How many points do Sunderland need to survive and will they get them? What the stats say plus our predictions

David Moyes and Paul Bracewell
David Moyes and Paul Bracewell

Sunderland are no strangers to frantically hammering all manner of permutations into calculators in the Spring.

For the sixth season in a row, they are faced with a last-minute dash for safety.

So how many points do they need and do they have the fixtures to get there?

We looked at the numbers for each Premier League season going back to the 2005/06 campaign, and discovered that the average points haul for the side in 17th position is 37, less than the so called ‘magic 40’ that is generally held up as the golden number.

Of course, there is often a gap between 18th and 17th, so taking that into account, 36 is the number on average that would see you just avoid the drop in that time.

That largely looks about the case for this season Leicester in 17th currently with 21 points from 25 games.

Generally speaking, the teams at the bottom will move closer to the point per game mark as they pick up results against the sides who at the end of the season have little to play for and have lost a bit of intensity.

It will be a tall order for Sunderland to get there, who will need to almost double their points haul in just 13 games.

So can they do it?

Here, with the help of Richard Mennear, we take a look at the fixture list to see whether this season will be one mission too many for the survival specialists.

V Everton (A) February 25th

Injury concerns for Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley offer some hope but it’s a tall order against an in-form side, with two losses predicted.

V Manchester City (H) March 5th

Even without Gabriel Jesus this looks a tall order, Man City’s midfield powerful and likely to dominate. Two losses predicted.

V Middlesbrough (A) March 11th

Rich predicts a big away win but Boro’s defence has been remarkable this year, which sees Phil go for a draw.

V Burnley (H) March 18th

Two wins predicted. Burnley are not the same side away from home which makes it a major opportunity.

V Watford (A) April 1st

A wildly inconsistent side, often impressive, sometimes utterly abject. Rich goes for a defeat, Phil a draw.

V Leicester City (A) April 4th

Rich goes for a win, Phil a draw. The Foxes are sinking and Sunderland have a chance of doing the double over last season’s champions.

V Manchester United (H) April 8th

Phil predicts a loss, but the performances against Spurs and Liverpool give Rich hope of a point.

V West Ham United (H) April 15th

Two draws. West Ham have improved without Payet but the defence is unreliable.

V Arsenal (A) April 22nd

Two defeats predicted, but Sunderland have had some impressive Emirates rearguards in recent years.

V Bournemouth (H) April 29th

Two wins predicted, the likes of Cattermole and Kirchhoff will make a big difference in these home games.

V Hull City (A) May 6th

Another two wins predicted, even if Hull are excellent at home under the impressive Marco Silva.

V Swansea City (H) May 13th

Might Paul Clement already have Swansea safe by this point, boosting Sunderland’s chances? Two draws predicted.

V Chelsea (A) May 27th

A title parade distracting Chelsea? Not for Rich, but Phil optimistically goes for a draw.

Richard’s final points haul: 37 and another exhilarating escape

Phil’s final points haul: 34 and a lot of nerves on the final day...