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!

6 thoughts on “Survival Sunday Guide of How to Escape Relegation from Premier League”

  1. Interesting analysis. These percentages always go out the window when teams play a one-off game with everything on the line. Wigan for example are playing a Stoke side that have nothing to play for and Stoke has just lost two games. While Birmingham are playing a Spurs side that has everything to play for as they want to finish 5th. For me the chances of Wigan finishing above Birmingham are better given their opposition and present form.

  2. All this analysis and over-analysis goes out the window when you have to play a single game. Even though Wigan have the least chance to avoid relegation given their present position their opposition isn’t as good as the opposition of Blackpool and Birmingham.

    The question is what are the chances of Wigan getting points and Blackpool and Birmingham losing points? Very good. Therefore Wigan have a better chance of staying up and Blackpool and Birmingham have the worse chance of staying up.

    What will actually happen we’ll have to wait till tomorrow. By the way, Deportivo LaCoruna were relegated today in La Liga even though they were at home and had a better percentage of staying up than at least two of the other 3 teams who were also in the mix. What was not factored was that they were playing Valencia.

  3. I agree with the above posts that these percentages don’t mean much when you have a single game decider and the opposition isn’t factored into the equation.

    I just look at which team is playing well at the moment, who they are playing and that team’s present form and whether the game is a home or away game. Both Blackpool and Birmingham have the toughest opposition against teams in good form. Wigan may have the worse goal difference among these 3 teams but they are playing well at the moment and playing against a Stoke side that have nothing to play for except pride having lost their last 2 games. I think both Wolves and Blackburn are safe regardless of their result.

    So for me Wigan will get a draw and both Birmingham and Blackpool will lose. That means that Birmingham and Blackpool will join West Ham as relegated teams.

  4. The percentages don’t necessarily factor in the opponent, but given the situations, you know that because Birmingham is playing Spurs, they most likely won’t win by 2 or 3 goals. Thus, you can not pay much attention to their chances when they win by 2 or 3 goals, and focus on their chances everywhere else.

  5. I told you so. Percentages don’t mean much when you don’t take the opposition and form into account. Hard luck to Birmingham and Blackpool.

  6. I got it nearly right as far as results are concerned (only Wigan won instead of a draw). But got the relegated sides correct. Must feel sorry for both Birmingham and Blackpool fans. Even divine intervention from the “Nun” couldn’t save Birmingham. How gut wrenching for the relegated sides.

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