E Ratings update: Championship, 21 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.

2017-01-21-ch-sparklinesYou can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

As predicted last week, Fulham rose to third in the ratings table thanks to a strong performance at QPR. Norwich‘s gradual recovery also continued and the moved above stuttering Derby despite the Rams’ win over Reading.

With Preston and Barnsley both being out-created by their opponents this weekend, both dropped two places in the ratings table despite avoiding defeat.

Despite Bristol City‘s awful form, their ratings are holding pretty steady, which suggests that there’s been a fair bit of bad luck behind their recent dire run.

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 of Brighton and Newcastle remain overwhelming favourites to secure automatic promotion, with both winning while Leeds and Reading lost.

With the model unsure of the Royals’ ability to remain in the top six, the play-off race remains wide open. Five clubs are given a greater than 50% chance of a top six finish with Derby considered the nest most likely to make the cut as it stands.

After a heavy defeat, Rotherham are still very likely to slip into League 1, with Blackburn the likeliest to join them along with either Burton or Wigan.

As I alluded to above, Bristol City‘s performances are holding relatively steady despite their ongoing poor form, so the model doesn’t expect them to fall much further.