E Ratings update: League 1, 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-l1-sparklinesYou can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

MK Dons were the biggest upwards movers after they convincingly dispatched Peterborough on the road, with Bolton also rising as they out-created Charlton despite being defeated.

Port Vale‘s rating is stabilising as, despite losing to Scunthorpe, they gave a good account of themselves again. However with Shrewsbury on the up the Valiants may be rooted to the bottom of the ratings table for some time.

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:



Scunthorpe‘s win kept the pressure on Sheffield United in the title race, with the Iron now a point clear and with a game in hand. The Blades still look likelier to take top spot however due to their far superior ratings.

Bolton and Bradford aren’t out of the automatic promotion race yet but it looks like they’ll probably be settling for play-off spots. Fleetwood and Rochdale are best-placed to join them, but Millwall could yet force their way into contention.

With four relegation places to fill and six clubs looking endangered, the relegation battle will continue for some time yet. Bottom side Coventry now have an almost 75% probability of dropping into League 2, now eight points behind Swindon (albeit with a game in hand).