The points total that City, Blades and Villa must target for Premier League survival
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Hopes that Norwich City will stay clear of the Premier League relegation scrap this season are high among supporters. The slightly dispiriting reality is that 17th place is all that matters though.
With the Canaries' self-funding model bringing an unexpected Championship title triumph, sporting director Stuart Webber has already warned that the budget he has to work with will be one of the lowest in the top flight.
The hungry talent within the City squad and the progressive style of player under Daniel Farke provide hope that the finely-tuned system, mixed with promotion momentum, will mitigate that financial disparity though.
With one season in the Premier League worth in the region of £170m even if a club is relegated, surviving just one campaign would bring a fresh complexion to the Canaries' financial future - and 36 is the magic number Farke's squad can target.
That is the average amount of points required to finish above the bottom three in the past 10 seasons, although the average of points actually achieved by the teams finishing 17th is slightly higher, at 38 points.
All of which means the traditional belief that 40 points will be enough to avoid the drop still rings true, with the most points achieved by a relegated team in the past decade being 39 - which both Birmingham and Blackpool went down with in 2010-11.
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That lurched from a low total in 2009-10, when Burnley and Hull filled the final two relegation spots on just 30 points, with West Ham surviving on a paltry 35.
Norwich have spent five of the past 15 seasons in the Premier League, with three concluding in dropping back down to the second tier.
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In 2005 they finished on 33 points and in 19th place under Nigel Worthington, just one short of survival after a disastrous final day which City fans will need little reminding of, due to a horrific 6-0 defeat at Fulham.
Paul Lambert's team of 2011-12 managed an impressive 12th on 47 points and the following season Chris Hughton's team actually finished a place higher, despite managing three points fewer, finishing on 44 thanks to a 3-2 win at Manchester City on the final day.
The next campaign did end in relegation though, with Hughton dismissed with five games to play, finishing on 33 points in 18th place under Neil Adams, three adrift of survival.
Then three years ago, 34 points proved not to be enough as Alex Neil's squad finished in 19th after a terrible second half of the season, ending up five points adrift of 17th place.
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For the more ambitious among the Canaries support, the average for those finishing comfortably in mid-table in 10th place has been 48 points in the past 10 seasons.
Or for those really enthused by the success of Farke's team, fourth place and Champions League qualification has been achieved by an average of 72 points.
And for the title? An average of 89, just so the dreamers out there know what's needed - Leicester did manage it as recently as 2016 after all, with 81 points.
As previously featured, eight of the past 10 Championship title winners have gone on to secure survival the following season, with big-spending Wolves taking that to new heights in 2018-19 when Nuno Espirito Santo's team finished seventh to qualify for the Europa League.
That was despite taking 16 points from a possible 42 in their opening 14 matches, eventually racking up 57 points to finish seventh - proving that a sluggish start isn't necessarily a big problem.
So while 36 points provides a marker for the promoted clubs on the minimum usual requirement for survival, the race to 40 points remains the focus for those looking to avoid a chaotic conclusion.
- POINTS FOR 17TH PLACE
2018-19 Brighton - 36 points (+2 cushion)
2017-18 Southampton - 36 (+3)
2016-17 Watford - 40 (+6)
2015-16 Sunderland - 39 (+2)
2014-15 Aston Villa - 38 (+3)
2013-14 West Brom - 36 (+3)
2012-13 Sunderland - 39 (+3)
2011-12 QPR - 37 (+1)
2010-11 Wolves - 40 (+1)
2009-10 West Ham - 35 (+5)
AVERAGE: 38 points for 17th