E Ratings update: League 2, 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-l2-sparklinesYou can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

Good performances from Doncaster and Carlisle saw them move up to second and third in the ratings table, with Accrington‘s gradual decline continuing.

Ratings-wise it was also a good week for Exeter and Mansfield, while Cheltenham also rose despite losing to Plymouth thanks to a strong overall performance.

Another limp defeat for Notts County saw their stock fall further at the bottom of the pile.

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:


Doncaster took another step towards automatic promotion today but Carlisle‘s draw with Accrington saw their prospects of a top three finish reduce further.

The play-off race remains wide open with the lower two berths seemingly up for grabs. Wycombe‘s chances of making the final top seven are around 50:50 and a whole host of teams are vying to join them.

At the bottom there are two increasingly strong favourites for relegation in Newport, who remain five points from safety despite their draw at Barnet, and Notts County, whose low ratings suggest they’ll struggle to pull away from the drop zone.