Interesting stuff as Sky Sports have analysed the relegation run-in.

They have used two measures to see how difficult the remaining fixture schedule is for each club.

The first of these if how many matches teams have left against a top six club.

The second is the average league position of the 10 clubs they have left to still play.

This is how the Premier League looks now (following Manchester City’s 3-0 win at Arsenal on Thursday night):

sky sports

Down below we have the Sky Sports stats and then their analysis of the relegation fight.

When it comes to matches still left to play against top six clubs, Brighton have to play five of them, whilst Newcastle are one of three relegation threatened teams who have to play four of the top six.

Rafa’s team have to face Liverpool (A), Arsenal (H), Tottenham (A) and Chelsea (H) – a big positive is that Man City aren’t one of them and Man Utd are currently second, so arguably Newcastle still have to play the four weaker members of that top six.

As for the average league position of remaining clubs to play, Brighton are once again the worst off.

The average position of their remaining opposition is 7.1, then you have West Ham (9.1), Stoke (9.4), before you get to Newcastle on 9.5 (same as West Brom).

Looking beyond the mere numbers, maybe the biggest factor in Newcastle’s favour is that their three crucial matches against the lowest teams they still have to play, are all at home (Southampton, Huddersfield, West Brom). At least seven points from those three games must be the target and that would guarantee a final total of at least 36 points, with hopefully at least a handful picked up elsewhere, would surely guarantee safety.

Maybe the most interesting thing from the Sky Sports analysis of the situation below, is that they don’t mention Newcastle at all, even though both West Ham and Brighton are currently above Rafa’s team.

Sky Sports stats:

sky sports

Sky Sports Relegation Analysis:

‘Bottom club West Brom are seven points from safety and have the fifth-toughest run-in of any club (with opponents averaging 9.5 in the league and featuring three top-six opponents).

But our run-in analysis also paints a sorry picture for Brighton. While the Seagulls are currently in an impressive 12th place in their debut Premier League season their four-point gap to the drop zone could come under threat through the toughest run-in of any side in the top flight.

Brighton’s remaining opponents have an average league position of 7.1 – and they still have to play FIVE of the top six. No other team has more than four games against the top six left.

Worse, Brighton have a terrible record against those leading sides this season. They are the only Premier League team without a single point against the Big Six and have lost their games against those sides by an aggregate score of 18-1.

Furthermore, in their reverse fixtures against their remaining 10 opponents, Brighton have taken a grand total of three points from a possible 30, failing to beat any of them.

West Ham are a point worse off than Brighton and have the second-toughest run-in, while second-from-bottom Stoke must overcome the third-hardest schedule to escape relegation.’

  • ghostrider

    No clubs have the toughest run in. All clubs fighting relegation have the toughest run ins no matter who it’s against.

    Every game is dependent on the focus of the team in trouble against the focus of the team they’re playing.
    If some teams don’t fancy it or are off colour then anything is possible against any team.

    Stats are fine but games are played as and when, on grass, at any specific time and it’s that specific time which counts, not before and not stats for after.

    • TheNutJob

      we should be Ok as long as Rafa doesn`t throw it away

      • ghostrider

        I’ll tell you something on a genuine note. Only Rafa could throw this away for us because we have the tools to easily do the job of staying up.

        If he continues with his silly mindset of making silly subs and going into nonsensical defensive mode when in the full ascendency of games, then it’s more of a case of hat those below us don’t do as much as what we can do or will do under him that will save us.

        However, I’m wondering whether I want to stay in the premier league with Rafa next season or start in the championship under a new manager, because I’d hate to think I had to go through another dire season like this one under him.

        • Nut

          Yes your so right we should sack Rafa now. Bet you were one of those who clamoured for Sir Bobby Robson to be sacked….


          If anything those that clamoured for Robson to be sacked are the reason the club is where it is now.

          You guys moan and moan whatever happens, you are not a real fan!

          I wouldn’t be surprised if this club got cursed for what happened to Robson it would be thoroughly deserved for what people like you did!

          Go away and let us real fans support the club through thick and thin.

          The club, manager, fans, players, chairmen the works regardless.

          • anyobrien

            He’s a [email protected] mate

          • ghostrider

            No no no, I wasn’t one clamouring for Robson to be sacked. I loved the bloke.
            Best manager we’ve ever had and a crying shame we couldn’t have had him 10 years earlier as well.
            I think the bloke was pooed on from great heights by the board and certain players who will forever hold their heads down in shame for it.

