E Ratings update: League 2, 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.

Mansfield are improving at just the right time to mount an automatic promotion challenge, with Accrington‘s disappointing recent performances up front providing them with a potential opportunity.

Forest Green are finally off the bottom of the rankings table after another convincing performance. Chesterfield have replaced them in the basement, with their decline still showing little sign of being reversed.

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:

Luton remain very likely to ascend to League 1, with Accrington now marginally more fancied than Wycombe to join them. However a top three place is still the Chairboys’ to lose despite their defeat yesterday, with Mansfield being held and Notts County‘s prospects suffering from their recent dip in form.

Exeter have benefited from two wins on the bounce combined with poor results from their fellow challengers and could still secure a top seven spot. Forest Green have been improving nicely and 10 points from a possible 12 have left Chesterfield and Barnet the favourites for the drop as things stand.