THE numbers are currently not adding up for Saints as they tread the relegation tightrope.

In the 22 campaigns since the Premier League adopted the 38-game season, an average of 38.5 points has been enough to finish 17th, the first survival position.

Currently, Mauricio Pellegrino’s strugglers are averaging just under one point per game.

That means, if the pattern of their campaign continues, Saints will record, give or take, nine more points from their remaining nine games and finish on a total of 37 points, which has often not been enough to avoid dropping into the Championship.

Of course, that’s simply what the numbers indicate and it’s difficult to truly draw conclusions from this considering every season is unique.

In 2013/14, for example, 38 points was enough for a 14th place finish, but in 2002/03 West Ham finished with 42 points and still went down – the highest total of any relegated club in the 38-game seasons.

On only seven occasions has Saints’ predicted 37-point total been enough to finish in the first survival position, while the lowest-ever tally for a 17th-placed team is 34 (West Brom in 2004/05).

Survival in the Premier League is by no means an exact science, except, that old cliché that the ‘magic’ 40 points mark is enough to stay up holds plenty of water.

Bolton in 1997/98 (40), Sunderland in 1996/97 (40), and the Hammers in 2002/03 are the only three clubs in 22 seasons to be relegated with 40 points or more.

Realistically, though, Saints are not going to reach the 40-mark unless there’s a notable turnaround in the direction their season has taken.

Considering their persistent failure to find any kind of momentum, a run of victories seems unlikely at this stage.

Saints join Stoke and West Ham as the only remaining teams in the Premier League not to win two consecutive league games this term.

Having lost just twice in their last nine top-flight matches, Saints are in some of the best form they’ve been in throughout this campaign.

In the form table they sit 10th, having collected seven points from their last six matches.

In most circumstances this would be enough to see a team bob along in midtable, but Saints are trying to make up for lost time, after missing a huge opportunity to build a base of points during an early favourable fixture list.

Saints played seven home games in their opening 11 fixtures and played only one big team, Manchester United, in that run.

Yet, with 13 points collected in that spell, they picked up one in win in their following 14 matches.

Now, they need a similar run to Swansea, Bournemouth and Brighton to start to secure their safety.

Carlos Carvalhal, a man heavily linked with the job at St Mary’s after Claude Puel’s exit last summer, has worked miracles at the Swans.

The Welsh side have taken 17 points from Carvalhal’s nine games at the helm, lifting them to 13th in the table, having been bottom after 20 games.

Brighton are sixth in the form table, collecting 11 points from their last six, while Bournemouth have nine points in the same run.

While still not out the woods in a congested relegation scrap, all the above three clubs are piecing together enough to stay up, although Swansea are still right in the dogfight.

There is starting to be a gap in the bottom half, with Bournemouth now six points clear of the drop in 12th place.

On 34 points, Eddie Howe’s side need six points from nine matches to reach the magic 40-point mark, so you can begin to discount them from the relegation dogfight.

That means, everyone below the Cherries is still well in the mix, apart from West Brom, who are eight points adrift of safety at the bottom. So that’s seven clubs all in danger.

Saints need a run of wins, but it’s not since April last year that they have achieved such a feat. Since then 37 Premier League games have passed without the club recording successive wins.

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