Fulham's Path to Promotion - 12 Matches to Go

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by MicahMan, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Mar 4, 2014
    Fulham Doing All the Right Things, But Automatic Promotion Still Unlikely

    Fulham is halfway through their stretch of 6 matches against competition in the top 8 positions. The team has done well getting 7 points out of a possible 9 so far. Unfortunately, due to Cardiff’s return to top form, our chances of automatic promotion remain unlikely.

    After losing all of their matches in the holiday season, Cardiff has gone on a run equal to Fulham’s with 6 wins and 2 draws in the past eight. So while Fulham’s run has allowed them to move up the table they have stayed even with Cardiff. In the past eight matches Fulham has gained 9 points on Derby, 10 points on Bristol City, but 0 on Cardiff.

    Cardiff and Fulham Moving Up In Tandem

    In just twelve matches Fulham needs to find three more wins than Cardiff. Cardiff does have a difficult schedule and will face four teams in the top six: Wolverhampton, Derby, Aston Villa, and Sheffield United - so there are realistic opportunities for Cardiff to lose points. Plus, Cardiff must face an in-form Brentford at Griffin Park this week. However, even if they get zero points from many of those matches, it would still require the Whites to have a nearly perfect finish for Fulham to reach the #2 spot.

    Is 88 Points Still the Magic Number for Automatic Promotion?
    As described in the last post on Fulham’s promotion scenarios, a team that gets 88 points is almost certainly assured of automatic promotion. Fulham would need to get 2.4 points per match over the last twelve games (a record of 9-2-1) to reach 88 points. That result is unlikely, but the sad news is that even if Fulham pulls that off, Cardiff will still probably have more points. For Cardiff to finish with 88 points they only need 1.75 points per match. That rate is well below their season average of 1.97 PPM and their PPM of 2.5 over the last eight matches. Cardiff would need to play some of their worst football of the season for Fulham to catch up.

    Is a Wolverhampton Implosion a More Likely Path to #2?
    It has been assumed for months that Wolverhampton would win the Championship, but now Cardiff City is only six points behind them and Wolverhampton is in their worst form of the season. If we take each team’s form over the past eight matches and use that to project results in the remaining matches, the end of season standings would look like this:


    First, there is no way the season will end like this. There have never been three teams that finished with over 90 points, so the current form can’t hold for everyone. I’m also not sure anyone thinks that Millwall is going to beat out the six teams above them to reach the playoffs. However, it does highlight Wolverhampton’s recent dip in form. If Wolverhampton doesn’t turn things around, they might end up being the team fighting for second place.

    Fulham in Good Shape for Playoffs, But Must Avoid Complacency
    The best part of Fulham thinking that they can reach the number two spot may be that it will help keep the team focused and staying in top form. Last season with 12 games to go, Fulham was eight points behind 5th place Leeds with a game in hand. There are currently three teams outside the playoffs within eight points of Fulham. Bristol City, Middlesbrough, and Preston would love to take advantage of any downturn in Fulham’s form - just like Fulham did to Leeds last year.
  2. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    I still feel good about our chances. Having said that, this is good solid analysis -- front page material!
    encorespanish and BarryWhite like this.
  3. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Newburgh, IN
  4. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    Dangerous to look too far ahead, especially in this league, but after PNE, who are 8th and 8 points behind us, we play only one team currently in the top 10. That would be Brentford...AT 10th, 12 points below us. Most of them occupy the middle of the second ten, for the most part safely above the relegation zone. The last two of the season are against two of the three currently IN the bottom three, Birmingham City and Sunderland. The Black Cats appear certain to go down. The Blues are two points from safety but have a whopping minus 31 goal difference, second only to Burton Albion's minus 36. By comparison, we're now plus 24, along with the others between us and Wolves. On paper, we should win every one of these matches. But we know better. This league is a crap shoot, something we've learned, painfully at times, since relegation. But...after our trip to Deepdale, there's no reason to believe we can't win enough points to get to 2nd. 9 games...
    MicahMan and encorespanish like this.
  5. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Mar 4, 2014
    I'll have more to say on this on Wednesday after all the teams are square at 37 matches following Tuesday's matchups, but I'm still pessimistic about our chances for automatic promotion. It will likely come down to the games around the Easter break - good time to be looking for a miracle eh?

    After Preston I think the toughest match we'll face will be Millwall at the Den. They've been very good at home all season and they've been in great form in 2018 having not lost since January 1.
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