Buoyed by its biggest away win in Europe in nearly 50 years, Manchester United is in the mood to pile more pressure on Tottenham and its under-fire manager Andre Villas-Boas in the standout match in the Premier League this weekend.
At the start of the season, Tottenham vs. United would be viewed as a match between two possible title contenders but both sides are currently out of the top four after an unpredictable first three months of the campaign.
Spurs have been the biggest let-downs so far, scoring just nine goals in 12 matches and slumping to ninth place in the standings after an embarrassing 6-0 loss at Manchester City last weekend.
Arsenal holds a four-point lead heading into the latest round and it is free-scoring Manchester City which appears to be the team most likely to challenge Arsene Wenger's side over the next few weeks.
Here are five things to know about this weekend's matches:
AVB IN BULLISH MOOD
If the pressure is building on Andre Villas-Boas, he's not exactly showing it.
Some British bookmakers have made him odds-on favorite to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job after the drubbing at City, but the Portuguese coach was defiant this week.
"I have the confidence of the board, I have the confidence of my players," Villas-Boas said.
He may not have that confidence for too much longer if Spurs stay languishing in mid-table, especially considering they spent more than 100 million pounds ($160 million) over the summer on mainly attacking players.
Gareth Bale may have gone, for a world-record fee to Real Madrid, but with the wealth of attacking options at his disposal, Villas-Boas should be getting more out of his team than he is at present.
"You don't expect results like (the 6-0 loss to City) to happen," Villas-Boas said. "They normally happen to big teams once every 10 or 20 years."
UNITED FINDS ATTACKING GROOVE
Given that Man United is next up for Spurs, the last thing Villas-Boas needed was the reigning English champions to find their attacking grove.
But that's exactly what happened on Wednesday when David Moyes' team crushed Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 in the Champions League for United's biggest victory away from home in Europe since 1964.
Moyes saw Wayne Rooney set up four goals, out-of-form wingers Nani and Antonio Valencia get on the scoresheet and tireless midfielder Ryan Giggs, who turns 40 on Friday, produce another vintage display.
United drew 2-2 at Cardiff on Saturday to slip out of the Champions League positions but a result like that against Leverkusen can shape a season.
"It was one of my best days as Manchester United manager," Moyes said, "but the best days are still to come."
CITY CAN'T STOP SCORING
When Man City won the Premier League two seasons ago under Roberto Mancini, it was the power of their attacking play that underpinned the team's title charge.
Under Mancini's successor, Manuel Pellegrini, the goals are flowing again.
In its 10 home games this season in all competitions, City has scored 41 times — 22 coming in the last four matches at Etihad Stadium.
In Sergio Aguero, City has a player that Pellegrini believes is the third best player in the world behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He has 12 goals in his last nine games, and 16 in all this season.
And strike partner Alvaro Negredo has also scored 11 goals in his first season at City.
"I think they are the best (partnership) in the league," City winger Jesus Navas said. "They are scoring very easily at the moment. The Premier League suits their style."
ARSENAL SITTING PRETTY
After stretching its lead to four points by beating Southampton 2-0 on Saturday, Arsenal can rest easy knowing it will be top of the Premier League for at least another week — whatever happens at Cardiff on Sunday.
And Wenger's team can expect a real test at Cardiff City Stadium, a ground where Man City has already lost this season and where United dropped two points on Sunday.
The match will see Aaron Ramsey, arguably the Premier League's player of the season so far, play against the side where he started his career and with whom he had a second spell on loan.
"We are hungry to win trophies and win games," Ramsey said of Arsenal's title hopes. "That is no different this season to any other, but in the past we've got off to bad starts and had to play catch up.
"We've created a fantastic opportunity for ourselves in the early part of this season and hopefully we can continue that."
ALLARDYCE FEELING THE HEAT
Villas-Boas isn't the only manager feeling the heat after a lackluster result last weekend.
Sam Allardyce, renowned for his direct, long-ball approach, will never completely win over West Ham fans brought up on a diet of neat, passing football from its teams down the years.
Keeping the Hammers up last season spared "Big Sam" from some criticism but they are currently struggling at fourth from bottom in the wake of a 3-0 home loss to Chelsea on Saturday.
For recent matches, Allardyce hasn't even been playing with a striker since Andy Carroll is injured and the other forwards in the squad — Carlton Cole and Modibo Maiga — aren't being trusted to lead the line.
West Ham will drop into the relegation zone if it loses on Saturday at Fulham, which is currently third from bottom.