E Ratings update: Championship, 4 Apr 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.

After a very shaky home performance against Brentford, I’m still a bit concerned about Bristol City – not only is their play-off challenge in jeopardy but they don’t want to be carrying that sort of momentum into next season. Reading‘s own collapse is even more concerning given their league position, although improving Barnsley are still five points behind the Royals. Sheffield Wednesday meanwhile look to have arrested their own slide – perhaps some of their injured players are returning to the fold.

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:

Fulham appear the only realistic challengers to the top two for automatic promotion, while Derby‘s backs-to-the-wall win means that there may only be one play-off place for the chasing pack behind them to fight over. At the bottom, both Sunderland and Burton look doomed, but Birmingham‘s resurgence means that it’s tricky to call who might be completing the final bottom three.

What’s still possible

I’ve also added in an updated version of my newest graphical template, where the probabilities above are superimposed onto bars showing what’s still mathematically possible for each club this season:

The top two are now mathematically guaranteed at least a play-off finish, although it’s hard to imagine either Fulham or Villa slipping out of the top six at this point. There are six clubs – from Ipswich down to Forest – who can still be either promoted or relegated, while everyone from Sheffield Wednesday downwards can still finish bottom of the pile.