E Ratings update: Championship, 20 Nov 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.


Newcastle remain the top-rated side although their win at Leeds wasn’t as compelling as some of their recent performances and their ratings look to be stabilising.

At the bottom Rotherham remain a distant last place and their ratings continue to drop after another poor performance, albeit away at highly-rated Derby.

Aston Villa shot up a crowded middle section of the ratings table after keeping Brighton admirably quiet this weekend, although poor performances from the likes of Huddersfield helped to rearrange things around them somewhat.

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:


Newcastle are in an excellent position right now – only Brighton look capable of overhauling them in top spot at the moment and the Seagulls are five points behind, with another four points and a big ratings gap between them and the next likeliest challenger.

Despite poor results this weekend, Norwich and Huddersfield still have a decent shot at remaining in the top six, although Reading and Bristol City head a diverse cast poised to take advantage of any further slips.

At the bottom a Rotherham revival already looks unlikely – there would need to be major changes for the Millers to pull off an escape. Blackburn and Wigan are the current favourites to join them in the final bottom three, although both still retain a better than 50% chance of survival at this relatively early stage.

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.


Newcastle’s win edged their chances of a top two finish above the 90% mark, with Brighton’s flat performance in their draw at home to Aston Villa chipping away at their prospects.

A comfortable home win for Derby and a creditable away draw for Sheffield Wednesday saw them gain ground at the Seagulls’ expense, while Huddersfield’s defeat in Cardiff only nudged their hopes down by a sliver.

Now let’s look at the relegation battle:


While Wigan managed to leave Barnsley with a point, Blackburn’s uncharacteristically potent win saw the Latics replace Rovers as second favourites for the drop.

Beyond the current bottom three the spread of potential relegation candidates remains fairly wide, with wins for Nottingham Forest and Cardiff moving them towards safety at the expense of defeated Burton and Ipswich.