E Ratings update: Championship, 18 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.

Wolves are still the team to beat, while Aston Villa‘s recent blip wasn’t that unexpected given that they haven’t been anywhere near as dominant in expected goals terms this season. Birmingham arrested Hull‘s rise with a convincing win, but fellow relegation battlers Sunderland‘s decline shows no sign of slowing and – as we’ll see below – they look set to slip quietly into the third tier.

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:

With Fulham held and Aston Villa losing, the top two look pretty likely to stay in the automatic promotion places. All three divisions have a play-off race that’s wide open: here we have Derby looking likelier than not to join the current top four in the final top six, but the last berth is being scrapped over by at least four teams. At the bottom it’s looking like curtains for Sunderland and Burton, while Birmingham need more results like the one this weekend to drag someone else into the bottom three.