E Ratings update: League 1, 31 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.

Wigan have started to up their game at just the right time, and are once again the best-rated side in the division by a clear margin. Rochdale‘s win over Shrewsbury this weekend will be less surprising to anyone looking at the data, where Dale have looked far better than their league position while the Shrews haven’t looked quite as good as theirs. Bradford‘s decline has been depressingly swift and their slide shows no signs of being arrested, while Northampton put in another dire performance to further cement their status as the worst-rated team by quite some distance.

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‘s defeat means that a top two finish will probably require one of Wigan or Blackburn to suffer a collapse in form, although both they and Rotherham can at least be assured of a play-off place. The lower two play-off berths continue to be fought over by five clubs, with none having a sizeable advantage. At the scary end of the table it already looks to be curtains for Bury and Northampton, with MK Dons still likelier than not to join them in the final bottom four. Just like the play-off race, there’s plenty still to be fought for however, with four more clubs looking vulnerable to relegation.