E Ratings update: League 2, 11 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.

2017-02-11-l2-sparklinesYou can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

A comfortable win for Portsmouth over Accrington entrenched Pompey even more convincingly at the top of the ratings table while continuing Stanley’s gradual decline.

Notts County continued their recovery under Kevin Nolan and moved off the bottom of the ratings table, while Hartlepool‘s limp defeat at Mansfield saw them replace the Magpies.

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 and Plymouth won to boost their automatic promotion prospects still further, while Portsmouth remain the likeliest to joint hem in the final top three thanks to their own win and their continued high ratings.

The play-off battle looks set to go down to the wire, with defeats for Wycombe and Exeter giving hope to the likes of Colchester and Mansfield.

At the bottom of the table it looks like two from the quartet of HartlepoolLeyton OrientNotts County and Newport are likely to drop into the National League.