After 17 matches in the Premier League, only 12 points separate Arsenal in first from Aston Villa in 14th position.
A maximum of three consecutive wins could shoot any one of six clubs to the summit of the table.
With three full rounds of fixtures remaining in 2010, there will be many board members, chairmen and managers looking to shuffle their pack slightly to realise their ambitions in 2011.
Although the January transfer window has attracted significant criticism from managers and there are few clubs in a position to pay £10 million for a new striker and possibly even fewer ready to sell their assets at such a crucial stage in the season, there are usually one or two surprise signings which have an impact one way or another on the course of the season.
With club owners bringing wealth but lacking wisdom, shock decisions such as those to sack Chris Hughton and Sam Allardyce as managers of Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers respectively may also contribute to the excitement and bewilderment with which fans greet this time of the year.
I look at each team in reverse order of their current league standings and preview what they require and why.