London: Wayne Rooney's excellent form in Manchester United's march to a 20th Premier League title is giving the England striker an opportunity to close in on some legendary names in the club's all-time scorers list.
United have moved five points clear of local rivals Manchester City with seven rounds to go largely on the back of Rooney's eight goals in his past seven matches, taking his tally to 28 in all competitions this season and 175 overall.
Ahead of the visit of relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers to Old Trafford on Sunday, Rooney is four goals behind George Best and Dennis Viollet, who are tied for third in United's list.
"I've seen about the all-time scoring record and a few people have reminded me of it as well, but I'm still a long, long way away from Sir Bobby (Charlton, on 249 goals) and Denis Law (on 237)," Rooney said.
"I'm obviously proud to be up there and be in touching distance of some legends of the club. Hopefully I can overtake them soon."
If United win an eighth straight league match, City will go to third-place Arsenal later Sunday with an eight-point deficit - having held a five-point lead back in December.
"I don't think this championship is finished," City manager Roberto Mancini said on Thursday. "If they (United) win all their games, they deserve to win the title."
City, chasing a first English title since 1968, have won just one of their past four games and lost their perfect record at home in the league this season by drawing 3-3 with Sunderland last weekend.
With Sergio Aguero fighting to be fit after an ankle problem, Mancini may decide it is time to start another Argentina striker, Carlos Tevez, for the first time since he ended his strike at the club in February.
Tevez has come on as a substitute in City's last three games, but has yet to score this season.
"The reality is that it's not in our hands anymore," City captain Vincent Kompany said. "We will keep believing - it's just not as easy as it would have been before. But I would like to stress the fact it shows we have made a lot of progress, as proved by the fact we're playing to win the league."
Arsenal's seven-match winning streak was ended by QPR last weekend, allowing Tottenham to wipe out the three-point deficit to their north London rivals.
Arsene Wenger's side has, though, won its past six games at home - scoring 23 goals in the process - and has the league's top scorer with Robin van Persie grabbing 26 goals.
"When you are suffering, you are ready to suffer a little bit more knowing that you just have to find one chance and there is a guy there who can win us the game," Wenger said of Van Persie.
Tottenham visit Sunderland on Saturday, while Chelsea and Newcastle are five points further back ahead of games against Wigan and Newcastle, respectively.
Saturday's match at Stamford Bridge begins a hectic run of six massive games in 18 days for Chelsea, who qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League by beating Benfica on Wednesday and next face Barcelona.
But the London team is set to be without captain John Terry, who says he has two cracked ribs and was struggling to breathe during the Benfica game.
At the other end of the standings, bottom team Wolverhampton Wanderers are six points adrift of safety going into their match at Stoke.
Blackburn, who are level on points with next-to-last Wigan, are the other team in the relegation zone ahead of a visit to West Bromwich Albion.
Also Saturday, Bolton host Fulham and Aston Villa travel to Liverpool, who have lost six of their past seven league matches to drop to eighth place and increase the scrutiny on manager Kenny Dalglish.