E Ratings update: Championship, 11 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.

Hull‘s ratings continue to rise under Nigel Adkins with another strong defensive performance at Forest, in stark contrast to still-deteriorating Sunderland.

While Aston Villa and Derby are the closest to runaway leaders Wolves in the table, both look to be overachieving slightly as it stands. Villa’s attack is creating worryingly few good chances while Norwich‘s strong showing against the Rams also highlights some potential issues.

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’s increasingly difficult to look beyond Wolves for the title after yet another win, but the battle for second place looks set to rage on for a while yet. While they’re fourth, Cardiff are still looking strong enough to edge out both Derby and Aston Villa as it stands.

There’s also plenty going on in the play-off race, with Bristol City now having less than a 50:50 chance of making the cut after their three-goal collapse against Sunderland.

The Black Cats still look far likelier to go down than survive, with only Bolton looking more precarious at the moment. Despite sitting outside the drop zone at present, Birmingham are narrowly predicted to drop into the bottom three, although their are flickers of recovery visible in their ratings.