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The points total Bolton Wanderers should need to seal promotion or play-offs

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

After some welcome results in midweek, Wanderers fans have been scanning the club’s fixtures to predict just how many points Ian Evatt’s men may need to secure promotion.

One supporter has gone one better and looked back at statistics from the last 20 complete seasons in League Two to work out the probability of promotion according to each points total.

Wanderers currently have 57 points from their first 35 games and have another 33 to play for, starting with this weekend’s meeting with Walsall at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The Whites’ last 11 outings have yielded an incredible 29 points, which if replicated over the final 11 would leave them with 86 points – which would equate to a 90 per cent chance to finish in the top three based on results over the last two decades at this level.

As Phil Bailey pointed out, however, the fairly even spread of teams in the top 10 at present means that the total amount of points needed to secure an automatic promotion spot looks likely to be on the low side this season.

He said: “Based on historical data, for Bolton to have a 95 per cent probability of finishing in the play-offs would require 18 points in the final 11 games, and for a 95 per cent probability of finishing in an automatic promotion spot they would require a further 30 points.

“Alternatively, using the current points-per-game of the teams in League Two this season, if they maintain the same points-per-game to the end of the season, then the seventh team in the final play-off position would finish with 74 points – in close agreement with historical results – and the third place team would have 79 points – at the lower end of the historical range.

“To surpass these teams Bolton would therefore require a further 18 points to make the play-offs and 23 points for automatic promotion, using this assumption.

“This season League Two has no runaway group of teams, so for Bolton to make the last automatic promotion place 81 points may be a sufficient target, while the play-offs look likely to require a final tally of 75 points. “Either way, three points on Saturday would go a long way towards promotion.”

Ian Evatt is unlikely to want his players to play a guessing game with points, underlining in his press conference yesterday that his players must not lose focus on next opponents Walsall.

“I just think we have to keep concentrated, keep focussed, keep our work ethic high, keep our confidence and belief high and go into every game like it is a cup final,” he said. “It’s an old cliche but it’s the truth.”

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