Ancelotti ready to get his hands on the trophy

After a season of countless twists and turns, everything says football fans are in for a routine finish to the title race.

No more shocks. No more jaw-dropping surprises such as Wigan's comeback from two goals down to beat Arsenal 3-2 in the last 11 minutes at the DW Stadium a fortnight ago.

That would be too much to ask after the most unpredictable season in Premier League history during which the 'Big Four's' oligopoly has been challenged with the demise of Liverpool, the rejuvenation of Tottenham and the rise of Manchester City.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Instead, the chances are that Chelsea will defeat Wigan at Stamford Bridge with some comfort tomorrow and Manchester United will defeat Stoke at Old Trafford and the Premier League trophy will be handed to Carlo Ancelotti in his first season in English football courtesy of one extra point.

If that is the case, then no one should doubt that Chelsea will have deserved their third league title in six years and their fourth overall, even if they have lost six matches and United seven over the course of the season.

The way Ancelotti has negotiated the obstacles on and off the field has been impressive, especially the way in which he kept the Chelsea challenge going through a tough December in which they lost two and drew four of their eight matches and a troubled February when they drew with Hull and lost to Everton, Manchester City and Inter Milan in the Champions League.

The Manchester United of old, the one with Cristiano Ronaldo and a fit Rio Ferdinand and a younger Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, would have seized on such weakness.

Instead, United have struggled themselves, having to rely on the brilliance of Wayne Rooney and his 34 goals from 43 appearances – including 26 from 31 league games.

The popular notion is that Rooney has carried United, who endured a debilitating mid-season injury crisis, through as lacklustre a season as they have endured during the Premier League era.

Yet they are still there, one point adrift, ready to pounce should Chelsea falter against Wigan.

That is the way of Sir Alex Ferguson. No surrender. Scrap and battle until the final whistle. It is what has brought him 11 Premier League titles.

Make no mistake he wants that 12th, especially as it would take United beyond Liverpool with whom they currently share the record of 18 league trophies.

It is why there will be hope and fervour inside Old Trafford but for once it is not in Ferguson's hands. He would be clutching at straws if he expected anything but a convincing Chelsea victory.

Premier League

P W D L F A Pts

Chelsea 37 26 5 6 95 32 83

Man Utd 37 26 4 7 82 28 82

Arsenal 37 22 6 9 79 41 72

Tottenham 37 21 7 9 65 37 70

Man City 37 18 12 7 72 44 66

Aston Villa 37 17 13 7 52 38 64

Liverpool 37 18 8 11 61 35 62

Everton 37 15 13 9 59 49 58

Birmingham 37 13 11 13 37 45 50

Stoke 37 11 14 12 34 44 47

Blackburn 37 12 11 14 40 55 47

Fulham 37 12 10 15 39 42 46

Sunderland 37 11 11 15 47 54 44

Bolton 37 9 9 19 40 66 36

Wigan 37 9 9 19 37 71 36

Wolves 37 8 11 18 30 55 35

West Ham 37 8 10 19 46 65 34

Hull 37 6 11 20 34 75 29

Burnley 37 7 6 24 38 80 27

Portsmouth 37 7 7 23 34 65 19