42 games down in the season and just four to go before the Championship climax.
For four teams however their campaign will be extended by a couple of weeks as they enter the lottery of the play-off’s.
Cardiff are sitting it seventh waiting for a mistake so that they can make up the five point gap to sixth placed Sheffield Wednesday, but time is running out.
For now it looks as if the Owls will occupy the final play-off spot. Their supporting cast for this season’s lottery will be Derby County, Hull City and one more.
Brighton currently sit in third but with two points between them and second placed Burnley and then a further two points to leaders Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough still have to take on both Burnley and Brighton before the season is up so expect the top three to adopt a different look than it does now, come the end of the season.
History of previous play-off winners is beginning to show a familiar pattern however. Three of the last five winners finished the season in third place (Norwich, West Ham and Swansea.) whilst the other two victors finished in 4th (QPR) and 5th (Crystal Palace).
Realistically that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The end league table would suggest that the third placed team are the best team of the four in the play-off’s but we all know in a one off game, anything can happen.
It is interesting to note that in the last five years the sixth placed team has not made the final at Wembley. The last team to finish sixth and go to the final was Blackpool and we all know what happened there.
If we are to believe in the stats then the sixth placed side – likely to be Sheffield Wednesday – will not be making too many waves in the play-off’s this year. Derby and Hull have proved that they are both capable on their day and will almost certainly compete in one of the semi-final’s.
Whoever finishes third however will have to ensure they do not have a lasting hangover from failure to secure automatic promotion if they are to bounce back with promotion in a different form.