E Ratings update: League 1, 17 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.

The current top three in the league table look a class apart at the top of the rankings, although Doncaster and Sunderland are closing in on an out-of-sorts Portsmouth. Despite securing a valuable win this weekend, Gillingham didn’t look all that convincing at home to a Scunthorpe side that the model also is deeply suspicious of, so it didn’t do their rating much good.

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:

Luton and Barnsley took advantage of Portsmouth‘s slip to tighten their grip on the automatic promotion places and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that anyone will displace one the current top six before the end of the season. Apart from Wimbledon‘s ongoing troubles, it’s still difficult to call the relegation battle – a heavy defeat for Walsall and a missed opportunity for Bradford makes them likelier than not to finish in the bottom four.