Revealed! Super computer verdict on Sunderland's League One campaign and promotion hopes
Sunderland will sustain a League One promotion charge this season but to be successful, they will have to do it the hard way.
That's according to FiveThirtyEight, who have Jack Ross' side finishing one place outside the top two after providing a percentage on their title, promotion, playoff and relegation chances.
The prediction is based on the results of the first 11 matches and a rating system made from data and Soccer Power Index statistics.
Ross is targeting automatic promotion with Sunderland this season but the super computer has them finishing in the playoffs.
It has Portsmouth and Peterborough United down as the successful automatic promotion candidates with Pompey winning the division with 86 points and Posh one behind.
Sunderland are expected to run the top two close, collecting a maximum of 83 points, although can be encouraged by their 46% chance of bouncing back to the Championship at the first attempt.
Ross' side are credited with an 18% chance of being crowned champions while 40% says they will just make the playoffs.
Relegation will not be an issue for the Wearsiders with a less than 1% chance.
The index goes as far to predict how many games Sunderland will win, draw, lose and what goal difference they'll end the campaign with.
It has foreseen that the Black Cats will win half of their 46 games, share the spoils 13 times and lose 10.
Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers and Charlton Athletic will provide the playoff competition - Blackpool narrowly missing out by two points.
Oxford United are anticipated to finish bottom with a 60% chance of relegation. Plymouth Argyle (52%), AFC Wimbledon (40%) and Gillingham (38%) are favourites to spend next season in League Two.
Here is the full League One table:
1. Portsmouth - 86 points
2. Peterborough United - 85 points
3. Sunderland - 83 points
4. Barnsley - 79 points
5. Doncaster Rovers - 75 points
6. Charlton Athletic - 71 points
7. Blackpool - 69 points
8. Scunthorpe United - 68 points
9. Accrington Stanley - 67 points
10. Southend United - 66 points
11. Luton Town - 66 points
12. Fleetwood Town - 63 points
13. Walsall - 61 points
14. Shrewsbury Town - 57 points
15. Burton Albion - 56 points
16. Bristol Rovers - 55 points
17. Rochdale - 54 points
18. Coventry - 54 points
19. Wycombe Wanderers - 52
20. Gillingham - 49 points
21. Bradford City - 49 points
22. AFC Wimbledon - 48 points
23. Plymouth Argyle - 44 points
24. Oxford United - 42 points