E Ratings update: League 1, 8 Apr 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.

Sheffield United continue to stand apart from the rest at the top of the ratings table so their promotion has come as no surprise. Likely runners-up Bolton have peaked at the right time but either way remain among the division’s stronger-performing sides.

Despite their narrow win over the Trotters, the model continues to flag Scunthorpe as a team in decline, with recent performances looking incompatible with promotion.

At the bottom, Port Vale and Chesterfield have struggled more than most, with Vale’s games in hand looking less decisive in the relegation battle as time goes on.

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:

Despite their reverse at Scunthorpe, Bolton remain seven points clear of Fleetwood with 12 left to play for, so barring a huge collapse they’re very likely to bounce straight back into the Championship.

Three of the four play-off spots also look pretty much nailed on, but Southend and Millwall are locked in an even scrap for the remaining berth.

At the bottom both Coventry and Chesterfield still look doomed despite their respective wins. They’d need to take at least 11 and 9 of the remaining 12 points available respectively and hope for some huge losing streaks further up the table.

The remaining two relegation places may not be decided for some time however, although incumbents Port Vale and Swindon are looking in far worse shape than the teams they’d need to overhaul.