History suggests that Manchester United, West Ham and Liverpool have a 15% chance of supplanting one of the Premier League’s top four by the end of the season.
The triumvirate are currently two, four and seven points behind fourth place Manchester City respectively, with 34 games gone.
Among the three, United are the shortest priced to finish in the Champions League spots at 3/1, with the Anfield side 12/1 and the Irons a hefty 25/1.
However, their chances of catching the Citizens are remote if the previous 20 editions of a 20 team Premier League are anything to go by.
Since the top flight jettisoned two members in 1995/96, those sides occupying the top four after 34 fixtures have gone on to finish within the leading quartet in all bar three campaigns.
Tottenham were the most recent to do make a successful late bid for the Champions League places, overhauling Newcastle in 2011/12 having been three points behind the fourth-place Magpies with four outings to go.
Six seasons previously, the Lilywhites had tasted the bitter disappointment they doled out to the St James’ Park men, when being superseded by hated rivals Arsenal on the last day of term.
Back in 2000/01, the only other campaign to have witnessed a change in the top four post-game-34 in the 20-team-era, Ipswich were the side to suffer.
Third when the majority of their divisional foes had four left to play, they were overhauled by a Liverpool outfit that burned through several games in hand to steal their thunder.
Anfield’s finest have a bird in the bush once more in 2015/16 and victory in the fixture in question would bring them to within four points of City.
Both of the two most recent examples of sides who managed to gatecrash the top four having been outside it after 34 matches saw the usurpers no more than four points behind their quarry with a quartet of fixtures remaining.