How many points will Brentford get come the end of the season? And will that be enough to get them promoted? For a bit of fun, we asked Bees fans in a very unscientific poll their thoughts on how Brentford will do in their final 11 games. Plus we got them to also predict their final top six table. Needless to say, we discussed the results in this week’s podcast (below). 

With just 11 games to go, we can officially say that we have entered the business end of the season. When Brentford were on that twenty game plus unbeaten run, things were looking mighty rosy for the Bees gunning for that automatic promotion spot. But a rocky patch has put the skids on Brentford’s aims for automatic promotion. On the pre-Derby podcast (below) we analysed the possible reasons for the dip in form.

The poor state of pitches was cited as one reason. Yes all teams have to play on the same winter ploughed fields. But some teams’ style of football is more reliant on playing on a ‘carpet’ that others – Brentford being one of them. And without taking anything away from Coventry who played excellent in their win against us, the state of the St Andrews pitch when we played them certainly didn’t help us – hence the change in tactics for the Blackburn match.

Injuries are of course another reason. Yes once again every team gets them. And yes it depends on how well you are able to ride them out. But key players Pontus Jansson and Christian Nørgaard being missing for a large chunk of the season has cost us dear.

Add adding Rico Henry and Josh DaSilva’s injuries to that list, and that’s a huge chunk of talent missing from the team. So it is interesting to see how we have adapted without them.

Saying that, we still have the highest Brentford points total at this stage of the season in the Championship ever. And we also have the league’s top scorer in Ivan Toney. So it’s not all that bad.

Christian Nørgaard of Brentford.  Blackburn Rovers v Brentford. Ewood Park. Picture by Mark D Fuller/Focus Images Ltd. 12/03/2021

After the Blackburn victory, I decided to do a wee exercise. I asked a few of the Beesotted crew to predict the results (not the score) of Brentford’s final eleven matches. What they came back with was really interesting. So I decided to roll the question out to a few more folk. And before you knew it, we had got ourselves an unscientific poll.

The question I asked:

With Brentford currently on 66 points with 11 games to go, how many points do you think Brentford will achieve between now and the end of the season?

And how many points did they need to go up?

Historical Points Totals and Analysts’ Predictions

Looking historically, in the last six Championship seasons, the results were as below:

⚽️ 2019/20 – Leeds 1st – 93 points. WBA 2nd – 83 points. Brentford 3rd – 81 points

⚽️ 2018/19 – Norwich 1st – 94 points. Sheffield Utd 2nd – 89 points. Leeds 3rd – 83 points

⚽️ 2017/18 – Wolves 1st – 99 points. Cardiff 2nd – 90 points. Fulham 3rd – 88 points. Villa 4th – 83 points

⚽️ 2016/17 – Newcastle 1st – 94 points. Brighton 2nd  – 93 points. Reading 3rd –  85 points

⚽️ 2015/16 – Burnley 1st – 93 points  Boro 2nd – 89 points  Brighton 3rd – 89 points Hull 4th – 83 points

⚽️ 2014/15 – Muff 1st – 90 points Watford 2nd – 89 points Norwich 3rd – 86 points Boro 4th – 85 points Brentford 5th – 78 points Ipswich 6th – 78 points

The points average for second spot over the past six season was 89 points. However, last season may have skewed that average with West Brom’s relatively low end of season points total.

Last season was the ‘easiest’ season in recent to get automatic promotion from the Championship with WBA achieving 2nd spot with 83 points.

The season Wolves and Newcastle won the league were relatively high-scoring seasons with second place Cardiff getting 90 points and in the previous season, Brighton getting 93 points.

The season we got to the playoff final, Watford finished second on 89 points. As did Sheffield United two seasons ago.

So I thought a slightly more accurate way to look at it would be the points average you would have needed to achieve 2nd spot over the last six seasons (so the least amount of points you would have to have had to achieve 2nd place). So last year, 82 points would have got you second place. Whereas in the 2016/17 season 86 points would have got you second.

If we do it this very unscientific, but reasonably sensible, way the minimum average points needed to get 2nd place was 86 points over the last six years.

Currently Five Thirty Eight has the following predictions:

 

Five Thirty Eight Championship Predictions – March 14th 2021

  1. Norwich – 96 points
  2. Watford – 86 points
  3. Brentford – 86 points
  4. Swansea – 85 points
  5. Barnsley – 77 points
  6. Reading – 75 points
  7. Muff – 71 points
  8. Cardiff – 70 points

So according to Five Thirty Eight, 86 points should get currently you 2nd place this season (at this moment. That can of course change as the season goes on).

So with me putting my very un-statistical head one … I would say looking at minimum average points needed over the past six years (86 points) and also what the analysts are saying (86 points),  88 points this season should 90% chance get you 2nd place and possibly even 87 points could do the same.

