Relegation issues are rarely decided in February - except when Sunderland are involved - but West Bromwich Albion can make the matter even more complicated when they play at home to Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Although nobody at The Hawthorns will admit it, an Albion defeat would effectively enable Middlesbrough to feel confident of survival. That would mean that Albion and Birmingham City would, realistically, be fighting it out among themselves to finish in 17th position.
A victory for Albion, however, would drag Boro back into the relegation battle - and could put Bryan Robson's men nine points clear of Birmingham.
Robson, the former Middlesbrough boss, has revolutionised Albion since taking over as manager in November 2004 but tangible progress has been slight. The team is still battling for their Premiership survival and that could remain the case for a few seasons yet.
It is encouraging, then, that Albion have experience in winning seemingly lost causes. That is why they can feel confident of victory against Middlesbrough, but there are other factors.
As Jonathan Greening, the Albion midfield player, points out, the Teessiders will have played three matches since Albion's most recent game. Fatigue - or, in Albion's case, the lack of it - could be a factor.
"Games don't get much bigger than Sunday's," Greening, a former Middlesbrough winger, said. "It's a massive game because, if we win, we go a point ahead of Middlesbrough and if they win, they go five points clear of us.
"We want to keep them in it so we need to win and we think we can win against my former club despite their recent impressive form. We played quite well up there when we drew 2-2 [in November] and were unlucky not to win and, hopefully, we can play even better this Sunday and get the three points.
"Hopefully, they'll be feeling a little tired as well because they will have played three more games than us since we last played. Kanu [Albion striker] was on fine form at the Riverside in November and scored a great goal up there."
It seems a while ago since Albion lost 6-1 away to Fulham in the Premiership two weeks ago. Rarely has a defeat been so unwelcome or so surprising, given that Albion had previously defeated Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at home.
The good news for Albion is that they are good at bouncing back from defeats.
"We're all desperate to get the Fulham defeat out of our systems," Greening said. "It was one of those games where we didn't defend well and got punished for everything. I think they had seven attempts on goal and scored six, which explains everything.
"Not much could be heard through the shouting in the dressing room afterwards. The gaffer [Robson] and Nigel [Pearson, Robson's assistant] were not happy at all because we've been playing well recently.
"We played some good football on the day, had the better possession and nearly the same amount of shots but we just didn't defend. It wasn't just the defence, though. We have to defend as a whole team and we let ourselves down completely.
"If we put that right, I'm sure we'll be a threat to anyone going forward. Fingers crossed, we can put the whole package together on Sunday."
Albion returned last weekend from a bonding trip to Dubai. A similar policy, which involved a trip to Florida last year, set the team off on a run that ended with survival on the final day of the season.
It might be just as tight this time around, which could put the value of the Dubai trip into perspective.
"The trip to Dubai has brought the whole squad together, just as it did when we went to America last year," Greening said.
"The lads all bonded really well on the trip, including the new lads, Williams Martinez and Nigel Quashie. We did some good training over there.
"There were a few long runs on the beach and some nice sun on our backs, which should benefit us for the rest of the season.
"The fans were brilliant at Fulham and cheered us all the way through the game and the gaffer said that, without them, we might have crumbled even more.
"We owe the fans and if we can get an atmosphere like that at The Hawthorns, it really will spur us on."