E Ratings update: League 1, 17 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.

Shrewsbury continue to overachieve impressively and it looks as though their defence has been what’s keeping them competitive, having been turned around completely after last season’s managerial change. Charlton and Bradford meanwhile are continuing to deteriorate and the play-offs are looking increasingly unlikely. Northampton‘s poor showing this weekend is no surprise given their consistently low ratings, and Walsall‘s decision to sack their manager looks pretty justified in the data.

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:

Shrewsbury are the likeliest side to edge out one of Wigan or Blackburn for a top two place should they suffer a late blip, but Rotherham‘s inconsistent form means that they’re all but out of the automatic promotion race. We’re set for an entertaining play-off battle, with nobody having a convincing grip on the lower two spots: Scunthorpe are the only club below the top four with a better than 50% chance, and that’s taken a hit after they lost at home to the Shrews. Bury‘s defeat at MK Dons was a huge blow to their survival chances and it inched their hosts towards safety, although they still need a favour from one of the clubs hovering near the drop zone.