E Ratings update: Championship, 25 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.

Fulham‘s win over Wolves wasn’t all that surprising when you look at how close they are at the top of the rankings – both Cardiff and the Cottagers have been nearly as impressive as the runaway leaders this season. Hull continue their rehabilitation under Nigel Adkins while Millwall and QPR are also quietly improving.

At the sharp end, Sunderland look to have levelled off after an alarming drop in performances, with Bolton and Burton standing apart as the two most vulnerable teams at the moment. Sheffield Wednesday look to be in free fall at the moment while Bristol City are also slipping.

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’ll take a lot more than Wolves‘ recent blip to meaningfully reduce their chances of promotion, while Cardiff look nearly as secure in the race to complete the top two. The trio of Aston Villa, Derby and Fulham look poised to capitalise on any stumbles and are well-placed to finish in a top six spot regardless. The final play-off place is being scrapped over by five clubs, none of whom are looking comfortable as it stands.

The current bottom three are looking likely to be the final bottom three at the moment, although Barnsley and Bolton are far from safe. Birmingham look the most capable of catching one of them, but even they look likelier than not to drop into the third tier.