Who will avoid the drop?
We're 11 games into the season for all bar Manchester United and Fulham who have one in hand on the rest, and the Premier League is shaping up for one of the most competitive ever seasons.
One of the things which is making this season so enjoyable is that the league table has been squeezed up from the bottom. Hull have quite rightly been attracting the most praise, but all the newly promoted sides have made a really good start and nobody looks like being cut adrift.
A year ago there were seven teams yet to make it into double figures. For the record they were Fulham, Sunderland, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Spurs , Bolton and Derby. One year later and only Spurs have fewer than 10 points. They may be bottom on nine points at the moment, but I don't think that even the most pessimistic White Hart Laner thinks they will stay there; such is the magic of Harry Redknapp.
Above Tottenham sit West Brom. I am sure that if you had offered Tony Mowbray 11 points from the first 11 games he would have taken it - after all, in the last 10 seasons only three sides have gone down with an average of a point a game. Yet they are still in the relegation zone.
The relationship between Bolton fans and managerGary Megson has never looked a harmonious one. Actually I think Megson has done a fine job considering the club were in disarray in the months which followed Sam Allardyce's departure. Unlike West Brom, Bolton do not concede too many (less than Aston Villa at the moment) but scoring is a real problem. Johan Elmander has missed too many games to get into his stride and his goals can't come soon enough.
Wigan boss Steve Bruce seems to have unearthed the find of the summer in Amr Zaki who has the perfect foil in Emile Heskey, but there are question marks over the future of both. Wigan simply cannot afford to lose either in January. Their midfield is excellent but there are defensive problems which remain unsolved.
Fulham's problems are all away from home where they have just three wins from their last 41 Premier League games. Those three wins were the last three away games of last season when they escaped by the skin of their teeth.
Their squad looks much better this season but they must stop the rot away from Craven Cottage. A midfield of Simon Davies, Danny Murphy, Jimmy Bullard and Zoltan Gera is great to watch but I still think it may be a luxury in their position, being full of ball players rather than ball winners. You have to admire Roy Hodgson, though, for the way he is determined to play.
Some weeks Sunderland look all too ready to cave in and maybe still lack a little authority and experience, but I just can't see them being sucked into the real mire. They do need a partner for Djibril Cisse though. El-Hadji Diouf has never been a natural goalscorer and never will be.
Newcastle's soap opera has stumbled upon an unlikely hero in Joe Kinnear. One pundit labelled him a desperate appointment from a desperate club, but maybe people exuding unwarranted confidence was part of the problem. A few home truths have certainly had the desired effect so far. However, whether the club is sold and what happens next if it is will be crucial, and calamity may yet be just around the corner.
Paul Ince's first steps into top flight management at Blackburn have not all been assured. One or two transfers have raised the eyebrows as have one or two results. The January window will reveal whether some key players are ready to be tempted away but on their day they are a very capable side and should not be sweating come May.
Stoke have taken great delight in upsetting the elite. They are touchy about criticism of the way they play and I don't blame them; it's not their fault that visiting teams are panicking at the sight of a packed six-yard box as Rory Delap wipes the dirt from his hands on the touchline.
It's not all that great to watch at times but their fans couldn't care less. Actually they have some players worth keeping an eye on at Stoke and Tom Soares ,signed from Crystal Palace, looks a proper prospect. I think they are here to stay for a while so the Premier League had better get used to it.
West Ham look vulnerable to me. The squad needs thinning but how many are saleable assets at anything like the price they paid for them? I saw them at Manchester United recently and thought they were very poor; only their young substitutes Freddie Sears and Jack Collison showed the quality you would expect from some of the more established names. I am thrilled that Gianfranco Zola is back in England but managing West Ham is looking harder by the week.
That's the bottom 10 at time of writing; of those in the top half Middlesbrough, Hull and Portsmouth could yet fall away but probably not so far as to be consumed by relegation.
All 10 can make a quite reasonable claim for having what it takes to stay up, but three of them won't. Whoever goes down may be counting themselves very, very unlucky.