E Ratings update: League 1, 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.

Portsmouth‘s return to form wasn’t all that surprising, seeing as their performances didn’t really dip all that much. Fleetwood‘s win over Plymouth continued their steady improvement, while a home defeat for Southend saw their downward spiral continue. At this rate, Rochdale will soon replace Gillingham as the worst-rated team in the division, with the Gills’ defence improving at roughly the rate that Dale’s is deteriorating.

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‘s draw hasn’t harmed their promotion prospects much, as Barnsley also drew on Friday evening and the Hatters still have a decent points cushion between themselves and the rest of the chasing pack. After their slip in midweek, Doncaster‘s strong showing in their draw with the Tykes, combined with Peterborough losing to Coventry, entrenches them as the favourites for the final play-off place. The relegation battle is wide open now thanks to another Wimbledon victory, with virtually the entire bottom half of the table looking over their shoulder.

Averaging across all simulations, the title winner looks set to finish with 95 points compared to 91 for the runners-up and 87 for the team in third. 72 points will probably be necessary for a play-off place and 50 should be enough to secure survival.