Saturday 17 March 2018

Question nobody asked - how many points keeps you safe?

The 'magical 40-point' mark is generally the aim for teams looking to stay in the Premier League but, for the majority of seasons, that's been at least a few too many.

Ian Holloway (right) spoke last week about wanting his Blackpool side to reach 39 points and, in the 15 seasons since the Premier League reduced to 20 teams, that would have been enough to stay up on 11 occasions, including the last seven. The team who finishes bottom is almost certain to set a record points total for the lowest position with Nottingham Forest's tally of 34 from the 1996/97 season likely to be surpassed with six games remaining. That was also one of the three seasons in which 40 points wasn't enough for a team to survive as Bolton went down, joining Coventry (41 the previous season) and West Ham (42 in 2003) as the teams for whom 40 points wasn't so magical. The 15 teams who have finished fourth from bottom have averaged just over 38 points with West Brom in 2005 having the lowest points total ever to survive with a paltry 34.

Irish Independent

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