What Would Fulham Have To Do To Stay Up?

Steve Bardens

The win against Newcastle gave Fulham a modicum of hope. There are eight fixtures remaining, what would Fulham need to do to stay up?

I've Looked back at the history of the last eighteen Premier League seasons. This is when the switch was made to twenty teams. While it's not the largest sample, it's all we've got to go on.

No team has ever been relegated if they got to 43 points. If Fulham won seven of eight, they'd be at 45. We can all agree that would make them safe 100% of the time. However, I also think we can all agree that's an unrealistic scenario; so let's focus on things that might be likely to occur.

Three Wins - 33 Points

Historically, this would give Fulham a 6% chance of staying up. Those aren't great odds, but it's about as likely as flipping a coin four times and always getting heads. Or if you prefer poker, hitting a gut shot straight on the river. If you've ever lost money gambling, you'll know that things like this do happen from time to time. To get here, Fulham would simply have to beat Norwich, Hull, and Palace at home. As unlikely as staying up with 33 points would be, beating those three teams at home wouldn't be that unheard of. A loss to any of them, would be disastrous because all of the following scenarios depend on those nine points.

Three Wins and one Draw - 34 Points

On three occasions, 34 points have been enough to keep a team up. In 22% of seasons, it's been enough to keep a team safe. If Fulham can win the three home games mentioned above, they'd still need to find one match to draw. Everton at home, Villa away, Spurs away, or Stoke away are the fixtures that you could reasonably hope for it to happen. Again, this wouldn't be a crazy scenario. If you believe Fulham are capable of this, it's like you have a gut shot straight after the flop that you need to fill.

Three Wins and two Draws - 35 Points

Just like the above, three times 35 points have been enough to keep a team up. Teams that reached this threshold have stayed up 39% of the time. Once again, you have to win the three home games against the other bad teams. Then Fulham would need to gain draw two out of Everton, Villa, Spurs, and Stoke. Not the toughest task, but not easy either. This is where the heart attack scenarios begin. Fulham could enter the last two weeks needing four points to stay up, making the last two fixtures real nail biters.

Four Wins - 36 Points

Getting to 36 points boosts your historical odds all the way up to 44.4%. That's not quite a coin flip, but it's getting close. Fulham would only need to turn one of those draws into a win, and they'd get here. Considering a team like Stoke City might be playing for nothing on the second to last day, it isn't crazy.

Five Wins - 39 Points

People always talk about 40 points being the magic number. However, teams that got to 39 points would have been safe 83% of the time. That extra point only gets you to 89%. If Fulham get to 39 points, I'm reasonably confident they'd stay up. They'd need to win two out of three against Everton, Stoke, and Villa. A tough task, but not unheard of.

Those are what I'd call the realistic scenarios for survival. Sure there are a few others (four wins and a draw for 37 points and 67% survival rate, or four wins and two draws for 38 points and a 78% rate). But you can only hope for a result in so many of the remaining fixtures. The next three fixtures are especially important. Getting any result in those three games keeps all the scenarios alive. Any result against Man City would be gravy, as all the scenarios ignore that possibility. While losing all three matches doesn't close the door on any of the possibilities, it removes the minuscule margin of error the club currently has.

I've played enough poker in my life to have been beaten many times by long shot odds, I'm hoping I'm on the other end for once. COYWS!

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