E Ratings update: League 1, 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.

Sheffield United continue to go from strength to strength at the top of the ratings while their two main challengers for the title – Bolton and Scunthorpe – are performing much more modestly.

Southend’s rise up the ratings continues to mirror their ascent in the league table, with another creditable performance despite being held at Swindon.

Despite another poor performance for Port Vale, Shrewsbury still remain the lowest-rated side in the division for the time being thanks to a forgettable display of their own.

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:


Sheffield United look to be clear title favourites at the moment after draws for Scunthorpe and Bolton. With Bradford and Rochdale – who both won today – also looking very likely to secure a top six spot at the least, the final play-off place looks to be up for grabs.

In a division with four relegation places the battle to avoid the drop won’t be settled for some time yet, but Shrewsbury, Oldham and Chesterfield are all significantly likelier than not to drop into League 2 as things stand.