E Ratings update: League 1, 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.

Barnsley remain the most impressive side in the division overall, but there’s not much between them and the two teams above them in the table. While bottom club Wimbledon’s fortunes continue to deteriorate, it’s Gillingham who look to be in the worst shape overall thanks to a worryingly porous defence.

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:

There’s still a three-horse race for the automatic promotion places, with the current occupants of the top two in the strongest position. As in League 2, the last play-off slot looks to be up for grabs, with Darren Ferguson’s former and now (once again) current employers vying for it. The model’s been far more impressed with Doncaster thus far, but it’s hard to know how this disruption will affect things. The relegation battle remains wide open, with only Bradford and Wimbledon looking likelier than not to drop a division.