E Ratings update: Championship, 30 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.ch-sparklines-2016-10-29

There was plenty of movement in the ratings table this week, starting at the top where Brighton and Newcastle exchanged places. Fulham‘s hammering of Huddersfield saw them rise four places while QPR‘s limp home defeat saw them sink down the heavily congested middle part of the ratings table.

Rotherham unfortunately remain the lowest-ranked side by far, although their ratings are no longer falling.

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:


The title race still looks to be between Newcastle and Brighton, who each look to have a better than two in three chance of automatic promotion as things stand. Three other clubs have a better than 50:50 chance of a play-off finish at the moment, with the final spot seemingly up for grabs.

Rotherham remain – perhaps unsurprisingly – overwhelming favourites for the drop. Nobody else looks all that endangered yet, with Blackburn performing well in their draw with Wolves and Wigan snatching a precious three points at Cardiff.

What’s changed?

As the graph above only gives the latest snapshot, I wanted to show what effect the latest round of matches has had on the bigger picture. Below I’ve added a few simple graphics to show how the promotion and relegation contests have changed since the previous round of games.

First of all, let’s look at the automatic promotion race. The filled green bars are the current probabilities (and should match the greenest bars above), with the hollow bars showing how each team’s chances looked after the last previous of games.


Both Newcastle and Brighton cemented their positions as automatic promotion favourites with wins this weekend, helped by defeats for the three clubs chasing them. With Sheffield Wednesday’s defeat looking far unluckier than the 5-0 hammerings dished out to Norwich and Huddersfield, the Owls’ prospects dipped the least.

Now let’s look at the relegation battle:


The biggest change in the relegation battle was the reduction in Wigan’s chances of dropping back into League 1. While the Latics’ victory looked rather jammy, three points makes more of a difference to their prospects than the ratings drop from one poor performance.