Those who said that Southampton would crumble the first time that an awkward run of fixtures surfaced are enjoying an extended told-you-so period at present. However, surely even those forecasters of doom didn't envisage such a dramatic decline?
After 11 wins in 12, a 1-1 draw away to Aston Villa served as a portal to a five-match losing streak. The severity of the situation was easy to underplay at first, when they were being defeated by Man City, Arsenal and Man United.
Now that it is Premier League strugglers Burnley and League One team Sheffield United delivering the beatings, they are harder to justify.
There are no straightforward league games on the horizon with which to alleviate the concern either. The next seven are Everton (H), Crystal Palace (A), Chelsea (H), Arsenal (H), Man United (A), Newcastle (A) and Swansea (H).
The Saints have subsequently shot out to 6.86/1 for a top-four finish having not long ago been backable at 2.46 and lower and drifted from 1.51 to 2.3611/8 for a top-six place.
This writer is still confident that they will return to form - every defeat that they have suffered this season bar one was by a one-goal margin and they outplayed Arsenal and Man United when losing to both - but it is alarming to witness how easily two reverses become three and then four and five.
It should perhaps act as a warning to West Ham, who are thriving like the autumnal incarnation of Southampton, winning six and drawing three of their previous ten Premier League encounters to replace Ronald Koeman's squad in the top four. They are 19.5 to stay there.
The Irons have a fiendish festive schedule ahead though. While they host bottom club Leicester next, a double header against Chelsea and Arsenal awaits after that.
Lose both of those and they could be staring at a Saints-esque slump, especially as they then face Liverpool, Man United, Southampton and Tottenham, as well as Chelsea and Arsenal all over again, in the ten fixtures which follow.
Sam Allardyce's side will probably prove powerless to prevent setbacks with so many challenging contests so close together, but one lesson that they can learn from Southampton is not to accelerate any dip in form by botching the final straightforward match, as Saints did at Villa.
West Ham are 1.684/6 to overcome Leicester, whose 11-game Premier League winless sequence is the longest that anyone has been on this term.