E Ratings update: League 1, 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.

Barnsley remain the best-rated side in the division, although league leaders Luton aren’t far behind. Portsmouth are holding steady in third despite their recent poor run, although the three clubs beneath them here have all closed the gap significantly. Gillingham are confusing at the moment, as their strong form – which has moved them up to 13th – isn’t reflected in the data (despite some improvements in their defensive performances).

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 looks to be nearly settled, with nearest challengers Sunderland some way off catching Luton and Barnsley. With Doncaster and Peterborough both losing this weekend we’re no nearer finding out who will take the last play-off place, although Rovers’ superior ratings and goal difference are giving them the edge. Three sides – Bradford, Rochdale and Wimbledon – all look likelier than not to go down but with all three winning this weekend and indifferent form among the teams above them, the relegation battle has plenty of life left in it.

Averaging across all simulations, the title winner looks set to finish with 95 points compared to 91 for the runners-up. 73 points will probably be necessary for a play-off place and 51 should be enough to secure survival.