E Ratings update: League 2, 2 Oct 2016

Here is the latest update of the season to the E Ratings and how they predict the rest of the season will pan out. 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.


There’s far less movement from week-to-week now that things are settling down a bit, even with most clubs having played two matches in the last seven days.

Strong performances from Plymouth and Luton saw them inch towards the summit but Portsmouth‘s position at the top would take some effort – and a Pompey collapse – to overhaul any time soon.

It will likewise be a while before anyone replaces Morecambe at the foot of the ratings table given how far adrift they are. Crawley‘s surprisingly good recent form has seen them start to pull tentatively away, but there remains plenty of the season to play.

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:


Plymouth and Portsmouth look virtually neck-and-neck at the vanguard of the automatic promotion race: while Pompey’s ratings remain superior the Pilgrims’ five-point cushion puts them in the driving seat at the moment.

At the bottom Newport are currently the likeliest to drop into the National League, although with just two relegation places the field remains wide open. Morecambe‘s strong start to the season means that they are still relatively likely to survive despite their dire ratings.