E Ratings update: Championship, 11 Mar 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 have been improving for some time now so it’s no surprise to see them move out of relegation danger recently. Despite losing this weekend, Brentford continue to impress in attack and a play-off push isn’t yet beyond them.

Sunderland‘s sorry collapse is unfortunately continuing while Reading‘s defence has also been deteriorating worryingly. Sheffield Wednesday also look in pretty bad shape at the moment.

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:

Despite losing this weekend, Wolves are heavy favourites to reach the Premier League. Cardiff are keeping the pressure on them but Fulham and Aston Villa aren’t out of the race yet. While Derby look likelier than not to make the final top six, the final play-off place remains up for grabs.

The reason that Villa have a slightly wider dark green rectangle than Fulham but are predicted to finish lower is because they have to play two of their promotion rivals at home. This means that there are more scenarios in which they can edge others out of contention, even though their overall run-in is slightly tougher.

The current bottom three are looking pretty imperilled as it stands – all of them have at least an 80% chance of dropping into League 1. Despite Barnsley sitting relatively close to them in the table, the model seems to think they have enough about them to survive.