            Why did I love him?
            He played entertaining football but also balanced it so we generally gave a good account of ourselves in all areas, up until the hatchet men came to the fore.

            Rafa is a different set up. His football is generally dire.
            His subs are baffling in over 90% of games.
            His tinkering goes beyond the ridiculous on a good amount of occasions.
            The players he inherited and also the players he bought have mainly went backwards with their talent due to being under used or used wrongly.
            Not to mention that Rafa takes no blame for anything that goes wrong. It’s always something or someone else.

            I want Rafa out because the man is living on his past.
            I want Rafa out because he’s producing arguably the worst football seen at Newcastle for a long long time in an overall pound for pound tenancy.

            I want Rafa out because the man appears to be a mercenary.
            6 million a year in order to come to a struggling club. the same wages on offer for a manager to come to the best of the best clubs.
            That’s called being a mercenary.
            Also setting up his own contract with his own lawyer to ensure he covers all aspects of his tenure so everyone loses but him…it appears.

            Yeah I want his out and I’d take it now because we will get very little enjoyment out of this man.
            If anyone thinks they’ve been entertained this season…genuinely, then fair enough but I’ve seen little of it.

            I demand to be entertained because I pay my money for that reason.
            I do not pay money to listen to a man earning 6 million a year make excuses as to why we have to bow down to 11 players who play for a club that is deemed, elite or simply better class than we are.

          • Nut

            Rafa is and always has been a different type of manager. He is not the Keegan type to go all out attack, he is Not the Robson type who goes for it all the time then apologises when we lost but had a good go.

            You like attacking, entertaining football, fair enough. So do I, however Rafa doesn’t play like that.

            Rafa plays for the points, be it a win or a draw whichever he thinks he can best set the team up for.

            He sets a side up to be difficult to beat, difficult to break down.

            To be totally honest with you he doesn’t have the players at his disposal in the league as it stands to go at opposition like you want to see.

            The championship that was a different ballpark bit most of the team we had back then doesn’t have the kind of quality we need here in the premiership.

            The players that had that for the most part all left as soon as we dropped to the championship.

            Wijnaldum, Townswend, Janmut and Sissoku….. they had that flair you want, that entertainment but not a loyal bone in their body!

            Rafa hasn’t had the money given to him since coming up to the premiership that he ought to have to spend on players.

            He spend alot in my opinion to get us out of the championship at the first time of asking, unfortunately alot of those players and our team are effectively dead weight now in the premiership.

            When Ashley took over you heard about a 5 year plan, that plan was to run down players contracts and gradually buy a top team making money along the way to fund it.

            When he backed McClarren he thought he had a top manager, he backed him with top money.

            Whilst some of the signings were good and class even McClarren proved not to be capable, Ashley signed Rafa on to try and save us, Rafa came close but no cigar.

            Ashley had a massive shock, he never expected that side to be relegated having backed a manager he thought would be capable.

            In his mindset I would bet he is thinking he could back Rafa and experience the same because there are no guarantees in football.

            My guess is we will maybe see Ashley begin to back Rafa in the summer and play a similar game of profit making to build a kitty to have a good go when he thinks the time is right.

            Rafa thus far hasn’t been backed with the money to go out and buy attacking players.

            He builds a team differently from Keegan and Robson, rather than flair and attacking players (which you like to see), Rafa goes out and builds from the back, he gets a world class keeper, defenders and then works on the midfield and strikers. He builds a world class spine.

            Watch Rafa and I think if you see him backed and given the time and money to build you will eventually like what we end up with.

            To be totally honest with you, I didn’t like Rafa’s Liverpool side, I felt they lacked the attacking quality of some but Rafa likes players that work as one. No standout individual who the team plays for.

          • ghostrider

            Fair enough reply.
            Let’s see what Rafa does.
            I don’t like him as a manager but that’s just my thoughts.

        • Oldgeordie

          What is your problem ? Did Rafa steal your dummy or something? For goodness sake grow up. Everyone makes mistakes but Rafa makes less than most PL managers. Give him some credit for what he has achieved even if you don’t think it is very much.

          • anyobrien

            He’s a belend mate ignore him

          • ghostrider

            If he made less than most premier league managers we would not be fighting relegation at this stage.
            He gets little credit from me until he shows he deserves it.

