Repeat results mean Sunderland will be relegated with QPR and Reading

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Although it is highly unlikely that every result over the remainder of the Premier League season will mirror the outcome of fixtures earlier in the campaign, this could offer a decent starting point to analysing the difficulty of the run-ins of clubs battling to avoid relegation.

Victories for Wigan, Aston Villa and Southampton in the latest round of fixtures has brought more teams into the relegation dog fight, with only seven points now separating Stoke in 11th spot from the bottom three.

Typically, 40 points is widely considered to guarantee safety, but many teams will feel that if they can make it to 37 points, then this should be enough to survive the drop.

And this would be the case if each team gained the same result in their final 8/9 fixtures as they did in the first round of fixtures with the remaining opposition.

QPR and Reading are already seven points from safety and it is no surprise that they may have difficulty stringing a run together to get out of the bottom three.

However, it is Sunderland that may join them, as matching their results from earlier in the campaign would only give them another five points in the run in – a victory at home to Southampton, alongside draws with Stoke and Newcastle.

Sunderland have only spent one week in the relegation places all season after defeat to Chelsea in early December, but their recent form has not been great.

They are without a win in seven and were arguably lucky to draw with Norwich in their last outing after three big handball decisions went in their favour, while the visitors had their goalkeeper sent off inside the opening 30 minutes.

With Manchester United and Chelsea up next, it is hard to see Sunderland taking anything from these based on current performances and the more they get sucked into the basement battle, the more the pressure will mount.

Sunderland look well overpriced at 4/1 to be relegated and their lack of a central midfielder with any guile or creativity could hurt them, alongside a distinct lack of service to Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham.

Final Premier League table if results from earlier in the season are repeated (clubs currently in bottom half)

Norwich 48
Stoke 42
Newcastle 41
West Ham 41
Aston Villa 38
Southampton 37
Wigan 37
Sunderland 36
Reading 29
Queens Park Rangers 29

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.