E Ratings update: Championship, 16 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.

Sheffield Wednesday were the week’s biggest climbers as their strong form continues under Steve Bruce, with leaders Norwich also continuing to move up the rankings as their irrepressible attack more than compensates for a relatively average defence. Ipswich‘s respectable performances of late have moved them off the bottom of the rankings table, with fellow strugglers Reading and Bolton slipping below them.

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:

Sheffield United‘s narrow win over Leeds means that Marcelo Bielsa’s side have slipped behind the Blades in the automatic promotion race. Whichever of them ends up in the play-offs, we’re a long way from knowing who their opponents might be, with two of the four slots still up for grabs. Aston Villa‘s win over Middlesbrough saw the gap between them narrow significantly, but if either slip then a cluster of teams beneath them remain poised to take advantage. At the bottom it looks like one of Reading or Rotherham will be joining the current bottom two in League 1 next season, although it’s too close to call at the moment.

Averaging across all simulations, the title winner looks set to finish with 92 points compared to 89 for the runners-up and 86 for the team in third. 72 points will probably be necessary for a play-off place and 43 should be enough to secure survival.