League 1 permutations: 13-15 Apr 2017

What’s possible

Here are the highest and lowest possible positions that each club can occupy after the forthcoming round of fixtures. I’ve drawn lines under the automatic promotion and play-off spots, mid-table and the last spot above the relegation zone on both “axes” for ease of reference.

These graphics are explained here, but in a nutshell I crunch through every possible combination of results to work out how far it’s mathematically possible for each club to rise and fall.

The top two are fixed in place this weekend but the play-off places are still being contested, with Southend and Millwall able to trade positions once again. However the most movement is possible in an incredibly tight relegation battle where two of the six teams from Oldham downwards could start next week in one of the upper two slots.

What’s likely

The above shows what’s mathematically possible but doesn’t make any allowances for what’s likely to happen, so I’ve come up with a second graphic that uses my E Ratings prediction model (used to simulate the forthcoming round of games thousands of times) to assign some probabilities to all these potential changes.

It’s structured very similarly to the one above: the clubs are still listed in the same order as the current league table down the side and the dividing lines are all in the same place, but now across each row is the percentage chance of them moving to other positions in the table. As above, green indicates a rise, red a drop and grey staying put. The darker the red or green, the higher the probability. If there’s no number in a square, it means that the club didn’t fill that position in any of the thousands of simulations I ran and is therefore very unlikely.

With Millwall at home and Southend away – albeit at doomed-looking Chesterfield – there’s only around a one-in-four chance of these two swapping places this weekend.

Swindon and Port Vale are both at home although so are the four clubs immediately above them, which doesn’t bode well for their chances of climbing towards safety. It looks like there’s only a one-in-three chance that either of them will move out of the drop zone this weekend (3+5+6+0+5+17=36%).