Manchester City can turn up the heat on leaders Liverpool with a victory over in-form Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Due largely to their League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League commitments, City have fallen off the pace at the top - with Brendan Rodgers' side taking full advantage to move four points ahead of the 2011-12 champions.
With just the Premier League left to focus on, manager Manuel Pellegrini can ill-afford any more slip-ups following last Saturday's 1-1 draw at Arsenal.
City, who have also dropped below Chelsea but have two games in hand on the sides above them, meet Liverpool next weekend in a crucial fixture at the top, and Pellegrini will want to head into that game with a win behind them.
With Liverpool not in action until Sunday, City have a chance to apply some pressure on the Merseysiders and they boast an impressive home record.
Pellegrini's men have made the Etihad a fortress this season, winning 13 of their 14 league games on home soil.
The solitary defeat came against Chelsea in February, but City's response has been to take 14 points from six league games since then.
Pellegrini could be without leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero this weekend, with the striker not having featured since limping out of their Champions League defeat to Barcelona in March.
However, Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino insists that he would welcome the Argentina international's return.
"I would like to play against him," he said. "I always want to face the best."
Pochettino's charges - who earned a 1-1 draw at home to City, when Aguro was on target for the visitors - have found their goalscoring touch lately, hitting 10 in the last three games.
English trio Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert have been Southampton's main source of inspiration, with all three having found the net in Saturday's 4-0 win over Newcastle as they moved back into eighth.
And defender Luke Shaw - who could join the likes of Lallana, Rodriguez and Lambert in England's World Cup squad - feels that the sky is the limit for Southampton.
"I think in the next year or so we can be challenging the top five teams," he said.
"They've got to get the manager down on a long-term contract, which will probably be the first thing they try and do."
Victor Wanyama could return for Southampton following a calf problem, although Kelvin Davis (back), Nathaniel Clyne (groin) and Maya Yoshida (knee) remain sidelined.
As well as Aguero, Pellegrini also has doubts over Micah Richards and Matija Nastasic (both knee).
|42||Y. Touré||3' 78'|
|Coach: M. Pellegrini|
for Fernandinho 46'
for E. Džeko 65'
for David Silva 77'
|Defour withdrawal stalled Anderlecht|
|Atletico achievement delights Simeone|
|Atletico did ´many´ things well - Michel|
|Raul Garcia promises no let-up from Atletico|
|Missed chances disappoint Rolfes|
|La Liga Preview: Real out to break club record at Malaga|
|Ancelotti praises defence after record-equalling win|
|Klopp: Arsenal deserved it|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: Alianza Lima falter in Clausura race|
|Allegri targeting top spot after Malmo win|
|Rodgers pleased despite Ludogorets late show|
|Wenger rues Arteta injury|
|Ludogorets 2 Liverpool 2: More misery for Rodgers´ men|
|Malmo 0 Juventus 2: Tevez fires Allegri´s side closer to qualification|
|Anderlecht 2 Galatasaray 0: Mbemba secures third place for hosts|
|Bayer Leverkusen 0 Monaco 1: Ocampos strike stuns dominant hosts|
|Atletico Madrid 4 Olympiacos 0: Hat-trick hero Mandzukic books last-16 spot|
|Basel 0 Real Madrid 1: Ronaldo strike equals club record|
|Arsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: Sanogo and Alexis seal progress|
|´We must believe´ – Villas-Boas wants Zenit progression|
|Bundesliga Preview: Schalke and Bayern out to bounce back from Euro setbacks|
|Jesus bemoans wasted Benfica chances|
|League Two Preview: Promotion rivals meet, leaders tackle basement club|
|Ligue 1 Preview: PSG and Marseille both fighting for top spot|
|Mitchell lands Tottenham role|
|Zenit 1 Benfica 0: Danny eliminates Portuguese champions|
