool (A) 1 May; Wigan (H) 9 May.