THE TITLE race is already a lap of honour for Liverpool.
And despite their recent slips, Manchester City and Leicester only have to stay on their feet to be assured of Champions League football next term.
But below that trio, the desperate scramble for fourth – along with the fight for survival – looks like being the big remaining talking point of the campaign.
Now we head into the first of two “split weekends” to allow the inaugural mid-season break to take place, the starting point of the final third of the campaign.
After another weekend which saw the majority of the contenders for fourth stumble once again, SunSport looks at the runners and riders.
Currently: 4th – 41pts
Form guide (last six): WDWLDD (9 pts out of 18)
Frank Lampard’s frustration at the lack of transfer activity after going to court to overturn the Fifa ban signalled his concerns that the young Blues squad are suffering from their workload.
Still in the FA Cup and Champions League, too, with massive games against United and Spurs this month.
Positives: Still in the box seat but that gap has been whittled away. Stamford Bridge fans are desperate for “one of their own” to succeed and love the kids.
Negatives: Inability to kill off games they should have won and series of poor home displays with defeats by West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton. Tammy Abraham is running on empty with no real back-up.
Top four rating (out of four): ****
Crunch games: Feb 17 Man Utd (H), Feb 22 Tottenham (H), Mar 8 Everton (H), Mar 21 Man City (H), Apr 25 Sheff Utd (A), May 9 Liverpool (A), May 17 Wolves (H).
Currently: 5th – 37 pts
Form guide: DLLDWW (8pts out of 18)
Jose Mourinho persuaded Daniel Levy to dig deep for Steven Bergwijn and youngster Gedson Fernandes, while Giovani Lo Celso has signed permanently.
Departures of Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose were necessary steps. But Mourinho did not get the striker he needed.
Positives: Bergwijn looks like a shot in the arm and Mourinho’s new, less confrontational approach, has been noted with approval. Team prepared to dig in for him too.
Negatives: The Harry Kane void has not been filled and it means the team looks like it is firing blanks at times. Losses of Moussa Sissoko and Ben Davies have hurt, too. Defensive limitations remain.
Top four rating: ***
Crunch games: Feb 22 Chelsea (A), Mar 1 Wolves (H), Mar 15 Man Utd (H), Apr 4 Sheff Utd (A), Apr 11 Everton (H), Apr 25 Arsenal (H), May 9 Leicester (H).
Currently: 6th – 36pts
Form guide: LLWDLW (7pts out of 18)
The Blades have been one of the revelations of the season with Chris Wilder’s bravery a stand-out managerial performance.
January signings show Wilder is willing to be ruthless when he sees better alternatives and it would be a stunning success if they make it.
Positives: Commitment and work-rate of a team that backs themselves against any opponents has been a feature of the campaign. Defensive resilience has been impressive but it has not come at the cost of attacking endeavour. Nothing to lose.
Negatives: Lack of goals may cost them. John Fleck and Lys Mousset are joint top scorers with five each. Always tougher for a promoted team in the second half of the season when the games start to catch up and opponents get to know them. Inexperience may count.
Top four rating: **
Crunch games: Mar 21 Man Utd (A), Apr 4 Tottenham (H), Apr 18 Wolves (H), Apr 25 Chelsea (H), May 9 Everton (H).
Currently: 7th – 35 pts
Form guide: WLWLLD (7pts out of 18)
Many wondered if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would still be in charge at the end of the January window. He is – but there is still plenty of doubt over his survival through the summer.
Marcus Rashford injury is a bitter blow and while Bruno Fernandes did OK on debut. Solskjaer has yet to sort out the Paul Pogba issue.
Positives: Emergence of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams has been further evidence of United’s rich seam of talent while Fernandes looks like the sort of playmaker they need.
A deeper squad than most, too. But is that enough?
Negatives: Fan anger has mainly been directed at Ed Woodward and the Glazers but Solskjaer and his players are no longer immune. United have not played like United for a very long time.
Top four rating: ***
Crunch games: Feb 17 Chelsea (A), Mar 1 Everton (A), Mar 8 Man City (H), Mar 15 Tottenham (A), Mar 21 Sheff Utd (H), May 17 Leicester (A).
Currently: 8th – 35pts
Form guide: LLDWLD (5pts out of 18)
Recent blip included two tight defeats to Liverpool, both games in which they could easily have got points. Ambition shown by the capture of Olympiakos winger Daniel Podence last week.
Strengths: Arguably the best counter-attacking team in the Prem, as witnessed by the performances and results against the Big Six. No shortage of quality and Nuno Espirito Santo has proven his coaching acumen.
Weaknesses: Already played six Europa League qualifiers and head back into Europe later this month. Difficult to see them maintaining form in both competitions. Sometimes struggle to break defensive-minded teams down.
Top four rating: **
Crunch games: Feb 14 Leicester (H), Mar 1 Tottenham (A), Apr 11 Arsenal (H), Apr 18 Sheff Utd (A), Apr 25 Everton (H), May 17 Chelsea (A).
Currently: 9th – 33pts
Form guide: WLWDDW (11pts out of 18)
Only one defeat in eight Prem games since the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti and one of the form teams of the year so far. The Goodison mood has been transformed by the sacking of Marco Silva and Ancelotti has already brought a sense of calm.
Strengths: Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are a handful for anyone, while Yerry Mina is starting to look like the defender Everton thought they had signed after the World Cup. Starting from a long way back, mind.
Negatives: Everton have to keep on winning while everybody else falls over. Even then, they need an almost perfect run in to the line.
Top four rating: *
Crunch games: Feb 23 Arsenal (A), Mar 1 Man Utd (H), Mar 8 Chelsea (A), Mar 16 Liverpool (H), Apr 11 Tottenham (A), Apr 25 Wolves (A), May 9 Sheff Utd (A).
Currently: 10th – 31pts
Form guide: LWDDDD (7pts from 18)
Gunners fans see a new dawn under Mikel Arteta and are more positive than they have been for a while. But they have still only won once in the eight games since he was appointed and a mere six Prem matches all season to date.
Strengths: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are capable of scoring against any defence while there have been recent more positive signs from Mesut Ozil.
Granit Xhaka is no longer booed by his own fans and the kids can make a long-term impact.
Weaknesses: Arteta addressed the defensive issues in the window but it is unclear how quickly they will stop making schoolboy errors at the back.
Could still gatecrash the top four party but more likely that their best hope of getting into the Champions League is by winning the Europa League.
Top four rating: *
Crunch games: Feb 23 Everton (H), Apr 11 Wolves (A), Apr 25 Tottenham (A), May 2 Liverpool (H).