E Ratings update: Championship, 18 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.

2017-02-18-ch-sparklinesYou 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 midweek matches too.

Norwich look to have been mostly contained in their defeat by Burton, which combined with other recent performances suggests that the Canaries’ renaissance may be short-lived.

The scoreline may have flattered them slightly but QPR‘s impressive win at Birmingham continued both their resurgence under Ian Holloway and the Blues’ deterioration.

Leeds‘ last two matches may have yielded four points but neither performance was particularly convincing, so if the model is correct then both they and Reading could see their promotion bids stall unless things improve.

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:


The top two of Newcastle (who have yet to play their Monday evening match at the time of writing) and Brighton are still on track to secure automatic promotion comfortably, so Huddersfield may well find themselves wishing they’d picked another season for their own promotion tilt.

The Terriers and Sheffield Wednesday both look much likelier than Reading and Leeds to secure play-off spots, although nobody beneath the latter two currently has their act sufficiently together to challenge them for a place in the top six.

For the first time there wasn’t a single simulation in which Rotherham survived and fewer than 1% had them anywhere other than last place. While Wigan looked respectable in their draw with Preston, Burton‘s win leaves the Latics and Blackburn as the likeliest to join the Millers in the final bottom three.