E Ratings update: Championship, 27 Jan 2019

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.

Leaders Leeds have been the division’s most impressive side this season, although Sheffield United have looked almost as strong. Aston Villa look capable of recovering from their disappointing start to the season, with their formidable attack compensating for some relatively average defensive performances.  At the sharp end there are four sides – the current bottom four – who have looked significantly worse than the rest.

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:

Leeds are the standout favourites to secure automatic promotion, with the chasing pack still vying to join them in a relatively even race for the other top two spot. All of the current top six look likelier than not to remain there, but there’s still plenty of time for the likes of Villa or Bristol City to disrupt things. It’s hard to see anyone other than the current bottom four getting dragged into the relegation battle at the moment, given how much worse their performances have looked than the rest of the field so far.