E Ratings update: League 2, 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.

Mansfield and Bury have been the standout performers this season, although Exeter‘s recent resurgence has seen them close the gap. At the bottom I’m still not convinced that Sol Campbell was the right appointment for Macclesfield as their performances have been declining steadily this season, although there are plenty of other teams who are struggling.

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:

It’s increasingly difficult to look beyond the current top three for automatic promotion this season, so the real drama at the top is likely to be in the play-offs. Five clubs from Carlisle to Forest Green have a better-than-50% shot at making it, but obviously only four can. At the bottom, a huge win for Notts County has ratcheted up the tension in the relegation battle too, with Yeovil, Morecambe and Macclesfield all looking vulnerable.