E Ratings update: Championship, 10 Feb 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.

There’s plenty of quality at the top end of the Championship this season with Sheffield United leading a clutch of teams giving Leeds a run for their money in the promotion race. Brentford – who where once the expected goals darlings of the division – look to be making a steady recovery from their mid-season hiccup, while Hull‘s renaissance looks to be stalling. Things are still looking pretty ugly for the bottom three, although Reading are showing faint signs of life.

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:

The automatic promotion race has splintered a bit lately, with Leeds and Norwich now leading the way while Sheffield United and West Brom are likelier to finish in the play-offs. At the bottom it already looks like curtains for Ipswich and Bolton, but while Reading still look likelier than not to be relegated they could still overtake ailing Rotherham. Both sides keep drawing at the moment, so the first to rediscover the knack of winning will take a huge stride towards safety.