E Ratings update: Championship, 12 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.

Fulham‘s incredible run has definitely been merited, as they’ve been looking increasingly dangerous for a while and now even outrank champions-elect Wolves, who look to be coasting over the finish line somewhat. Derby are far from a bad side but are limping rather than striding towards a play-off place, while Bristol City are running out of time to secure a top six spot after a concerning decline in recent months.

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 have now leapfrogged Cardiff in the automatic promotion race, but it’s far from over. There’s a similar story in the play-offs where Millwall are now narrowly favoured over Middlesbrough to complete the top six. The relegation battle is getting really interesting: while Burton and Sunderland are still very likely to drop into League 1, three clubs are scrabbling to avoid going down with them (four if you count the slim probability of Reading getting sucked back into it).

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:

It’s not mathematically guaranteed that Wolves will win automatic promotion, but it’d take quite an unlikely combination of results to deny them. Everyone down as far as Preston can still make the play-offs, with the 7-point gap that’s opened up between them and Ipswich is clearly visible as a series of little cliff edges that meet between 11th and 12th on the inner charts. The Tractor Boys are one of four teams whose seasons are technically “over” in the sense that they can no longer be promoted or relegated. The nine teams from Hull downwards all have the latter threat still hanging over them, with six still able to finish bottom of the pile.