E Ratings update: Championship, 25 Sep 2016

Here is the first update of the season to the E Ratings and how they predict the rest of the season will pan out. I wanted to wait until the ratings had settled down a bit, as the start of the season tends to be chaotic while they adjust to changes in team strength over the summer.

The rating system is explained here, but in a nutshell it’s based on the combined quality of chances that clubs create and allow, rather than their results.

The attack rating broadly equates to how many goals’ worth of chances a team would create against an average opponent (so higher is better), with the defence rating equivalent to the chances they’d be expected to allow (so lower is better).

The overall rating is the difference between the two – effectively the average expected goal difference per match – so a positive number is good and a negative one is bad.

The graphic below lists each club in descending order of their overall E Rating and shows how this – along with their individual attack and defence ratings – have changed over the past 30 league matches.

The red and green arrows indicate how the overall rankings have moved in the past month and the numbers in brackets show the ranks for each team’s attack and defence ratings.


Brighton look to have made significant improvements on last season’s performances and are currently the top-rated side at both ends of the pitch. While Derby are still ranked second, their attack rating is dropping sharply under Nigel Pearson and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Newcastle overtake them soon.

Bristol City and Barnsley are both rising steadily thanks to some strong attacking displays this season, with the Robins in particular looking formidable up front.

There are a few notable fallers too, with Ipswich and Reading in steep declines. The Tractor Boys’ attack is now the worst-rated in the division while the Royals haven’t impressed in attack or defence so far.

At the bottom of the pile Rotherham look to be in real trouble, with an overall rating far lower than anyone else and still declining. They’ll need a sharp upturn in fortunes to steer clear of relegation at this rate.

Predicting the rest of the season

Below I’ve used each club’s current ratings and those of their remaining opponents to predict how the rest of the season could play out. Each of the remaining fixtures has been simulated thousands of times, using the current E Ratings to generate probabilities for where each club will finish.

This graphic shows the cumulative probability of where each club could end up, in descending order of average points won. You can think of the ordering of the teams down the left hand side as a “best guess” of the final league table, with the coloured bars showing the relative likelihood of each club ending up in a certain section of the table:


Brighton are the current favourites for automatic promotion, with both Norwich and Newcastle looking capable of an immediate return to the Premier League.

Ertswhile table-toppers Huddersfield haven’t yet demonstrated that they can remain near the division’s summit, but look a decent shout to remain in the promotion race as it stands.

At the bottom Rotherham already look depressingly likely to drop into League 1 although, as I’ve said in the other posts, it’s still early days. While current bottom side Wigan are making modest improvements in their ratings, their slender haul of points so far is counting against them at the moment.