League 2 previews, 30-31 Dec 2016

Below are the individual preview graphics for each game in the forthcoming round of fixtures. These smash together minimalist versions of two visualisations: each club’s E Ratings and their relative positions on the attack and defence scatter graphics.

I’ve explained them fully here, but in summary they’re intended as a simple pre-match comparison of two teams using high-level performance data. The graphic has three sections:

  1. The current ratings (with ranks) of the two teams and how these have changed over the past 30 league matches;
  2. A probability forecast for the match based on the ratings;
  3. Scatter graphics showing the teams’ attacking and defensive performance this season.

Before we launch into them, here’s each match is listed in descending order of how likely a home win is. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but this is NOT betting advice – there’s loads of relevant stuff that the model doesn’t factor in (e.g. injuries and suspensions) that will surely have an impact.


Plymouth have an excellent chance to return to the top of the table with a very winnable home game against Crawley, while both Hartlepool and Cheltenham have an opportunity to pull away from the drop zone.

League 2 has seen a huge number of away wins this season and that trend could continue with four away teams considered favourites this weekend.

Individual matches

Here are the graphics for each game in a gallery format – unfortunately my Christmas kitchen duties mean that there isn’t time to comment on each match individually.