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Football News: Which teams might not survive the Premier League this Season

Which teams might not survive the Premier League this Season
Image from: freelargeimages.com

So we've reached the start of the season run in, the final 11 games for the bottom 6 teams most likely to be duelling it out for Premier League survival (except Brighton who have a game in hand) . Who will stay up? How many points will be required? Will Saints stay up again by the skin of their teeth or sink down into the Championship after another season of toil?

While it's easy as a Southampton fan to predict doom and gloom after a disappointing two or three results, we shouldn't forget the impact our new manager has had. Every game in the run-in is tough with teams fighting for survival so there will be twists and turns in the road for all. That's the only certainty you do have. That said, it will take a miracle to save either Huddersfield or Fulham now so it is most likely that we will see 4 teams fighting not to be in that awful 18th spot.

If you use simple maths across the board to calculate the points total and good of each team in the bottom six at the end of the season, the league table (in respect of placings at least) will remain exactly as it is. However, if you ignore Saints' performance pre-Hasenhuttl and account simply for his excellent return of 15 points in 11 games, we would leap-frog Cardiff into 17th and have a little cushion of 4 points in addition to a considerably better GD. So arguably, maths is on our side.

As we know, sport is less predictable than a mathematic algorithm. Instead, variables like form, injury, home or away records, rivalries, tactics and execution, refereeing decisions all have an impact on every game and can clumsily yank a block out from the bottom of an already wobbly Jenga stack.

So stats and form guides can reflect how a team has been playing but are not a surefire way to predict the future. But looking at form, fixtures and stats will help you make an educated guess of what is likely to happen. Often those educated guesses, be they based on hunch or statistics, will be born out. Take a look back over the last handful of seasons at who has been relegated and consider, based on the stats of standings after 27 games, how freakish any of those relegations were.

I doubt you'll find many, if any, that were a huge surprise. This is the case even in the usual roller coaster of a survival run-in. Someone will pull off a shock and look to build a cushion from relegation one week, only to trip over their boot laces and fail in their next game, allowing the chasing pack to make up ground or even leapfrog them in the table. Checks and balances.

Newcastle I expect to stay clear of any real trouble, but Brighton are sinking and struggling at the wrong time in the season. They could be sucked in to a three-way fight. Cardiff have an awful run-in with five fixtures against the big boys still to come along and several against strong teams in the ascendency. After their return to their mean form last weekend, they're likely to struggle for points. We have some big games against Fulham and Huddersfield which appear crucial to our survival bid. If we can come close to our efforts over the last 11 games, we're very likely to stay up.

The truth is, its not quite down a lottery or roll of the dice. Nor is it as simple as relying on past stats and maths to determine the outcome of the season; its somewhere between. But history shows us that the trend seems to be far closer to the statistics than pure luck. With stats at this point being favourable to us, when looked at in the RH period, it's a positive indicator that contrary to the current mood, there has been no death knell.

Our season isn't over and there are still points to be picked up. If you live in the short term, assessing our team from game to game, you lose sight of the bigger picture. 15 points from 11 games is excellent. We just need to keep that going and we'll be safe. I'm not sure we'll need that many points to stay up. It could be another total of 35/36 points will be enough this season and its tantalisingly in reach. Keep the faith.

Written by figodasilva February 25 2019 17:44:57

 

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