The Reds have to keep winning games of football, but if we can beat Reading, we think that the Three Little Birds’ lyrics will ring true at Oakwell.

 

On Saturday, the Reds suffered defeat at the hands of Sheffield Utd, leaving the Reds having to look at a chasm of 5 points between themselves and Reading, all whilst making a chance of survival that much more difficult. But there is still a possibility of survival, with Reading still to come to Oakwell after the International break. 

But that’s all it is. A chance. 

Thus, being the curious person I am, I thought I’d run the numbers, and see what the chances of the Reds’ survival are, whilst simultaneously running them against my gut feeling. But more on the latter later. 

So, the numbers. According to ‘Twenty First Group’ analytics, following the latest round of Championship fixtures, the Reds’ chances of survival are 30%. Okay it’s not a huge chance, but it is a chance. 

Believe it or not, (you probably will believe it to be fair), after the 2-1 defeat to Luton Town in early February, the chances of Barnsley surviving in England’s second tier were 8%. Data scientists reckoned that there was a 92% chance that we would have to suffer the indignity of standing on the roofless terraces at Gillingham and Accrington. But all jokes aside, the fact that in the space of 7 games Poya’s Tykes have increased their chances of survival by upwards of 22% is pretty good, and it gives us a real chance. The magnitude of April 2nd’s fixture against Reading cannot be understated and 3 points are a must. In terms of the entire picture, my gut tells me that it will go to the final day at Mowatt and Dike’s Baggies. But who knows. 

Onto the Royals though. We genuinely need to hope and pray that they don’t have a royal flush. For the non-poker players out there, that is where you have the best possible hand, and effectively win by default. Because if players like Lucas Joao, Junior Hoilett, Scott Dann and most scarily John Swift, perform like they can, I worry deeply for our safety. However, it would be silly to say that said players’ form is good, and if anything it’s poor. Particularly Junior Hoilett, who, according to the experts at Canada Sports Betting has failed to set the Madejski alight this term. I’m sure they would’ve been expecting more from their international star. 

However, following their 1-0 victory over a slightly haggard Blackburn Rovers side, ‘Twenty First Group’ have the Royals’ chances sitting at 70% for survival and 30% for relegation. 

That gives me hope. It gives me hope that we could even have survival tied up going into the last couple of fixtures, and the importance of April 2nd’s fixture against Reading is cataclysmic. 

Obviously the Reds have to keep winning games of football, but if we win that game in particular, I think that the Three Little Birds’ lyrics will ring true at Oakwell - and Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright.
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Thomas Wilkinson

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