E Ratings update: Premier League, 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.


Despite their recent mini-crises, the model still really likes Man City and Liverpool, who have continued to out-create opponents overall.

Chelsea‘s win over Arsenal was slightly more impressive than Man Utd‘s victory at Leicester, so the Blues edge narrowly ahead in the ratings.

Sunderland‘s big win at Palace wasn’t a dominant one – in fact they were out-created overall – so they remain at the bottom of the ratings table.

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:


Just like in every other model I’ve seen, Chelsea are now huge title favourites – I have them at around an 82.5% chance of winning the Premier League with Man City and Tottenham the likeliest to take advantage of any collapse.

Arsenal are now only around 50:50 to finish in the top four, which is a worry, although Liverpool aren’t faring much better and look catchable at this rate. Man Utd‘s strong showing of late hasn’t been sufficient to boost their own Champions League prospects, which are currently hovering at around one in four, but their ratings are climbing nicely.

At the bottom Sunderland remain the club most likely to finish bottom, with Hull still fancied to join them despite their improved recent fortunes. The ratings are reacting to the Tigers’ performances but they can take time to fully adjust (which is by design so as not to over-react to a few lucky games) and some of the teams around them are also picking up points, which is reducing the impact of recent wins on their prospects.