The Championship drop zone - how many points are needed for safety

As the Championship edges towards a conclusion, how many points will teams need to stay up?

As the Championship enters its final stages, teams in the lower reaches will be looking at the table nervously trying to work out how many points they will need to stay out of the bottom three and avoid relegation to League One.

As it stands, Millwall occupy 22nd place with 31 points, six points from safety, with Wigan and Blackpool some distance further back.

Last season saw Birmingham City stay up thanks to a Paul Caddis equaliser deep into injury time at Bolton Wanderers, sending Doncaster Rovers down on goal difference with both teams on 44 points.

Over the last 10 years, the average points total for 22nd place has been 45.9, with the average for 21st being 49.7 - giving some credence to the notion that 50 points will keep a team up. Only twice in the last 10 years has that not been the case - Peterborough United going down in 2013 with a massive 54 points while Gillingham were relegated in 2005 on goal difference with 50.

If these numbers are accurate, that would suggest Millwall would need to pick up a massive six wins from their remaining 11 games - a tough ask when they have only won seven from their previous 35.

Wigan, trailing behind on 28 points and Blackpool even further back on 22, must be well aware that they are almost certainly relegated barring a comeback from the dead Lazarus would be proud of.

It may turn out that far fewer points are needed; Birmingham City stayed up last year with the lowest total in 10 years on 44 points, although that total would have kept a team up in five of the last 10 seasons.

No doubt all the managers of the clubs in the bottom half of the table will be keeping their fingers crossed until it becomes a mathematical impossibility that their club can be relegated.

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