E Ratings update: League 1, 14 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.

2017-01-14-l1-sparklinesYou can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

It’ll take more than one shock defeat to dislodge Sheffield United from the top of the ratings, but Oxford were nudged out of third by Millwall after they were convincingly beaten by Wimbledon while the Lions performed impressively at Charlton.

Wimbledon themselves were the only club to move more than one place, overtaking Fleetwood despite the Cod Army also winning. This is due to the latter’s home win over Bristol Rovers looking far narrower.

Shrewsbury‘s impressive win over Bradford relegates Port Vale to the bottom of the ratings table in absentia, with the Valiants’ match having been called off.

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 remain title favourites despite their reverse at Walsall, with Scunthorpe‘s own narrow win allowing them to gain ground at defeated Bolton‘s expense.

With the Trotters, Bradford and Rochdale – all of whom lost this weekend – still far likelier than not to finish in the top six, that leaves plenty of teams fighting it out to join them.

The relegation battle remains tough to call, with four clubs given a greater than 50% chance of dropping into League 2 but plenty of sides – chief amongst them Bury – looking catch-able should one of that quartet string a decent set of results together.