E Ratings update: League 1, 25 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. The changes are over the last seven days so will factor in the midweek matches too.

Sheffield United‘s convincing defeat of Bolton cemented their position as the best-rated team in the division by far.

Fleetwood‘s rise up the table looks to be deserved, although they look far more convincing in defence than going forward.

Swindon‘s potentially pivotal win over Coventry today continued the recovery in their performances while extending the Sky Blues’ ratings plummet.

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 title increasingly looks like Sheffield United‘s to throw away, with nobody else convincing in the hunt for a top two spot at the moment. The final play-off place also looks set to be tightly contested, with a three-way tussle between Millwall, Oxford and Southend in the offing.

Both Coventry and Chesterfield are looking increasingly doomed, with two of Oldham, Port Vale and Swindon likeliest to join them in League 2 next season as it stands.