Dundee will head into the first of their post-split fixtures at St Johnstone on Saturday with something of a sense of deja vu.
A year ago at this point of the season the pair met, albeit at Dens Park, with the Dark Blues in desperate need of three points in their battle to avoid relegation.
Twelve months on and venue apart, possibly the big difference is victory is even more vital to their chances of survival.
As the 2017/18 campaign moved into the home stretch, Neil McCann’s Dundee were looking for a win that would give them some breathing space down near the foot of the table.
On a dramatic day at Dens, they got it. Sofien Moussa was the hero, scoring in the opening minute and then picking his team up off the floor as he responded to a late Steven MacLean equaliser for Saints by heading the winner with just two minutes remaining.
It was to prove a turning point in what until then had been another miserable season.
Able to relax just a little after opening a five-point gap to the relegation places, McCann’s team, despite going down narrowly at Motherwell the following week, would go on to record victories over Hamilton and Ross County that left them safe with a game to spare.
Another difference this time round is even that kind of run of results may not prove enough to guarantee safety.
With his team bottom, boss Jim McIntyre must hope nine points from the closing five games would give his men a route to survival via the end-of-season play-offs.
Anything less could mean automatic relegation. That knowledge and the recent miserable run of seven defeats on the bounce makes a win this time sorely needed.
As they look to turn things round, several players will be able to tap into the memory of last season’s late revival to give them hope but not that many.
Of the team that lined up against St Johnstone last year, at the very most it looks like there will be no more than three survivors.
After two months out in the cold, full-back Cammy Kerr came back into the team for the defeat against Aberdeen last time out. If he keeps his place he will, along with Paul McGowan and Genseric Kusunga, make up the trio who were on duty in last term’s clash.
Seven others who started that day have now left the club, while goalkeeper Elliott Parish is expected to be on the bench this time round.
And, for the manager, the big issue as he picks a team for this weekend remains coming up with a formation that produces goals.
Ethan Robson’s first-minute strike at fellow-strugglers St Mirren at the end of last month is the only time Dundee have troubled the scoresheet in their last six games.
That’s a huge worry and if some heart can be taken from the couple of clear-cut chances that were created, but missed, when the teams met in Perth just over a fortnight ago, the lack of a goal threat is a major worry.
The big hope on that score remains young striker Andrew Nelson and, having had three outings and another couple of weeks of training since he returned from a calf injury, he should be back to something like full match fitness.
That the 21-year-old will start on Saturday looks nailed on but who partners him in attack is not so clear.
Nelson has worked well with fellow-January arrival Craig Curran but with the Liverpudlian still looking for his first goal, he may have someone else alongside him for this one. While they have had time together on the pitch, perhaps surprisingly Nelson has not started a game with veteran Kenny Miller. Saturday might be the day.
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