What are the chances of Stoke City staying in the Championship?
Not the odds, the mathematical probability? Well, according to the xG experts at InfoGol, it is 85 per cent – and that could take a shot in the arm or a punch in the guts this weekend.
It is a fascinating objective analysis, including a look at what could happen if Derby County and/or Sheffield Wednesday receive points deductions.
Mark Taylor, the Stoke fan at InfoGol who helped to pioneer xG, said: “Saturday is massive, with games running out actual results against relegation rivals cause really big swings in final season placings. Stoke could be as low as five per cent for the drop with a win or as high as 23 per cent with a loss.
“It takes around four seasons’ worth of games for talent to shine through – in other words, for better teams to finish above less talented ones.
“Stoke are better than the teams below, but 10 games… it is going to be riddled with randomness.”
Could it come down to yellow cards?
Not just points, goal difference or goals scored or clubs’ record against each other – all of which, for example, are exceedingly close between Stoke and Charlton.
So yes, it could come down to the number of away goals or disciplinary record or a play-off.
If you thought it was dramatic enough, you might want to sit down before you read this one.
Will Stoke City stay up this season?
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March 4, 1972: Stoke 2, Chelsea 1
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