What’s still possible: 22 April 2018
Here’s the weekly update of what’s still mathematically possible – and likely – this season. The way the graphics work is pretty straightforward – I just took the version I created a few years ago, which have a bar stretching between each club’s highest and lowest possible finishes, and nested a minimalist chart of my latest model predictions inside each bar. The latter was based on this rather neat visualisation I saw a few weeks ago.
If you want to check any of my calculations then there’s a really useful site – hasithappened.net – which automatically does something similar and there’s also a handy tool for each division that you can use to manually check what’s possible.
There are already some gaps too big to traverse: three teams are fighting it out for the second automatic promotion berth while the lower two play-off places are being fought over by everyone between fifth-placed Middlesbrough and Sheffield United in 11th. While Sunderland are already down, plenty can happen between the five clubs immediately above them: three of whom can still finish bottom of the pile.
While the probabilities are narrowing rapidly at the top, there’s still loads that can happen elsewhere. Over half of the teams in the division – everyone from 12th-placed Bristol Rovers on down – can still technically be relegated. Despite their awful form of late, Bradford‘s games in hand means that they can still make the play-offs.
Mansfield are the only club currently sitting outside the top seven who can finish within it, while everyone above them is still mathematically capable of securing automatic promotion. At the bottom, nobody is guaranteed to be relegated yet – even if it looks a near-certainty for Chesterfield – and six clubs are still not safe.