E Ratings update: Championship, 18 Dec 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.


You can see how each match played out here.

It’s worth flagging that the changes shown above are over the last seven days and hence factor in both the weekend and midweek rounds of games.

The top two in the league table have an equally convincing lead over the rest of the division in the ratings table too; nobody looks set to break their duopoly in either for a while at least.

Fulham are rising impressively at the moment and looked unfortunate not to defeat highly-rated Derby this weekend. Despite continuing their fine form, Reading’s ratings continue to drop after being out-created in victory once again.

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 top two look compellingly likely to remain so until the end of the season – it would take quite a momentous fall from grace to dislodge either of them.

While three clubs appear to have around a two-in-three chance of securing a play-off place, the fourth remains wide open and could be hotly contested for a while yet.

At the bottom Rotherham still have it all to do after suffering a late defeat, while both Blackburn and Wigan now have around a 50% chance of joining them in the final bottom three.

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.


With the top two able to further cement their positions with victories this weekend, the rest of the field are unlikely to make much headway unless one of them were to see their form suddenly tank.

Despite three wins and a draw for the four clubs in the chasing pack, only Huddersfield saw their prospects improve – perhaps due to the relative difficulty of their win at Carrow Road.

Now let’s look at the relegation battle:


Despite Cardiff being defeated, their impressive performance coupled with losses for the rest of the bottom six saw their survival prospects improve.

The current bottom three remain the favourites for the drop, although QPR’s latest reverse has kept the relegation battle relatively open.