If there is one particular cliche we are fond of here, it is that of the relegation 'six pointer'. We are so fond of it, in fact, that we've written an entire article on it, and how it is chronically overused to the point of redundancy. Rest assured, that chronic overuse will resume this weekend, with bottom team Sunderland hosting 18th-placed Hull on Saturday afternoon. The former go into the game with an atrocious five points from their first 11 games, while the latter aren't much better off with a meagre total of 10. The severity of Sunderland's situation in particular can be measured by the fact that, even were the cliche of the 'six pointer' to reflect reality, beating Hull by anything less than four goals wouldn't be enough to lift them out of the relegation zone.
Amazingly, considering their form so far this season, both sides will arrive at the Stadium of Light on the back of a much-needed victory. Sunderland beat Bournemouth in their last outing in the league, while Hull, against the odds, managed to sneak a 2-1 win against an impressive Southampton side. That has alleviated some of the crushing pressure on David Moyes and Mike Phelan, both of whom have recently taken on the air of haggard, long-haul truck drivers after a long succession of sleepless nights. They have been afforded two weeks of relatively sound sleep over the course of the international break, though one of them could now be about to embark on another miserable, arduous drive along the featureless motorway to Championship obscurity.
That said, Moyes and Phelan can perhaps hold out hope that the 'six pointer' will become something more than a tedious commonplace this weekend. If the nation's pundits say it enough, perhaps the phrase will transcend its cliche status and become an observable phenomenon at the bottom of the league. Six points clearly won't do it for Sunderland, so Moyes will have to hope that there's some sort of localised hyperinflation event and that, in keeping with the 'six pointer' trend as has already been established, six points becomes 12 points, that becomes 24 points, and so on. Soon enough, Sunderland will be swimming in millions of points, carried up the table on the rising tide which spills forth from the relegation zone.
This seems like an unlikely eventuality, unfortunately, so Moyes might have to settle for a traditional three-point haul at best. Fail to register even that and, for Sunderland, the game might be up. Slip into another run like the one which saw them go winless for the first 10 games of the season, and not even massive hyperinflation will save them from the drop this season – see, for a team to witness their points total inflate, they actually have to have some in the first place.