Two months of destiny, 11 matches to sort out the wheat from the chaff, unlimited drama, tension and unpredictability.
This is the Championship 2019/20 and so much seems still within the realms of possibility. There are 11 clubs still dreaming of promotion, perhaps 12 still worrying about relegation including three who have Financial Fair Play investigations looming large.
Maybe it’s only Queens Park Rangers who can put their feet up.
But how many points are needed in each position to either book automatic promotion, a play-off spot or to stay up?
It turns out that this season which seems so ridiculous is almost par for the course in terms of points expected for each spot in the league table.
If the campaign carries on as it has played out so far it will take 49 points to stay up – bang on the average since the Championship was re-branded in 2004.
It will take 74 points to get a place in the top six – bang on the average since 2004 – and the runners-up will get 86 points, just below average. The champions are on course for just under average too.
Four times in the 15 years in the Championship, 50 points hasn’t been enough to survive.
Yet Bolton Wanderers stayed up with 43 points in 2018 – the season when Hull finished 18th, four places outside the drop zone, with just 49 points.
There have been 19 clubs who have stayed up with less than 50 points.
In 2016, Brighton missed out on automatic promotion despite stacking up 89 points but West Brom won the title with 81 in 2008, when Stoke City’s 79 was enough for the runners-up spot.
For Stoke, following last night’s draw at Blackburn Rovers and contrasting form around them at the wrong end of the table, it seems that 12 points more should be enough.
Can they find four wins from this little lot?
Stoke City remaining fixtures
29 February (3pm) Luton Town v Stoke City
7 March (3pm) Stoke City v Hull City
14 March (3pm) Reading v Stoke City
18 March (8pm) Stoke City v Middlesbrough
21 March (3pm) Wigan Athletic v Stoke City
4 April (3pm) Stoke City v Barnsley
10 April (3pm) Leeds United v Stoke City
13 April (3pm) Stoke City v Birmingham City
18 April (3pm) Bristol City v Stoke City
25 April (3pm) Stoke City v Brentford
2 May (12.30pm) Nottingham Forest v Stoke City