First off, we acknowledge that this type of weak-kneed mathematical speculation does tend to wind up more bullish individuals. John Giles would wave it all away in disdain. Go and win your matches, etc, etc.
We covered the whole range of permutations in Group D of the Europa League after Dundalk's match in Russia three Thursdays back.
Tonight's result in the other group game is most congenial for the Irish champions. Zenit beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-0 in Petersberg this evening.
What this mean?
Well the one big change is that we can be certain that two draws from the final two games will (almost) guarantee Dundalk a place in the knockout phase.
However, if the Dundalk game with Alkmaar finished 2-2 tonight, then the Dutch side would pip them in the head-to-head and thus have the chance to qualify with a victory over the unbeaten Zenit in the final round.
Dundalk drew 1-1 in Alkmaar and have already beaten Tel Aviv in Tallaght. They have it in them to beat the Dutch side tonight.
If they do so, they will three points ahead of Maccabi Tel Aviv heading to the final group game in Israel. Alkmaar will be out of the equation.
Not only that but Dundalk's goal difference will superior to Tel Aviv, at least to the tune of +3 (that's assuming a one goal victory).
Therefore, if they win tonight, then even a 1-0 loss in Israel would secure Dundalk a place in the next round. They would pip the Israeli side on goal difference.
Of course, the alternative is they look to win the next two matches and there'll be no complications.
Meanwhile, the AZ fans are in good humour.
Luas packed with drunk AZ fans. Interesting their chants are all in English.
— Michael McCarthy (@McCarthyMick) November 24, 2016
Read more: Stephen Kenny Says There's No Comparison Between What Dundalk And Leicester Have Achieved