Northampton Saints centre George Pisi believes eight Aviva Premiership Rugby teams have a chance at finishing in the top four.
Though Saracens and Exeter Chiefs are virtually out on their own, just five points separate fourth-placed Wasps and eighth-placed Harlequins, while Sale Sharks, in seventh spot, have a game in hand on all of the teams above them.
Pisi’s Saints boosted their own top-four hopes with a win at table toppers Saracens last weekend.
And the 29-year-old says it is almost impossible to know who will reach the play-offs but Saints are set to have their say.
“I think there are eight teams in the mix for a top-four spot and we are playing most of them between now and the end of the season,” said Pisi, whose team play Sale Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a tough battle.
“But we are starting to peak at the right time and I think the early season form is now well and truly behind us and the boys are keen to push on.”
Saints are still playing catch-up after their slow start to the season in which they lost three of their opening four matches.
But victory at Allianz Park last time out was their fourth in five matches and Pisi believes that result had been on the cards for some time.
“In the past couple of weeks we have won four of five games, so we were slowly building up to this,” he added.
“We are playing a lot of the top teams in the last games. Losing would have made it a different ball game, so that was great motivation to get the win.
“It’s always good to get an away win, especially against a team that are top of the league.
“It was good to get the four points, it puts us in a good position. But we can only see it as that. One lot of four points and we move on to the next one.”