Newcastle United are in a dodgy situation but Fulham, Leicester City and Sunderland point to a potential escape route.
The positive thing for Newcastle fans is that those three clubs have all survived in the past, despite having only 25 points (what Newcastle have now) or less after 31 matches.
The negative is…they are the only three to survive in 24 years of the Premier League when having 25 points or less at this stage…
Obviously all three clubs had to go on a bit of a run in those final seven games to grab a lifeline and take advantage of the failings of others.
Out of a possible 21 points, in 2007/08 Fulham picked up 13, in 2013/14 Sunderland also managed 13 points (in those games they beat Man Utd and Chelsea away and drew at Man City), whilst last (2014/15) season Leicester gathered a remarkable 16 points with six wins and a draw.
As you will have noticed, two of these three successful survival bids have happened in the last two seasons.
So no doubt if the Newcastle United PR department were running this story, they would say that statistically, in ‘recent’ times, every season at least one PL club who have 25 points or less after 31 games ends up surviving, meaning Newcastle have a 50/50 chance with Aston Villa of staying up….
Fulham in 2007/08 had 23 points after 31 games, finished 17th with 36 points
Sunderland in 2013/14 had 25 points after 31 games, finished 14th with 38 points
Leicester in 2014/15 had 25 points after 31 games, finished 14th with 41 points
So taking the above as a rough guide, we probably have to accept that Newcastle need at least 13 points to have any hope and these are our remaining games:
Manchester City (H)
Crystal Palace (H)
Aston Villa (A)
If I was optimistic, I would say it is possible for Newcastle to still get wins against Palace and Swansea at home, as well as Villa away.
Then if we picked up a point out of one of Man City at home or the aways at Southampton and Liverpool, it would leave Spurs on the final day with victory needed to make it 13 points.
As well as Spurs have done this season, they could very likely have nothing to play for and have a host of players with one (both?) eye(s) on this summer’s Euros and the England friendlies that quickly follow on from the league season.
I would certainly settle for 10 points from 18 in the meantime….