How much difference does Fifa visit make to England's 2018 bid?
After suffering a series of setbacks in the nine months before the World Cup in South Africa, England's 2018 bid leaders have restored a semblance of stability to the campaign.
The attack from Fifa vice president Jack Warner, the row over handbags and the embarrassing resignations of Sir David Richards and bid leader Lord David Triesman left England 2018 on the back foot but don't appear to have caused any lasting damage.
And as Fifa's six-man inspection team arrive in London on Monday for the start of a four-day visit, the 2018 team is preparing to press home its key message; that England offers the safest bet for a well delivered, low cost, money-spinning World Cup.
But how important are these visits? And, even more crucially, will the technical side of the bid be enough to bring the World Cup back to England for the first time since 1966?
On Monday the delegation will meet Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg before heading to Wembley to inspect the facilities there and see England coach Fabio Capello.
On Tuesday there will be further venue visits before they travel to the north east, where on Wednesday they will head to Sunderland's Stadium of Light and Newcastle's St James' Park.
And on Thursday they will be in Manchester sampling the City of Manchester Stadium and Old Trafford.
The England squad back the 2018 World Cup bid
The Fifa team, headed by the chairman of the Chilean FA Harold Mayne-Nicholls and including South Africa 2010 chief executive Danny Jordaan, are now two thirds of the way through their world tour assessing the nine candidates for 2018 and 2022.
Last week they were in Russia, seen now by many bid experts as England's main rival, and although they were clearly impressed by the commitment of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, there were questions over the amount of work which would be needed if they won.
They will then produce an evaluation report on the potential hosts which will be handed to each of the 24 Fifa executive committee members who will make the decision at a vote at Fifa House in Zurich in Switzerland on 2 December.
While Russia must invest huge sums of money - bid leaders there have estimated it may cost more than £115 billion to build the stadiums needed and improve the country's infrastructure - England's team knows it has an advantage with so many modern stadiums already built.
It also knows that after World Cups in South Africa this year and Brazil in 2014, offering Fifa a low risk tournament which would, according to England's bid book, generate more money than any previous edition could be attractive.
That's why England's bid cannot afford any slip-ups this week. The trains will have to run on time, the stadiums the Fifa delegation see will have to be immaculate and the presentations on accommodation, host cities and security faultless.
But even if they get it absolutely right and are rewarded with a glowing technical evaluation by Mayne-Nicholls, it provides no guarantee of success.
Because this race, as with all races for major sports events, will be decided by football's complex world of geopolitics.
All the candidates for 2018 are now European - except for the United States, who are nevertheless expected to drop out of that race and focus solely on 2022 very soon.
That has made things a little clearer and much may now depend on which deals are done between candidates for 2018 and those bidding for 2022.
But with just over three months to go, many bid experts say this race is impossible to predict.
Russia are now said to be the favourites and are fighting a very tough campaign. They offer Fifa the opportunity to take the World Cup to new territory once again and open up new markets in Eastern Europe.
The Russians also offer Fifa president Sepp Blatter the chance to use football's biggest event to make another grand political gesture - possibly his last before he stands down.
But Spain and Portugal also emerged from the lobbying in the plush hotels of Johannesburg's Sandton district during the World Cup in good shape. All the arguments which make England attractive could just as easily be made for the Iberian campaign.
And so the vote is likely to come down to some political deal which may be done just days or hours before the vote.
With Blatter facing a possible presidential challenger in 2011, will that have an influence on how the election plays out as he looks to shore up his position?
In the race for 2006, South Africa ended up losing when Asia's bloc of votes switched to Germany because of a row with Blatter over the number of places the continent were being given for the next World Cup.
On such matters, World Cup votes turn. And no matter how well England performs this week, their real challenge is to get the politics right over the next three months.