Where Bristol City are predicted to finish this season with Fulham and Bournemouth tipped for success

Robins have had an up-and-down season so far and are expected to finish in the bottom half of the table.
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The good news is that Bristol City are expected to finish outside of the relegation zone this season.

The bad news is that Bristol City are expected to finish just outside of the relegation zone this season.

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According to the data scientists at the highly regarded US FiveThirtyEight.com website, the West Country outfit are predicted to finish in 19th position in the league come May.

That would match the 20/21 season just gone, after head coach Dean Holden was replaced by experienced manager Nigel Pearson last February.

Although there would be no progress on the year before, it would come against the backdrop of a fairly dismal financial background and big turnaround of the squad.

Of course, the positives would be the playing time afforded for several young Robins coming through from the academy. As long as the club can keep hold of them, all is well. They will get better and so will Bristol City at the same time.

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On the flip side, it cannot be ignored that Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City, Luton Town and QPR have all overtaken City in the league pyramid in recent years, after the West Country men danced with making the top six a few years previously themselves.

The FiveThirtyEight website uses three main statistics to look at individual games and results. The site says that football is a low scoring sport and therefore ‘the sport will sometimes lead to prolonged periods of luck, where a team may be getting good results despite playing poorly (or vice versa).’

‘To mitigate this randomness, and better estimate each team’s underlying quality of play, we use three metrics to evaluate a team’s performance after each match : adjusted goals, shot-based expected goals and non-shot expected goals.’

There was concern over what Nigel Pearson’s plan was There was concern over what Nigel Pearson’s plan was
There was concern over what Nigel Pearson’s plan was

The site runs a ‘Monte Carlo’ simulation to predict how the league will play out 20,000 times, then takes the average of that.

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Their analysis is good news for Fulham and Bournemouth, who are both tipped to take the two automatic promotion places in the league.

The top six will be made up of Sheffield United, Blackburn, QPR and Middlesbrough, they say.

It’s bad news for Barnsley, Derby County and Peterborough, who are the three predicted to head to League One for next season.

Bristol City play Reading and Swansea City this week as Nigel Pearson’s team look to get back to winning ways in the English second tier.

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