So a team with 89 points – looking back on past seasons and what the analysts are saying – is pretty much nailed on for 2nd place finish this season.

I have to throw a caveat into the middle at this stage. Of course, this does not account for a team suddenly throwing the form book out of the window and going on a storming run between now at the end of the season (like Barnsley for example or more worryingly Watford). If they do, then you have to tip your hat to them.

But as we know, that is fairly rare and very difficult to do. But not impossible.

Fans’ Predictions

So coming back to the fans’ predictions. And we talked about this at length on the pre Derby podcast (link above).

First of all. I would say to anyone out there fretting over whether or not we will make 2nd place this season, please take time out do these predictions. If anything it is very cathartic.

One thing that becomes blatantly obvious when you do this is the fact that Brentford don’t have to win ALL the remaining games to still be in with a shout. Even though it seems that way at the moment.

Brentford can’t control what Swansea do. Or what Watford do (other than when we play them). Or what Barnsley do. But what they can do is control what they do. And it is so much easier if we just focus on ourselves.

We just need to get yourselves over the line.

So let have a look at what people predicted.

 

Final Brentford predicted Championship points tally after fans predicted Bees’ results to the end of the season

95 points – 2% – , 92 points – 5.5% , 91 points – 13%, 90 points – 11%,  89 points – 18%, 88 points – 14.5% , 87 points – 16%, 86 points 13% – , 85 points – 5.5%, 83 points – 2% 

If you take 86 points being the borderline off not reaching the playoffs, around 20% of Bees fans polled thought making the playoffs would be touch and go

Then around 30% of Bees fans thought we would be heading for a nail biting end to the season with a slightly above borderline 87 or 88 points.

18% of Bees fans polled predicted the magic 89 points – the average amount of points the 2nd place team has achieved over the last six seasons.

And over 30% of Bees fans polled were super optimistic about our end to the season – predicting 90 points or more.

Match by Match

Drilling down on a few individual match results:

Over 70% were expecting a win against Derby with no fans expecting us to lose

Fans predictions – Brentford v Derby, Mar 2021

Even more – over 90% – were expecting a win against Forest.

Whereas nearly 50% were expecting us to draw to Huddersfield.

The Preston away match must have brought back bad memories of Deepdale with over 50% expecting a draw and only 25% expecting a win

Fans predictions – PNE v Brentford, Apr 2021

Cardiff even more so with over 60% looking at a draw and 20% expecting to lose

But the interesting matches are the key top of the table clashes.

Bournemouth are the team that Bees fans are the least confident out of the eleven of getting points out of – with over 45% predicting a draw and over 35% predicting a Brentford loss.

Whereas Watford at home, nearly 75% predicted a draw and only just over 15% predicted a win.

Fans predictions – Brentford v Watford, May 2021

Saying that, over 75% were predicting a happy end of the season with a win against Bristol City.

Final Table Predictions

When asked to predict their end of season top six:

  • 100% had Norwich to come 1st
  • Over 70% had Brentford 2nd with just under 20% Watford 2nd and under 10% Swansea 3rd
  • 25% had Brentford 3rd with 50% Watford and just over 20% Swansea
  • 16% had Barnsley finish 4th. 45% predicted Swansea and just over 20% on Watford. 2% had Brentford at 4th which was slightly less than Bournemouth at 9% and Cardiff at 4%
  • 40% were expecting Barnsley to finish 5th with Reading – 25%. Swansea – 16%. With Muff Cardiff and Watford each just over 5%
  • Just under 40% were expecting Reading to finish 6th followed by Barnsley (22%), Cardiff (15%), Muff (12%), Swansea (9%) and Boro slipped in with 4% predicting they make a late entrance into the playoff race

So to sum up

Even though this season is looking like a nailbiter, things are not nearly as bad as it seems. Brentford have a number of matches coming up where they need to pick up a certain amount of points. If they can do that and stay in the race until the last four games of the season or so, then they will be in a very good place.

Saying that, Barnsley may go on an unbeaten run until the end of the season. Swansea may continue to get results that enables them to nick games despite the stats saying it can’t continue. Watford may move up a couple of gears and blow everyone away. Who knows? We can’t control that.

But if none of that happens and things continue as they are. And if the stats people are correct with their ’86 points for promotion’, over 80% of Bees fans polled will be spot on come May – predicting a points total of 86 or more.

However, with Watford looking fairly lively in the run-in to the season, something inside me tells me it’s going to take The Bees a little more to get over the line with 88 or 89 points being a safer amount for them to aim for just to make sure.

But hey what do I know?

We shall see come 5pm on May 8th

But you can bet your bottom dollar we will be discussing these predictions every week on the podcast.

Billy Grant