E Ratings update: Championship, 10 Mar 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.

Leeds and Sheffield United remain the two best-rated sides overall while league leaders Norwich are down in sixth due to a defence that’s performing significantly worse than the Canaries’ attack. Reading are out of the bottom three but their rating isn’t budging and they still look almost as bad as Ipswich and Bolton in the model’s eyes.

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 plenty to play for, with Norwich, Leeds and Sheffield United competing for automatic promotion, although the Blades are playing catch-up. The final play-off place is massively up for grabs, with 10 clubs potentially in the mix. At the bottom Reading‘s form has blown the relegation battle open, although Bolton and Ipswich still look pretty likely to go down.

Averaging across all simulations, the title winner looks set to finish with 91 points compared to 87 for the runners-up. 72 points will probably be necessary for a play-off place and 45 should be enough to secure survival.