It’s not uncommon for a handful of points to divide the teams dwelling in the Premier League’s nether regions, but this term all the tightness is towards the top of the table.
As a result, only four sides not currently in the relegation zone could find themselves there if results conspire against them after the international break concludes.
One of this select band of peril flirters is Hull.
Just two points currently divide the Tigers from 18th-place Leicester, yet the bookies go a massive 4/1 about Steve Bruce’s side going down this term.
Such sizeable odds indicate the alarm bells aren’t yet sounding around the KC Stadium, but they certainly should be.
Were it not for respectable results at Arsenal and Liverpool, where the Humbersiders claimed shares of the spoils, the general consensus surrounding their survival prospects would be much more damning.
Their only away win came in classic smash and grab fashion at QPR on the opening day and their 2-0 defeat of Crystal Palace – the solitary instance in which they’ve prospered on their own patch – came off the back of having just two attempts on target.
In going down 1-0 at Burnley last time out they became the first team to fall against a grossly inept Clarets side in all competitions so far in a match that stretched their scoreless streak to three games.
This is not the sort of knick that instils confidence ahead of a three-match post-international hiatus run of fixtures against a trio of teams to finish in last season’s top seven.
Tottenham’s visit to the KC precedes trips to Manchester United and Everton.
A must-win home game with West Brom then follows before the Tigers travel to Chelsea.
This testing patch of matches is likely to yield fewer than five points, while it’s not at all impossible to envisage the Yorkshiremen still stranded on 11 once these contests have concluded.
Their diabolical second half of the 2013/14 campaign means such a haul could have dire consequences.
Just four victories were savoured following the turn of the year as the Tiger’s tumbled through the lower reaches.
Similarly, the season in which they were relegated from the top tier last – 2009/10 – they prevailed only twice post January 1st, while only one was recorded in the second part of their maiden Premier League stint.
A repeat of these exploits after this underwhelming opening to 20141/5 proceedings spells D-O-O-M for Hull, so jump on their 4/1 for relegation while the getting’s good.