How many points will Newcastle United need to stay up in the Premier League this season?

Magic number has always been 40 points but 35 should be enough for Magpies to survive based on the stats since the turn of the century.

We are always told that 40 points is the magic number when it comes to Premier League survival. But try telling that to West Ham supporters who saw their side relegated with 42 points at the end of the 2002/03 season.

Irons fans can feel even more hard done by when they look over the relegation stats for the remainder of this century, for only once has a team needed to get to 40 points to guarantee their survival - in 2010/11 when Birmingham and Blackpool were both relegated with 39.

West Ham fans dejected relegation May03

To further ramp up the feelings of injustice, in 2004/05, West Brom survived with just 34.

So, with the Premier League's bottom four already cut adrift and picking up less than a point a game, might the survival target be much lower this season?

Planet Sport crunches the numbers to see how many points you really need to survive.

Staying up on 36 points

Since the turn of the century, the average number of points needed to guarantee survival without having to rely on goal difference is 35.64.

Finishing on 36 points would still have got you relegated in eight of the last 22 seasons, however, with Fulham surviving at the expense of Reading on goal difference in 2008 after both finished on 36.

So while 36 points give you an above average chance of surviving, it is certainly not a magic number.

West Ham relegated May03

But given 40 is still talked of as the magical number despite West Ham's relegation with 42 points, then there is obviously some leeway to discount seasons which don't fit in with the overall pattern.

For instance, you would have been safe on 35 points last season, with Fulham, the highest of the relegated teams, finishing on just 29.

That, like the West Ham season, was something of an anomaly. And if you knock off the two highest (43, 40) and two lowest points totals (29, 31) over the 22 years you are left with a much clearer picture. Of the remaining 18 seasons, the points needed to guarantee survival are in a relatively small range between 34 and 39.

Staying up on 35 points

Bryan Robson West Brom stay up May05

Delving into the deepest corners of my GCSE maths, the median average for the points needed is 35. This number is also the mode average, with 35 the minimum number of points needed to survive in six of the 22 seasons (and proving enough to stay up in 13 campaigns).

Basically, it means that if you reach 35 points, you are more likely than not to stay up.

That has to be the minimum aim of the bottom four this term and it will still require a significant improvement in the second half of the campaign to achieve it. Newcastle, for instance, would need 23 points from their next 18 games having taken only 12 from their first 20.

But while 35 points has to be the target, an extra win would make a huge difference, with only three teams having been relegated on 38 points (and even then, Sheffield United only went down on goal difference).

It may not be quite as magical as 40 points but should Newcastle, Norwich, Watford or Burnley achieve 38 points this season, their fans won't see it that way.

READ MORE: Newcastle’s start under Eddie Howe is the worst by a Magpies boss this century

Latest news