For Manchester City, the equation is simple: must win every game.
Even if they do manage nine victories between now and the end of the season, it's very unlikely to be enough to hang on to their Premier League title and stop Manchester United waltzing off down Stretford with the trophy.
Nevertheless, 27 points has to be the target. No doubt about it. No room for error.
On the face of it, a home game with Newcastle isn't the worse way to start that quest.
The Magpies don't really do away games this season.
They have lost their last three in a row and have only won once on the road during the current campaign.
Eight points from a possible 45 is a record that can only be beaten by Reading—and we all know where they're heading.
So, allocating the first three points of City's target of 27 should be fairly routine.
As ever, though, football has a way of cackling uncontrollably in the face of the best-laid plans and City will still need to be careful.
Here are five key areas that need attention.