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:
This is how it looked after 26 games last (2016/17) season:
This is how the Premier League table looked at the end of last season:
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
19 Crystal Palace
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.