E Ratings update: League 1, 5 Feb 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.

l1-sparklines-2017-02-05You can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

Bristol Rovers performed well despite not getting the win, so they overtook a disappointing Scunthorpe in the ratings table this weekend.

Meanwhile Bolton sunk thanks to their poor showing at MK Dons, even though they took a point home with them.

Shrewsbury continue to improve and they moved above Bury – the team they beat convincingly this weekend.

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 are looking increasingly like title favourites after recording a dominant win while nearest challengers Scunthorpe stumbled.

The good news for the Iron is that the four teams most likely to snatch their automatic promotion place all failed to win this weekend, so they’re not in any immediate danger of losing a top two spot.

At the bottom it’s looking increasingly bleak for Coventry, Chesterfield and Bury, with one of Oldham and Swindon likely to complete the relegated quartet as things stand. Shrewsbury‘s renaissance has now reduced their relegation chances to below 50%.