E Ratings update: League 1, 26 Mar 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.

You can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here. Bear in mind that the changes above will also include the effect of the midweek games.

An impressive performance – albeit a goalless one – from MK Dons saw them shoot up the ratings table this weekend, although the model already had a positive opinion of them and a poor one of hosts Port Vale.

Despite Scunthorpe securing a potentially crucial win they were significantly out-created at home by Bradford and therefore sank still further in the ratings.

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:

Bolton have peaked at the right time and are now heavy favourites to join Sheffield United in the final top two. Fleetwood‘s draw leaves them six points off the pace and with a noticeably inferior goal difference, so the play-offs look a much likelier destination.

Southend gained a huge advantage over Millwall in the play-off race this weekend, winning a close game while the Lions sank to a disappointing defeat at Swindon.

At the bottom that Swindon win needs to be followed by others if they’re to claw their way to safety and the same goes for Coventry after their home victory over Bristol Rovers. Port Vale held MK Dons but still look the most likely side to complete the bottom four as it stands.