Manchester United’s 20th English top-flight title is essentially a fait accompli after reigning Premier League champions Manchester City belly-flopped against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
The Red Devils will win the title if they beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford tonight.
Villa will surely put up a scrap, because they are still mired in a battle with Wigan to avoid the final place in the drop zone. But it will be a huge surprise if United are not celebrating late into the night tonight.
Even if they somehow manage to slip up against the desperate Villains, they will have another chance to secure manager Alex Ferguson’s incredible 13th league title next Sunday, when they play Arsenal at the Emirates.
With the challenges of their biggest rivals unravelling almost from the get-go, it has only been a matter of time until United romp to glory. And so now Fergie is focusing on winning the title with all the trimmings.
He wants to break Chelsea’s points-total record of 95 points, and in order to do so, United must win all of their last five games.
"It's not beyond the team at all,” Fergie said.
“If you are asking if Manchester United can win five games in a row, well how many times have we done that? So it's not beyond us.
“What may create more awareness of the side we have this year is how many points we get.”
As far as his own achievements go, Fergie is phlegmatic. He says his 13th title is no different than the last 11- relatively insignificant when compared to the first one.
Asked how he will feel when the title is official in the bag, the old Scot said: "No more proud than I was with the previous 12. It is not an easy league to win.
“The first one was the one that really opened the door for us, though."