E Ratings update: League 2, 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.

Luton‘s ratings have long since stabilised but they’re the only club who look like automatic promotion material at both ends of the pitch. While Wycombe have actually looked similarly irresistible in attack (despite fewer big scorelines), they’ve been less impressive at the back, while the likes of Lincoln and Coventry don’t have a top-quality attack to go with their solid defence.

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 still looks like Luton are set for promotion, with Accrington and Wycombe likelier than not to join them in the final top three. Stanley in particular boosted their chances this weekend, overtaking the Chairboys in the running after their convincing win at Coventry.

The play-off battle is still wide open however, although the likes of Colchester and Newport are running out of time to make an impression. It’s a three-way struggle at the bottom now after Barnet‘s win over Notts County.