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The next four matches will decide Fulham's fate

Fulham's season isn't dead yet, but it could be after the next four games.

Fulham's chances of playing here are slim and getting slimmer
Fulham's chances of playing here are slim and getting slimmer
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

You may remember last year when we ran an exercise to see if promotion was still a viable goal. I've re-run that data with last season thrown in (it didn't change much) and this is the table of interest.

Point for all promoted teams

Sixth place team points

Playoff winner points

Second Place team points

League position of final promoted team



















As you can see, 73 points is the average amount that it takes to get to sixth place. The most frequent number of points the sixth place finisher has is 75. Fulham currently sit on 23 points with 25 matches remaining. To get to 73 points Fulham simply has to average 2 points per match from here on out. The top teams in the division are currently averaging almost exactly that. So just to make the playoffs, Fulham need to play like one of the four best teams in the league for the second half of the season. Anything less than a win at home or a draw on the road from here on out will put them off the pace. And that's just to make the playoffs.

The hole Fulham have dug isn't so deep that there's no way out, but it's getting there. The next four matches are critical. Two are at home, and two are against the bottom two teams in the league. Only Derby County away is a match they shouldn't expect to win. If Fulham manage to gain nine points or more in that stretch, they still have a shot.

They'd be on 32 points with 21 games left. They'd "only" need to average 1.95 points/match to get to 73. If they played worse (let's say a win and two draws) Their pace for the rest of the season would need to be well over 2 points a game. While a few teams have managed that, there's no reason to think this Fulham team can.