Football: Sidelines - History lesson

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The Independent Online
Barnsley will have particular reason for wanting to move off the bottom of the Premiership table this weekend. An analysis of the Premiership's previous five campaigns shows that the team bottom at this half-way stage of the year - Nottingham Forest (twice), Swindon, Ipswich and Bolton - have always finished bottom at the end of the season.

Curiously, a large majority of the teams in the other relegation positions at this stage of the season have avoided the drop. The second half of the season usually sees at least one team plummet down the table. The most spectacular falls have been those of Norwich, who dropped from seventh to 20th three seasons ago, and Sunderland, who were 11th a year ago but eventually finished 18th.

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