A draw at Cardiff ended Albion’s run of away defeats, but Corberán’s team will be frustrated that they were unable to take all three points having looked comfortable for much of the game. It leaves Albion five points off sixth place with nine games remaining.
The average points tally required to secure a top six place since the turn of the century is 74 points – it has been as high as 81 (in 2003) and as low as 68 (in 2013). The Baggies would need 19 points from their last nine, six wins and a draw, to hit 74 points – a good run of form, certainly, but by no means impossible. Furthermore, if they beat their rivals, that can only increase their chances.
Since 2000, Albion have twice picked up 19 points from their last nine, in 2008 and 2010, while their record haul from the last nine is 23 points in 2002 under Gary Megson when home draws with Watford and Rotherham United the only blemishes in that spectacular run-in. Let’s also not forget that the Baggies picked up 21 points from Corberán’s first nine games in charge.
Looking back through past years, average points per game for teams in the top six is often not that high in the run in as the nerves kick in and there have been a number of occasions when sides have come up on the rails with a good run of results at the right time. Crystal Palace did it twice – in 2004 when they took 22 points from the last nine games to rise from 10th to 6th, and in 2008 when 18 points over the last nine took them from 10th to 5th. That season, Watford picked up just seven points in the same period but still finished 6th.
In 2010, Blackpool pipped Swansea City to 6th spot by picking up 20 points from their last nine while the following year it was Reading with 23 from ten lifting them from 11th to 5th with Leeds United dropping out of the top six. in 2014, Brighton needed only 16 points from their last ten to move up from 8th to 6th dislodging Reading from the play-off spots.
In 2020, most Championship teams had seven games left when football restarted following the break for the pandemic. While Albion stuttered and picked up just 13 points from those games, Brentford almost caught them as they collected 21 points. The two teams from south Wales were on top form as Cardiff City picked up 19 points to move from 9th to 5th while Swansea City lifted themselves from 11th to 6th with 17 points – Nottingham Forest and Preston North End were the teams to miss out. Last season, it was the Blades who collected 17 points from their last nine to rise from 9th to 5th ousting QPR, who had been in the top six with nine to go but picked up just seven more points and ended up finishing below Albion!
It doesn’t always work, of course. In 2015, Wolves earned 19 points from their last seven games to reach 78 points, but missed out on the top six on goal difference!
|* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.|
|1988/1989||27/03/1989||Oldham Athletic (H)||W||3-1||West, Bartlett, Anderson (pen)|
|1989/1990||24/03/1990||Stoke City (H)||D||1-1||Ford|
|1990/1991||30/03/1991||Charlton Athletic (A)||L||0-2|
|1993/1994||26/03/1994||Derby County (H)||L||1-2||Donovan|
|1994/1995||19/03/1995||Swindon Town (H)||L||2-5||Hunt, Rees|
|1996/1997||08/03/1997||Oxford United (A)||L||0-1|
|1997/1998||07/03/1998||Bradford City (H)||D||1-1||Burgess|
|1998/1999||13/03/1999||Birmingham City (A)||L||0-4|
|1999/2000||18/03/2000||Huddersfield Town (H)||L||0-1|
|2000/2001||10/03/2001||Sheffield Wednesday (H)||L||1-2||Hughes|
|2003/2004||16/03/2004||Wigan Athletic (H)||W||2-1||Hughes (pen), Gaardsøe|
|2006/2007||11/03/2007||Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)||L||0-1|
|2007/2008||15/03/2008||Leicester City (H)||L||1-4||Koren|
|2009/2010||16/03/2010||Swansea City (A)||W||2-0||Dorrans (pen), Miller|
|2018/2019||13/03/2019||Swansea City (H)||W||3-0||Brunt, Holgate, Rodriguez|
|2019/2020||07/03/2020||Swansea City (A)||D||0-0|
|2022/2023||15/03/2023||Cardiff City (A)||D||1-1||Dike|
|1989/1990||31/03/1990||Hull City (A)||W||2-0||Goodman, Hackett|
|1990/1991||01/04/1991||Swindon Town (H)||W||2-1||Parkin, Roberts (pen)|
|1993/1994||30/03/1994||Charlton Athletic (H)||W||2-0||Donovan, Hunt|
|1994/1995||22/03/1995||Millwall (H)||W||3-0||Hunt (3, 1 pen)|
|1995/1996||30/03/1996||Portsmouth (A)||W||2-0||Sneekes (2)|
|1996/1997||16/03/1997||Birmingham City (H)||W||2-0||Sneekes, Hamilton|
|1997/1998||14/03/1998||Norwich City (A)||D||1-1||Hughes|
|1998/1999||20/03/1999||Ipswich Town (H)||L||0-1|
|2000/2001||18/03/2001||Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)||L||1-3||Clement|
|2003/2004||27/03/2004||Crystal Palace (H)||W||2-0||Moore, Dyer|
|2006/2007||14/03/2007||Crystal Palace (H)||L||2-3||Clement, Phillips|
|2007/2008||21/03/2008||Charlton Athletic (A)||D||1-1||Phillips|
|2009/2010||20/03/2010||Preston North End (H)||W||3-2||Watson, Brunt, Dorrans|
|2019/2020||20/06/2020||Birmingham City (H)||D||0-0|
|2021/2022||19/03/2022||Bristol City (A)||D||2-2||Grant (pen), Reach|
If you cannot see the tables, click here.