E Ratings update: Championship, 28 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.
2017-01-28-ch-sparklinesYou can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

Norwich‘s win continued their recent improvement and they certainly haven’t left it too late to rediscover their early season performances. Their victims Birmingham sunk to second bottom in the ratings table as Gianfranco Zola’s poor start as manager continued.

Leeds‘ midweek win sees their climb continue at the expense of Preston, who had to salvage a draw at home to Ipswich on Saturday.

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:


Reading‘s win keeps their chances of holding down a top six spot at around 50% despite the model’s ongoing scepticism about their performances. With improving Norwich‘s own play-off prospects climbing to almost one in three, it will be interesting to see how the promotion race develops.

Another defeat for Rotherham – however narrow – leaves them looking increasingly certain of dropping into League 1, while Burton‘s win at QPR leaves Wigan and Blackburn as the likeliest to join the Millers.