As there's little of tangible note to play for elsewhere, this edition of Big Weekend simply focuses on the scrap for the Champions League, and who it matters to more...
There will be some emotional goodbyes at Old Trafford and Goodison Park, but the real stuff takes place at the bottom of the table. Newcastle's hubris clings to them...
In the last edition of Winners & Losers, Matthew Stanger wrote:
'The most worrying thing about the result was not the performance, but Rodgers' failure to address his team's floundering display. "That was probably as disappointing as we've been here but I couldn't put my finger on it," said the manager. Was there not a chapter on going behind to a weaker team at home in his 180-page dossier?'
How cruel Matthew can be sometimes.
It seems for every two steps forward Liverpool take, they don't so much take one back as trip over their shoelaces, graze their collective knees then blame the cat for distracting them. Or something. As Matthew went on to write, this is not an abysmal Liverpool side, and a few tweaks in the January transfer window would improve them considerably. Whether Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince will provide the requisite tweaking or not is unclear - for one point of view on that subject click here, and for another, go here.
Before any additions can be made, they have a few games to win after the minor shambles that was their defeat to Aston Villa. Rodgers may very well scratch his head, but Liverpool fans had better hope he's worked out what went wrong before Fulham visit on Saturday and then they take the trip that surely everyone wants to the day after Christmas - to Stoke.
Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen
One thing that was most noticeable during the Villa game was how lethargic Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen looked, which is hardly surprising since the former has started every game since the third of the season, and the latter every game full stop. They need rest, but while Rodgers can justifiably say that he needs to wait for reinforcements to arrive before he can really do that, if these two play like they did against Villa again, it might be costly for Liverpool.
Facing Swansea away then Newcastle at home isn't exactly the most testing pair of festive fixtures for United, but if we are to assume that the title is indeed a two-horse race, small margins might make all the difference.
So, with City facing a slightly easier pair of fixtures (Reading at home, Sunderland away), United can't afford to slip up.
That's seven defeats in the last eight, and only two wins since the middle of September for Newcastle.
They might not be expected to get much from the trip to Old Trafford, but if they don't beat QPR at home...well, then they will have serious problems.
It's a weird thing, football journalism. In an attempt to decry what they view as hysterical and hyperbolic criticism of an opinion they hold, many writers will swing too far the other way. We've all done it, and it's an easy trap to fall into.
However, a couple of journalists somehow thought their 5-2 spanking of a truly dreadful Reading side (more on them later) proved wrong all those who believe Arsene Wenger's time at Arsenal is up. If Arsenal had beaten Reading 53-0, with Theo Walcott signing a new contract on the pitch while sticking away his 12th, and Wenger himself had come on to nod home number 53, the problems would still be there. Although they might have just found themselves a rangy and potent new forward.
Still, at least it was a convincing win, not seen in the league for a month, and on Saturday they have a similar task as they travel to Wigan. Arsenal have slipped up at Wigan in the past, but they've also handed out a fair share of beatings. Last year, for example, they bagged four unanswered goals and sauntered to an easy win. With their Boxing Day game against West Ham postponed, victory is paramount.
Being the first team to lose to QPR is...well, pretty embarrassing really. Still, these things happen to the best of us, eh? Losing to a crap team is not the end of the world, but when that defeat stretches their run to one win in nine games, it's more difficult to make excuses.
It's Liverpool away then Southampton at home for Martin Jol's boys. Four points from those two games would make a bit of difference to Fulham's health.
As this column has said before, the Baggies' early-season form wasn't sustainable, but they must ensure that the recent slump does not become something more serious.
They face an in-form Norwich then QPR. Again, four points would go some way towards setting them back on course.
Here's something - I don't quite get why many have a serious Jones for Roberto Martinez. He's a nice guy, and he's clearly doing a decent job with limited resources and a fairly indifferent local public, but little more.
The hype at the end of last season, when he was under serious consideration for the Liverpool job, was solely based on Wigan's excellent final third of the season. It seemed everyone had forgotten about the utterly rotten first two-thirds - in March, they had won just four games, were rock bottom and needed the miraculous final nine games to get them out of trouble.
That sort of run - seven wins from those nine games, including beating Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal - will most probably not happen again. By way of comparison, at the same stage last year Wigan had 14 points from 17 games - now they have 15 from 17. Reading look lost, and one does fear for Southampton, but the rest of the Premier League looks fairly solid - solid enough to avoid relegation, in any case. Even QPR, who are five points back but improving, and now have a decent manager to go with their talented but hitherto underperforming squad.
So to be frank Wigan must start picking up points pretty quickly. Last season they were like a student who'd left their entire dissertation until the last week to write, but then pulled it out of the bag. They might not be so lucky this time.
While Monday night may have made a few Gooners fell a little bit better about their lot, the thing that was really striking was just how bad Reading were. They were comically awful, allowing Arsenal to play themselves into a little bit of confidence and form.
It's hardly a surprise either, as a quick glance at their line-up confirms. Surely no team can play a midfield of Jay Tabb and Mikele Liegertwood and seriously hope to survive.
So, we can expect a big push in the January transfer window to beef up the squad then, yes? Hmmm, not quite. Brian McDermott said in the week that the club's owner, Anton Zingarevich, wanted to keep a tight ship and not jazz cash they don't have all over the place. It's a perfectly sensible course of action, but he didn't exactly give Reading fans any great hope that anyone of note will arrive.
"When you're a team that are where we are in the league, it's not going to be easy to attract certain players to the club," McDermott said.
"Anyone who does come to the club will have to be the sort of person who wants to fight and have belief."
So, if Reading are going to schlep on with what they have, then what can they do to improve things? It was notable that they were significantly less awful against Arsenal after they switched from a fairly rigid 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1, so that may well be an option for McDermott. It would certainly make sense in their next two games - away at Manchester City and home to Swansea, two teams that will expect to dominate possession.
Whatever McDermott does, with QPR only likely to improve and Wigan's traditional back-end-of-the-season surge due to kick in at some point, Reading had better start winning games pretty soon.
Back to life, back to reality, as Soul II Soul once sagely noted. Rafa probably had a lovely time over in Japan (apart from that whole 'losing' business, obviously), but now the drudgery of the league beckons. Whether it will make any difference to his long-term employment prospects is debatable, but he must start winning some serious games, rather than just thrashing Leeds, if he is to even last until the end of the season.
All you lot
Don't insult your uncle, don't call your gran a c*nt and look grateful for your presents. Trust me - it's just easier.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Nick Miller - follow him, and possibly wish him a Merry Christmas too, on Twitter