E Ratings update: Championship, 2 Jan 2017

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 the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

Despite some stutterings of late, Newcastle and Brighton remain the two best-rated teams in the division by some distance. Despite being undone by the Seagulls today, Fulham continue to rise in the rankings and could soon overtake Derby, whose performances aren’t yet convincing fully under Steve McClaren.

At the bottom QPR and Birmingham will need to decline much further before Rotherham’s tentative resurgence renders them capable of overtaking either. The Millers performances are undoubtedly improving while Rangers in particular have been worryingly unconvincing since Ian Holloway took over.

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 remain clear front-runners in the automatic promotion race thanks to a combination of their superior ratings and still decent points cushions.

Of the chasing pack, Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday are the only ones significantly likelier than not to finish in the top six, with three more sides given a pretty much 50:50 chance by the model at the moment.

Rotherham remain overwhelming favourites to drop into League 1, realistically needing to double their existing points tally in order to move out of the bottom three. Blackburn’s win over Newcastle leaves Wigan – who lost – the only other club considered more likely than not to be relegated.