Another exciting season of Premier League football action gets under way later today, with the rough-and-tumble, end-to-end, last-minute-winning-goal, bruising-and-faking encounters that fans have come to know and loathe - but it could be all over sooner than many people think.
So-called football 'experts', such as Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer, say that, by Sunday evening, the title race could have already been decided.
Today sees most of the also-rans in action but, with champions Manchester United and chumpions Chelsea not playing until Sunday, fans face an agonising wait until Sunday teatime to see who will emerge victorious from this season's long and gruelling campaign.
Manchester United play host to Reading, whilst Chelsea take on Premiership newboys Birmingham City, who have already been relegated along with fellow cannon fodder Derby County and Middlesbrough, at Stamford Bridge.
If either team wins and the other loses, the resultant three-point gap would, in punditspeak, prove a mountain to climb, not to mention a difficult one to close, especially with injuries, suspensions, international call-ups and the perennial fixture postponements, abandonments and re-arrangements to contend with.
United manager Sir Alice Ferguson, buoyant from last week's crushing 3-0 penalty thumping of Jose Moaninho's side, believes a good start against the Royals will ensure the title stays at Old Trafford. Speaking on the club's website, he said:
"We need to get our noses in front. Then, with the size of the squad we've got, barring an earthquake, we should be able to hang on."