The odds, and not just with the odds-makers, are against the Wellington Phoenix in their must-win Hyundai A-League minor semifinal against Perth Glory but, as they have shown in the past, a written-off Phoenix side is often the most dangerous.
The TAB have the home side at $1.95 for tonight's winner-take-all clash with the visitors at a healthy $3.65 but if it is the one horse race the odds suggest, the Phoenix are certainly not buying into that.
Overall, in 16 clashes between the two teams furthest apart in the 10-team league, the Phoenix have won seven, the Glory six although Perth have won two of three this season.
Outstanding Phoenix defender Ben Sigmund made certain there would be plenty of spice in tonight's contest by suggesting the West Australians are a one-man band with All Whites striker Shane Smeltz the team's go-to player.
Smeltz dismissed such an assertion as "crazy" but he will be well aware Sigmund will be up for the battle between the international teammates which could be key to the outcome.
Sigmund, the nicest guy imaginable off the field, is a trooper on it and Smeltz will be well aware there will be no favours and probably not the space which has seen him net a plethora of goals in recent weeks which has coincided with the return of Liam Miller to the Glory midfield.
Smeltz countered Sigmund's assertions by saying the Phoenix were a one-man band with Paul Ifill the only player capable of getting Ricki Herbert's team across the line.
If Sigmund is to be the player charged with containing the rampant Smeltz, Manny Muscat, who will play outside him at right back, has his own motivation to keep the season going.
Muscat's father Frank celebrates his 60th birthday today and there would be no greater present for Muscat to hand his father than a win tonight and the chance for his father and mother - his greatest fans - to be at next week's major semifinal against either Central Coast Mariners or Brisbane Roar.
"It would be really special for both of us if I could give him a win for a present," said Muscat. "He's followed me all over since I started playing and he and mum come to the games whenever possible."
Both teams will be at full strength for the game which precedes tomorrow's second leg of the major semifinal between the Mariners and the Roar with the winner progressing to the grand final and the loser to face either the Phoenix or the Glory.
Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix
nib Stadium, Perth
Today 9.30pm (NZ time) live SS1
Referee: Peter Green.