How Many Points to Survive in the Premier League?


premier league

A new Premier League season is on the horizon. There are teams who struggled last season, and newcomers in Leeds, West Brom and Fulham all thinking about their chances. 

Ultimately, the first thing those teams will be thinking about is survival. This is something many people talk about, and for years the number of points said to ensure survival has been 40. But is that still the case? 

Stats from the past few years would suggest it is no longer the right number to be using. While clubs will simply say they want as many points as possible on the board, what is the actual target they should be aiming for? 

Who Should Be Worried? 

Aston Villa, West Ham and Brighton all pulled themselves clear of the relegation zone after the restart and although they will want to avoid being so close again, it certainly could happen. 

West Ham have a little more quality than what we usually see towards the bottom of the table, if any of these three moves clear it is likely to be them. 

A little higher up, Crystal Palace and Newcastle didn’t fare too great themselves and although they were comfortable last season, this season they may not be. 

Up in the top half of the table, Sheffield United and Burnley both overachieved last season and they are expected to finish a little lower this time around. Will they drop enough to get involved in the relegation zone, or will they keep clear? The latter is probably the most likely scenario. 

Then we have the three teams who have been promoted from the Championship. West Brom and Fulham have recent Premier League experience while Leeds have been craving a return to the top flight for some time. 

All three will be worried, but the bigger picture shows us that many teams could find themselves involved in the relegation zone rather than challenging  Liverpool for honours. 

What do Recent Stats Tell Us? 

Now onto stats, and what has happened in recent years. 

Over the past six seasons, here is the number of points a team has needed to stay in the Premier League. Had they got this amount, they would have finished 17th. 

36 – 2014/15 

38 – 2015/16 

35 – 2016/17 

34 – 2017/18 

35 – 2018/19 

35 – 2019/20 

For the past four seasons, 35 points would have given a team 17th position and helped them retain their Premier League status. Over four seasons, 40 points would be a total of 160, with 35, teams only needed 140, a 20-point swing. 

38 games are played by each team in the Premier League. Nine wins (a win ratio of less than 25%) and eight draws would be enough for survival. That would leave a team losing 21 games during the season and still surviving, the requirements for staying in the Premier League are far lower than many expect them to be. 

Is Getting 40 Points Relevant Anymore? 

Based on everything above, the answer is no, teams no longer need 40 points and shouldn’t put themselves under pressure to reach that figure. 

If you are a fan of someone towards the bottom, focus on the fact that a team could have lost 21 games during the season, won single figure matches and still survived. 

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Watching the key games is something we all want to do, and football has never been more accessible than it is now. Although not needing 40 points, you do still want to see your team accumulate as many points as possible. has streaming information available so fans can pick out the key games they want to watch. 

The new season is nearly upon us, it seems that many clubs will potentially be in and around the relegation zone but if you are a fan of those, it may be time to lower the expectations of your team. 

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