The Premier League is an unforgiving place where mistakes get punished and flaws get exposed.
There is little room for error for the clubs involved, who stand to miss out on huge financial gains if they are relegated.
Daily Football Tips
So it's no surprise that the battle to stay in the division often proves to be intriguing as the one taking place at the top.
This season is set to be no different, with almost half the division appearing to be at risk of the drop before a ball has even been kicked.
But who looks set to do enough to toe the line and who could soon be facing up to life in the Championship?
Huddersfield Town: 2/9
David Wagner certainly worked a bit of magic to keep Huddersfield out of the bottom three last term.
But second-season syndrome is a difficult illness to overcome and, despite a couple of decent additions, the Terriers have been found out - particularly at home.
The Clarets cruised to a Europa League place last season, with their form at Turf Moor key to their progression. Simply put, it replaced Stoke as the gritty away day no one relished playing in.
But Sean Dyche and his players have lost their way. The club has been punching above its weight in recent seasons, but their luck looks to be running out.
The unassuming west Londoners made a big statement in the transfer market, but ripping the heart out of Slavisa Jokanovic's promotion winning side proved to be a mistake.
Claudio Ranieri has been brought in to work his magic, but the Cottagers are in real danger of an immediate return to the Championship.
Cardiff City: 8/11
Neil Warnock's side beat the odds to get promoted, but were immediately installed as favourites to go straight back down to the second tier.
The Welsh club's debut season in the Premier League went very wrong and they need a small miracle if history is not going to repeat itself this time around.
The Toon Army finished last season on a high, having flirted with relegation throughout the course of the campaign.
But they endured a frustrating summer, with new arrivals sporadic and funds not as forthcoming as fans would have hoped.
On paper they still have enough to survive, but cannot afford to take anything for granted.
The Saints bit the bullet relatively early and parted company with Mark Hughes.
Ralph Hasenhüttl is the new man in town and he has enjoyed an outstanding 'new manager bounce' courtesy of a surprise victory over Arsenal.
But that cannot gloss over the fact that Southampton's squad lacks quality and firepower. It's going to be a slog on the South Coast.
Chris Hughton steered Brighton to a respectable 15th-place finish last term and have an excellent opportunity to kick on and cement their top-flight status.
However, it's difficult not to envisage them being dragged into the mire at some stage.
Crystal Palace: 14/1
Roy Hodgson's side appeared to be heading straight for a relegation battle until they shocked everybody and beat Manchester City on their own patch.
The Eagles desperately need more threat up front, but the overall quality in their squad means they should be safe.
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