Wolves relegation battle: How many points do Paul Lambert's men need to survive?

The 2-1 defeat at Reading, Wolves' fifth straight league defeat, leaves Paul Lambert's men just one point above the relegation zone with 13 games remaining.

Wolves relegation battle: How many points do Paul Lambert's men need to survive?

But how many points do Wolves need to stay in the Championship? Nathan Judah takes a look at the last five years of statistics and the key fixtures that could determine their ultimate fate this season.

History is encouraging

Championship relegation (pts)

2015/16 - Charlton (40), MK Dons (39) , Bolton (30)

2014/15 - Millwall (41), Wigan (39), Blackburn (26)

2013/14 - Doncaster (44), Barnsley (39), Yeovil (37)

2012/13 - Peterborough (54), Wolves (51), Bristol City (41)

2011/12 - Portsmouth (40), Coventry (40), Doncaster (34)

Scouring over the last few seasons, it looks promising for Wolves' survival chances if we take recent history at face value.

Wolves currently have 35 points from their 33 games played. Last season, 41 points would have been enough to survive.

If that was the same case this season, Paul Lambert's men would only need six more points at an average of 0.45 pts per game moving forward.

However with the bottom clubs fairing better than previous years gone by, 41 points may not be enough this time around.

And Wolves know all too well about the 2012/13 season, the disastrous year of misery that saw a Wolves managerial combination of Stale Solbakken and Dean Saunders relegated to League One.

Barnsley survived that season with a five-year high of 55 points.

That would require another 20 points from the final 13 games at an average of 1.54 points per game - a significantly more difficult task.

If we take the average points safety total over the last five seasons, it seems 46 points would be likeliest magic number.

Wolves would need 11 points from the rest of their games at a rate of 0.84 points per game.

Key fixtures

It's first important to note that Wolves do have two games in hand over all the current bottom three teams, Bristol City, Wigan and Rotherham.

However if recent form is to go by, we can't put too much stock into Wolves picking up a plethora of points.

They have just completed their worst ever February in the club's 140-year history and followed that up with a 2-1 defeat at Reading to open March.

Ipswich (a) March 7

Why? Basically because it's next. Wolves are in a shocking slide that must be put right immediately.

Six straight defeats (including Chelsea) have seen Wolves' faint hopes of playoff football become an almost embarrassing afterthought.

Former boss Mick McCarthy will make it another difficult night for Paul Lambert, the Tractor Boys only having lost once at home since Boxing Day.

Rotherham (h) March 11

If there's ever a game that is must win, it's against a team that is currently rock bottom of the Championship, an 14 points adrift of 23rd-placed Wigan.

Defeat at Ipswich followed by a slip up at home against a team who have managed just one solitary point on their travels this season would spell huge trouble for the club and the manager.

Wolves came from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw at the New York stadium on the opening day of the season.

Bristol City (a) April 8

Paul Lambert will be keen to complete the double over Lee Johnson's strugglers.

City look the main threat to Wolves' survival status at the present moment, lying just one point behind the Molineux men with a slightly inferior goal difference.

This game has all the makings of the perennial six-pointer.

Blackburn (h) April 22

It seems a long time ago that Wolves came from behind to grab a late 1-1 draw thanks to Dave Edwards under interim boss Rob Edwards.

And Paul Lambert's former club are now one of the form teams in the bottom half of the table.

They leapfrogged Wolves thanks to their 1-0 win over Wigan Atheltic at the weekend, but face a difficult set of fixtures including Norwich, Fulham, Brighton and Reading in their next five.

Conclusion

For Wolves to even be in this position is a predicament that very few would have predicted at the start of the season after winning four and drawing two of their opening six matches.

Bristol City currently have 34 points from their 35 games played at a rate of 0.97 points per game.

If they continue at this rate, they are predicted to pick up another 10.7 points in their remaining 11 games.

Rounding that up to 11pts, that will give City 45 points to finish the season.

Compare that with the five-year data analysed above, it becomes clear what the golden target could be for Paul Lambert's men.

Magic number for Wolves survival - 46

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