E Ratings update: League 1, 3 Feb 2018

Here is the latest update of 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.

Wigan unsurprisingly remain top of the rankings but Blackburn don’t look all that far behind (despite their defeat) and Rotherham are also still looking strong.

Rochdale continue to look far better than their league position but they’re running out of opportunities to make the difference count.

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:

It currently looks like Wigan plus one of Blackburn or Shrewsbury for the two automatic promotion places, with Rovers’ slip at the weekend seeing them lose ground.

Bradford‘s reverse sees them slip behind Rotherham in the promotion race, with the Bantams now facing a scrap for a top six place. The biggest losers however were Fleetwood, who look about 3 league places worse since I last ran the numbers, while Doncaster also saw their prospects worsen significantly.

The biggest winners were Plymouth, who look almost 3 places better than previously thanks to successive wins.

Bury aren’t looking any less doomed unfortunately, with Rochdale, MK Dons and Northampton all looking likelier than not to join them in the final bottom four as things stand.