          • Georgia Peter

            If you can’t see that any problems that Rafa’s had are ALL down to the FCB, then yr not worth yr comment sad to say. We all deserve a say, but hey, let’s have a little common eh…..!

          • ghostrider

            If you can’t see that Rafa had players at his disposal and chose not to use them and so, creating his own problems then you also need to use a little common.

            It works both ways and too many fans are stuck in the hate Ashley first rut rather than standing back to see the bigger picture…or at least try and gauge a more realistic picture from the snippets we get fed.

            I put it simpler last time but I’ll go over it again.

            If this was most other managers doing what Rafa has done from arriving to present day….right now and well before, the fans would be anting the managers head on a stick…and Ashley’s as per normal.

            Fans have bought into the Rafa hype. The love story and how the man is lathered in integrity.
            The fans have bought into the pundits all proclaiming his tactical genius and how he makes players better…etc.

            The stark reality is, he’s riding on his past and players are responding to his orders based on his past because they do not want to question him and be banished.

            I do not like the man as a coach or a manager at this club.
            His football is generally dire and for some reason he refuses to implement a plan B when clearly needed, or to stick to a plan A when clearly seen to be working.

            It’s as if the man is just a stubborn fool or he’s deliberately messing about.
            The man is a mercenary who will continue to make excuse after excuse for his failings and the fans will swallow it whilst shouting ” Ashley out, Ashley out” and all the rest of it.
            Benitez knows this and it’s his master card up his sleeve. It’s his get out of jail free card.

            Fans are being brainwashed into a belief that he’s producing something wonderful…or he’s going to.
            If he doesn’t, it’s Ashley and Charnley’s fault.

            If he’s handed a king’s ransom and doesn’t produce, it’ll be because Ashley didn’t act earlier or Ashley didn’t give him enough, or any reasons required in order to back up Rafa so that he doesn’t take any flak.

            I’m not wearing it and soon enough neither will the players.
            We need a manager who will allow this team to play football, because Rafa allows very little of it.

          • Cockneytrev

            Ignore him mate,, he knows nowt about football,, he’s a sad troll!!!

        • anyobrien

          He’s back never heard from him when we beat man u, Stoke away… Only lost one in last eight… Stupid rafa

          • ghostrider

            Stop making stuff up. I was here praising Rafa and the team when we beat Man Utd.
            You see, I just don’t go all doe eyed over Rafa just for the hell of it like a lot do.

          • anyobrien

            But they don’t… Ya daft Pr1ck….

  • TheFatController

    After last night’s result, it’s likely Man City and Arsenal will be finished competitively in the league long before their last games.

    End of season sees league placing rendered meaningless as games become skewed by cup commitments and ‘end of season drifting’ – already Everton, Burnley and Leicester are pretty much safe.

    Arsenal are considered a tough fixture, but have lost more games in 2018 than any other PL club…

    • Georgia Peter

      Aren’t you all forgetting the one thing that SHOULD keep all players on top doh till the last whistle.
      MONEY…..there are millions @stake in final position bonuses.
      Would certainly keep me focused.

  • briankilclinesfordfiesta

    Newcastle got 3 points in the reverse fixtures, same as Brighton. That’ll have to change.

  • Leazes.

    There are far too many variables to make any kind of supposition, and a lot of those variables aren’t included… its a bit like someone trying to work out the winner of the grand national in advance, looking at form, track condition, jockey, weather, but they aren’t the only qualifiers.

    Sky and other betting sites do this because they want people to find a magic formula for gambling….

    …its nonsense, because you can’t predict injuries, concentration levels, collapse, or just plain flukes from the wheel of chance.

    Don’t gamble, there’s only one winner….. the bookie!

  • Paul Patterson

    I’ve been saying this for weeks. The run in for the teams below us is horrific. They all have to play a myriad of Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs while at the same time EACH OTHER.
    They can’t win all of them.

    • Leazes.

      I wouldn’t bet on it Paul.

    • Nut

      You are neglecting to account for the fact that most of the top teams may well have nothing to play for by the time they play those teams. Plus they may well prioritise other commitments over and above those games.

      Add to that injuries, suspensions etc etc which you can’t possibly account for and surely even you can see there is nothing guaranteed.

      • Paul Patterson

        I agree, but if we do our job and get those 9 points . .

    • Mick

      I hope Newcastle stay up but drop 3pts at home to Hudds so that we can have a chance of staying up also.