E Ratings update: League 1, 15 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-2017-02-15You can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

The changes are over the last seven days so will factor in the weekend matches too.

Sheffield United remain the team to beat, but Bradford and Millwall are also putting in consistently strong performances which suggest both will have a part to play in the promotion race. Scunthorpe are listing worryingly at the moment and I’m worried that they’ll slip out of the top two at this rate.

It looks like a matter of time before Bury replace Port Vale as the worst-ranked team in the division, which is even more strange when you consider how well both teams’ seasons began.

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 recent stumbles have left Sheffield United as the runaway title favourites, with Bolton looking increasingly likely to displace the Iron from second place.

Millwall‘s strong showing yesterday cemented their status as the likeliest side to complete the play-off line-up, with Rochdale heading a cluster of teams who need to raise their game in order to catch them.

At the bottom a fortunate point for Coventry was far less than they needed to edge towards survival and things are looking increasingly bleak for Bury and Swindon.