A critical stage has been reached in the Premier League relegation battle.

With everybody having played 26 games and only 12 left, we are inside the final third of the season.

A time when you can start planning your route towards the end game, when either relegation or safety will be confirmed.

These are the 12 matches remaining for Rafa’s players:

HOME: Man Utd, Southampton, Huddersfield, Arsenal, West Brom, Chelsea

AWAY: Bournemouth, Liverpool, Spurs, Leicester, Everton, Watford

How many points do you think will be added from that possible 36?

A poll on The Mag had results published earlier on Tuesday (today), Newcastle fans predicting that on average 12 points would be added, which would leave Newcastle with 37 points after the final game.

Using the tables below, I am going to compare how the Premier League table looks at the bottom after 26 matches, with how it looked after games last (2016/17) season, then look at how many points each of those bottom clubs last season won.

This is how the bottom of the table looks this (2017/18) season after 26 games:

premier league relegation

This is how it looked after 26 games last (2016/17) season:

premier league relegation

This is how the Premier League table looked at the end of last season:

premier league relegation

As you can see, there were some pretty big movements in the last 12 games, this is how many points each of the clubs (who were bottom 12 after 26 matches) got out of the final 36 points last season:

12 West Ham

12 Stoke

9 Burnley

9 Watford

16 Southampton

20 Bournemouth

6 Middlesbrough

19 Crystal Palace

13 Hull

5 Sunderland

Interesting that the clubs who were second and third bottom after 26 matches got more points than everybody apart from Bournemouth, in Palace’s case, whilst Hull only had Bournemouth and Southampton picking up more points.

Those at the very bottom fighting most desperately in the later stages.

Just as striking of course is that there were two really terrible teams last season, Middlesbrough and Sunderland picking up only 6 and 5 points respectively, and relegated way below the competition.

On average, the 12 clubs who were bottom after 26 games, picked up 12 points each in the final dozen games. The same (12 points) total that Newcastle fans believe that Newcastle will get this season in the run-in.

The hope must be that West Brom and Huddersfield will carry on their recent form and fill two of the relegation spots, then Newcastle to outperform at least one of the others at the bottom.

Survival is in Newcastle’s own hands but it is a tough run-in of matches, here’s hoping.

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  • Leazes.

    I’ve seen some stupid misuse of data in my time but that takes the biscuit…. you can’t draw any conclusions from it at all.

    • TheNutJob

      Must be Clarko

    • Desree

      Thanks for saving me a post Leazes.

    • Shields Mag

      Spot on there Leazes no conclusion whatsoever.

  • Peter Stabler

    After looking at those fixtures I am left thinking that Slimani is going to have to be a hero.

  • Big Al 1967

    What happened last season and in any previous season is completely irrelevant to what will happen between now and May

  • Cockneytrev

    What relevance does this have to this season?

  • gallowgate26

    All it does is show us that each season is different and it’s difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions. West Brom have become the steriotypical ‘mid-table’ team, based on about the last five seasons, so how does anyone explain that this season they are bottom? It’s interesting that many believe 12 points will keep us up (average of a point-per-game for the remainder of the season). Yet in 15-16, 37 points is actually what we finished on, when we went down. Last seaon 37 points would have kept us up. But last season at this point, the teams 3rd and 4th bottom had 22 points at this stage. Let’s call that the ‘tipping point’. At the same stage now the tipping point is 24 points. It’s not absurd to think that we may need to use our trump card… goal difference. (Assuming we can maintain it)

  • Peaky Magpie

    What a bloody waste of time…..give me strength….

  • Andy

    In the equivalent 12 games in the first half of the season we managed 3 points!
    A draw against West Brom, Southampton and Liverpool.
    The other 9 beat us.
    Hoping the loan signings come good, but can’t say in optimistic!

  • Down Under Mag

    We basically need maximum points from West Brom, Southampton and Huddersfield and hope that 34 points is enough to keep us up again this year with our reasonably decent goal difference. Other than that I’d say we need the league, CL places and FA Cup places to all be finalised before the last game of the season and hope the players throw their toys out at Chelsea and put in a bad showing. If we go into the final 2 games needing points then I think it is curtains but the 28th is probably the biggest game we have had at St James’ for a looooong time.

    • steveS100

      Personally I think, with Newcastle’s goal difference, 35 points could be enough. That leaves us needing another 10. That’s about the best outcome I can see from the games we have left so it’s going to be tight. It also shows how significant could be the 2 points dropped against Burnley (with the freak goal) and 2 points dropped against Palace (with the dodgy pen)… :-(

  • TheNutJob

    Doomed, this team hasn`t got it in them, to many players aren`t giving it 100%,
    if we stay in the prem then it`ll be a miracle & because the teams below us don`t improve

  • James Finlayson

    The only meaningful thing that can be drawn from the above tables is that this season has far more clubs in the mix. Last season the gap between 12th and the final relegation spot was 9 points, meaning clubs around there could afford a few bad results and still be safe (in the end Burnley and Watford slumped with only 9 points a-piece from the final 12 and still survived). This season that gap is a mere 3 points, or one win.

    This makes for a lot of very nervous supporters, tense matches and mathematical permutations (including goal difference) that will likely go down to the wire. Chances are it will be one poor refereeing decision, a freak goal (or own goal) or perhaps an unjust sending off that will make the difference for at least one club – it is THAT tight.

    More than that one cannot reasonably say.