Brentford square off against Preston North End on Saturday afternoon knowing that only a win will do if they realistically want to remain in contention for automatic promotion.
At a time when Brentford have recorded four Championship draws in succession, Preston have eased any relegation concerns with four points from games against Norwich City and Swansea City.
Having enjoyed a run to the EFL Cup semi-finals, Brentford have played several more fixtures than any of their Championship rivals this season.
Nevertheless, Thomas Frank would not have envisaged a run of three wins from 11 matches, a period which means that the Bees are yet to secure their spot in the top six.
Tiredness has played some part in Brentford's poor run of form with many players at both ends of the pitch struggling to find any consistency.
Now sitting just five points clear of seventh-placed Bournemouth, Frank requires a positive reaction from the stalemate against Birmingham City on Tuesday night.
Top goalscorer Ivan Toney has now gone six matches without contributing from open play, his last three strikes all coming from the penalty spot.
Having replaced Alex Neil on a temporary basis, interim Preston head coach Frankie McAvoy was given a baptism of fire with games against Norwich and Swansea.
However, injury-time goals in each of those fixtures turned one point into four, establishing a 13-point gap above the relegation zone in the process.
Barring a sustained run of wins from Rotherham United, Preston should be safe with one more win, but McAvoy will want to keep impressing the powers-that-be at Deepdale.
Preston prevailed by a 4-2 scoreline in the reverse fixture in October, overturning a two-goal deficit with four strikes in 18 minutes after the break.
Preston North End Championship form:
Brentford Championship form:
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Frank will almost certainly freshen up with Brentford XI with Tariqe Fosu-Henry and Saman Ghoddos in contention for recalls.
Emiliano Marcondes may also be provided with an opportunity, but Rico Henry and Josh Dasilva remain absent through injury.
Barring any late fitness issues, McAvoy is expected to name the same side which started at the Liberty Stadium on Monday afternoon.
Scott Sinclair is an alternative to Emil Riis Jakobsen in attack, while Alan Browne will feature in the squad after serving a three-match ban.
Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Van den Berg, Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Whiteman, Ledson, Barkhuizen; Potts; Evans, Riis Jakobsen
Brentford possible starting lineup:
Raya; Rasmussen, Jansson, Pinnock, Sorensen; Jensen, Janelt, Ghoddos; Mbeumo, Toney, Fosu-Henry
We say: Preston North End 1-1 Brentford
With extra breathing space above the bottom three, Preston can afford to play with freedom against another promotion-chasing team. With that in mind, we feel that the home side are well equipped to claim a positive result, holding their out-of-form opponents to a draw.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.