Chelsea travel to Manchester City knowing that, even at this early stage, losing would put a major dent in their hopes of retaining the Premier League.
After drawing their first game of the season at home to Swansea, Jose Mourinho’s champions ceded favouritism for the title to City, having held on to it all summer.
Victory for the Manchester side in the Saturday blockbuster would see them already playing catch-up, four points behind their chief rivals after just two matches.
On the face of it the absolute necessity of avoiding defeat should sit comfortably on the Blues, given that’s what they always aim to do away to their closest foes.
However, memories of their August visit to Manchester United in 2013/14 underline the foolishness of such a ploy in this particular situation.
Failing to acknowledge how beatable the Red Devils were under David Moyes, Mourinho sent out his side to draw, playing no recognised centre-forward.
Turning their noses up at such a three-point buffet ended up costing Chelsea dear as they fell short of the title by five points, having been in pole position after beating Arsenal 6-0 in March.
Last term, the Blues played out draws on their visits to the Eithad, the Emirates and the yet-to-be-sponsored Old Trafford, on their way to their third crown under Mourinho.
Yet, their superb start to 2014/15 – and City’s moderate one – meant they were five points clear of the 2013/14 titlists by the time they visited them in late September, allowing them the luxury of Catenacio pragmatism.
This time round a draw will leave them two points in arrears and bereft of a first competitive victory of the season, with a troublesome run of fixtures ahead.
It’s destination Hawthorns after the Etihad trip, a ground where they’ve plundered just one point from their last four visits.
After that Crystal Palace, Everton, Arsenal will be no three-point pushovers either.
Given such a vista, Chelsea, 27/10 for victory against City, surely must put caution to one side and go all out to inflict defeat on the newly-anointed title favourites?