E Ratings update: League 1, 23 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 – has 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.


Sheffield United made by far the better impression in their thrilling 3-3 draw with Bradford and continued to make inroads into the Bantam’s lead at the top of the ratings.

Of the four clubs promoted from League 2 last season, only champions Northampton are outside the top half of the ratings table after Wimbledon‘s impressive performance at Peterborough saw them overtake both the Posh and Coventry.

Apart from Shrewsbury the bottom end of the ratings table remains very fluid, with Southend‘s win at MK Dons making them the week’s biggest upwards mover. The Shrimpers’ defence in particular has been looking more solid and relegation looks far less likely a prospect than it did a few weeks ago.

MK Dons‘ defeat spelled the end of Karl Robinson’s long spell with the club but they were performing far better than their league position suggested and would probably have put together a better sequence of results eventually.

You can see how each match played out here.

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:


It looks like a tight three-way tussle for the two automatic promotion spots right now, with Bradford and Scunthorpe‘s prospects virtually identical and Sheffield United breathing down their necks.

Bolton are the only other side with a better than 50% chance of finishing inside the top six at the moment, although that could change when they face Bury on Monday evening.

A narrow defeat has nonetheless increased Shrewsbury‘s relegation chances to above 90% – they’re six points adrift with an awful goal difference and their ratings don’t suggest that they’re likely to close that gap at the moment. Oldham and Chesterfield also look more likely than not to go down as it stands, but Southend‘s recent improvements have opened up the battle to avoid the final relegation place.