After what has been the most rollercoaster-ish of rollercoaster seasons it all comes down to this.

A point I have laboured quite regularly in this column is that after that dire autumn period, had you offered me the play-offs at the end of the season I'd have well and truly bitten your hand off.

With the "regular season" over and done with, it really is quite remarkable to think we are potentially three games away from joining Leicester City in the Premier League.

Very little about the second half of City's season has been predictable, but when it comes to predictability the play-offs are just about as far away as you get.

It's a massive football cliché, but frankly, they are a lottery and near enough anything can happen.

We can talk until the cows come home about what it takes - how much comes down to form, how much comes down to luck, which league position has the greatest success rate and so on.

Every point has a counterpoint, every if has a but and in the end you end up in the kind of tailspin City's play-off dance partners found themselves in the last few weeks of the season. I'll probably regret that one...

But the fact of the matter is this: you can just never really tell.

One thing City do have to their advantage over their rivals is a manager who has been there and done it as a head coach.

As few of us will have forgotten, David Wagner was in the dugout when Huddersfield Town clinched promotion the Wembley way in 2017.

Of course, I'm not forgetting that Russell Martin was in the City squad that achieved the same feat two years earlier, but Wagner has done it as a boss.

Clearly this should mean that he will know exactly what messages he needs to convey to his players ahead of the semi-finals and, knock on wood, the final itself too.

However, the way the Terriers achieved play-off glory makes me incredibly nervous about the next two - or three - fixtures.

Wagner's success will forever be a terrific piece of pub quiz ammo for years to come due to the unique way promotion was achieved.

Question: How many Huddersfield Town players (at the time) scored from open play in the 2017 Championship play-offs?

Answer: Zero.

I have checked my maths and I didn't have to use many fingers to make sure I got this one right.

Town's tilt saw them contest a goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday in the first leg of their semi-final followed by a 1-1 draw after extra time in the second.

Their solitary goal was scored by Wednesday defender Tom Lees - ironically enough now a Terrier.

A penalty shoot-out win later and Wagner was at Wembley and another goalless draw/penalty shoot-out combination saw them promoted.

While a Huddersfield source tells me they were fighting a striker injury crisis at the time, the approach Wagner appeared to take didn't fill me with hope.

That's not to say shutting up shop can't ever work and in knock-out tournaments it can have its merits.

But my fear is that we just don't have the personnel to be able to carry it off.

My gut tells me if Wagner is hoping to squeak through another play-off campaign this way, he's going to have a rude awakening. 

While it did surprise me to learn we have managed to keep 12 clean sheets this season - mainly owing to having, in my book, the best goalkeeper in the league - I wouldn't bank on it against a team who have failed to net on only eight occasions out of 46.

If City are to get past Daniel Farke's Leeds - it had to be him, didn't it? - we're going to have to take the games by the scruff of the neck and really go for it.

In his post-match comments on Saturday, Farke hinted at the kind of approach they might well be taking on Sunday.

He said: "We won't play this wide and this open. A draw was not an option today, it is always different when you have the first leg, playing away in the play-offs. It is a very different game."

This to me very much suggests Farke will be coming to make the game cagey and prevent the game from being too open and do the damage in the second leg.

Given the way City's away form has been this season - the 19th best in the league - you very much feel the deal has to be sealed on home soil.

Likewise, we have seen a few times recently how vulnerable Leeds can be if they have got to try and force the matter - we saw it against Southampton and even more drastically against Queens Park Rangers. 

If we come away from Sunday's first leg with a lead, you have got to fancy us to end up at Wembley - when it's anybody's game.

Anything less and, for me, it's another season of Championship football.

Which brings me to one final point - the impossible tasks of predicting it.

A few blips aside, Norwich appear to be going in as the "form team" - having picked up the most points in recent weeks.

Leeds have clearly had the best season - the table doesn't lie and 90 points is the joint most any team have ever failed to get automatic promotion with.

While Southampton have somewhat tailed off in their final games, they were flying before then.

West Brom on the other hand have kind of bumbled along all season, looking relatively ordinary and were far and away the worst of the other three I have seen at Carrow Road.

So obviously West Brom will win the thing, won't they?