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Does Sunderland's massive win change the relegation race? We've done the math!

An updated look at relegation probabilities after Sunderland's massive 4-0 win over Cardiff City

Mark Runnacles

Sunderland continued to roll today, building on last weekend's win at Chelsea by throttling Cardiff City 4-0. While it's not the result that Aston Villa fans should have been rooting for, Cardiff losing means that, unless they can win out, they will likely join Fulham as the teams who are all-but-dead. And their chances of winning out took a beating, too, with Chelsea beating Liverpool to remain alive in the Premier League title race. If a final-day match against Chelsea wasn't tough enough, they've now got to try and win while Chelsea are fighting for the title.

We'll do this just like we did yesterday by first taking a look at the projected final table, and then figuring out if today's action had any impact on the number of points that will likely be needed for safety. At the end, you'll find a little bit of discussion on today's numbers.

Projected final table:

Position Team Projected points
15th West Bromwich Albion 39.00
16th Aston Villa 38.37
17th Sunderland 35.39
18th Fulham 33.50
19th Norwich City 33.36
20th Cardiff City 31.79

The big change he is that Sunderland look more likely to finish above 35, and really have cemented their status as a team who should secure safety. Cardiff City, on the other hand, have sunk like a stone. Norwich City and Fulham have entered the territory where their expected outcomes are pretty much equal.

Projected safety line

As with yesterday, I think that 35 points will still be safe. Even with unexpected results that saw Fulham or Norwich City hit 35, Villa would still advance based on goal differential. Cardiff, on the other hand, have no way to get to 35, so they must win out or be relegated.

Team % chance to reach 35 points
West Bromwich Albion 100
Aston Villa 100
Sunderland 70.21
Norwich City 31.43
Fulham 27.70
Cardiff City 4.52


  • As mentioned above, the good news is that today's Sunderland-Cardiff match didn't really have a huge impact on Aston Villa's chances of survival. 35 points still looks to be the danger line, and even if Villa end the season there, their goal differential should be enough to see them to safety. That said, a win or even a draw against Hull City would be massive.
  • Sunderland are finally out of the bottom three, but they've still got a lot of work to do to assure themselves of safety. A few results going against them would mean that they could still find themselves dropping. If you think that you're feeling worried as a Villa fan, it's got to be even worse to be a Sunderland supporter. That said, they've certainly got better form going in their favor, plus the chance that they get to close at home against two clubs with almost nothing to play for.
  • Just a gentle reminder that these are probabilities. Of course, anything could change. Just because the numbers suggest that Aston Villa should be safe doesn't mean that they are.
So what do you think? How are you feeling about the bottom of the table now, and who do you think will be dropping? Let us know in the comments!