|Deila concerned over Commons´ future|
|Everton quartet doubtful for Tottenham clash|
|Pochettino calls for extra rest|
|FA charges Everton and West Ham|
|Money not a factor for Van der Vaart|
|League One Preview: Bristol City out to stop the rot at Peterborough|
|Heldt: Chelsea hammering unacceptable|
|Mancini encouraged by Inter|
|Cheltenham appoint Buckle|
|Date set for Tonev appeal hearing|
|K. League Review: Steelers preserve advantage, Seongnam boost survival hopes|
|Moses out for several weeks|
|Drogba focused on claiming trophies|
|Bent makes Brighton switch|
|Kone included in Everton squad for Wolfsburg clash|
|Shaqiri can ´probably´ leave Bayern, says Beckenbauer|
|Ramsey backs under-fire Wenger|
|Fabregas clears the air with Ramos|
|Cavani urges Ligue 1 focus|
|Olsson out until new year|
|Sao Paulo´s Toloi confident ahead of second leg|
|Aguero our ´special player´, says Kompany|
|APOEL eye Europa League despite winless road streak|
|Silva disappointed by ´childish´ errors|
|Slutsky happy to keep ´intrigue´ alive|
|A-League Preview: Brisbane begin life after Mulvey|
|Eredivisie Preview: Ajax targeting improvement|
|Shakhtar did not lack motivation - Shevchuk|
|Bayern lament two errors, Guardiola proud|
|Valcke: It will ´take years´ to rebuild FIFA´s reputation|
|Luis Enrique ´never fed up´ of Messi magic|
|Valverde pleased with Bilbao triumph|
|Messi revels in Champions League milestone|
|Loss was a ´crying shame´ - De Boer|
|Suarez relieved to get off the mark for Barca|
|Pellegrini puts Aguero among best in the world|
|Cavani wants top spot|
|Howedes sorry for Schalke collapse|
|Sporting Lisbon 3 Maribor 1: Slimani helps fire hosts into second place|
|Concord Rangers 0 Mansfield Town 1: Palmer edges League Two side through|
|Mourinho salutes ´complete´ Chelsea after Schalke stroll|
|Lopetegui revels in Porto professionalism|
|MK Dons 2 Rochdale 2: Green rescues hosts a point|
|Manchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Aguero the hero as City rekindle Champions League dream|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 0 Athletic Bilbao 1: Hosts qualify despite poor performance|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Ajax 1: Strike duo terrorise Dutch side|
|APOEL 0 Barcelona 4: Messi breaks record after Suarez opener|
|Schalke 0 Chelsea 5: Blues clinch top spot in style|
|Serbia turn to Curcic|
|Inter v Dnipro: Juan wants early qualification|
|Sporting-Maribor delayed as lights go out in Lisbon|
|Garcia upbeat despite late setback|
|The making of Lionel Messi: How it all started for the Champions League´s record goalscorer|
|Tottenham v Partizan: Pochettino´s men look to seal qualification|
|Messi breaks Champions League scoring record|
|Wolfsburg v Everton: Distin buoyed by good run|
|Allegri expects improved away display|
|Rodgers: First goal crucial for Liverpool confidence|
|CSKA Moscow 1 Roma 1: Late leveller keeps Russians in the hunt|
|Ancelotti not worried about record|
|BATE 0 Porto 3: Belarusians knocked out but go into the record books|
|Klopp looking forward to Champions League distraction|
|Parish urges Warnock to stop ref rage|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Celtic and Inter seek home wins to advance|
|Diame could make Hull return on Saturday|
|QPR lose Sandro to knee injury|
|Juanmi fractures arm|
|Wilshere out for ´a while´ - Wenger|
|Wenger hits back at Usmanov|
|De Jong back in training for Newcastle|
|Chelsea ´head and shoulders´ above rest - Giggs|
|Stevens returns to Stuttgart|
|Cheltenham sack Yates|
|Giggs open to United exit to further career|
|Sampaoli relaxed after Copa America draw|
|Pekerman eyes Copa America revenge|
|Time for City to produce - Nasri|
|Copa Sudamericana Preview: River search for form ahead of Superclasico|
|K. League Preview: Cup winners Seongnam eye safety|
|Argentine Primera Division Review: Racing Club beat River Plate to go top|
|Guardiola: Desperate City are dangerous|
|Paraguayan Division Profesional Review: Libertad back on top as Cerro Porteno slip up|
|Brazil to meet Colombia at Copa America|
|Koeman backs ´great´ Forster|
|Lambert delighted with makeshift Villa defence|