Survival Sunday Guide of How to Escape Relegation from Premier League

Just when you thought that all of the 81 relegation scenarios of what may happen on Survival Sunday couldn’t get more mindboggling, Professor Steve Haake over at Engineering Sport has published a new study that focuses on what each club needs to do tomorrow to escape relegation. The short answer is to win. The long answer is more complicated but fascinating.

Professor Haake has taken a look at the relegation battles and has determined, based on the potential scores and goal difference, what each club has to do — in great detail — to avoid relegation.

Believe it or not, but Professor Haake’s colleague Dr Ben Heller created a spreadsheet using the Monte Carlo method to calculate the potential position of all 5 teams based upon any score in any game. The simulation used 500,000 random scores with a maximum of 3 goals per team to determine what is most likeliest to happen. The maximum score used in the calculation was 3-3 and the most any team could win by was 3 goals.

Still following? Here are their findings:

The chart below illustrates what each team needs to do to escape relegation regardless of what the other teams do. For example, if Blackpool draws Manchester United, they have a 67% chance of relegation. A 1-0 win for the Tangerines over Man United, and Blackpool will then only have a 2% chance of being relegated.

Professor Haake then broke down what each club needs to do tomorrow to escape relegation:

  • Blackburn needs to make sure they don’t lose, which could mean defensive tactics from Steve Kean’s side
  • Wolves, however, need to go for the win, which will force Blackburn out of their shell if Wolves get a goal
  • Birmingham need to win by at least one goal; two should do it
  • Blackpool also needs to win by at least one goal, and two should confirm their survival
  • Wigan need to win by at least one goal and then hope for the best (depending on what the results are in the other games).

Get your pens, paper and calculators for a Survival Sunday to remember!


  1. terry May 21, 2011
  2. Abe May 21, 2011
  3. Bob May 22, 2011
  4. John May 22, 2011
  5. Abe May 22, 2011
  6. Bob May 22, 2011

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