The Gers’ 1-1 draw against Motherwell last weekend resulted in the Ibrox side slipping to 57th out of 637 clubs but Steven Gerrard’s men still have the top 50 in their sights and are ahead of a host of top European clubs including PSV Eindhoven, Marseille, and Valencia.
However it is a different story for Old Firm rivals Celtic, who have plummeted 20 places following their stuttering run of form since returning from Dubai and the enforced absences of several first-team players.
Neil Lennon’s side are now out of the top 100 in 109th place and are marginally ahead of Championship pair Bournemouth and Norwich City.
FiveThirtyEight uses a version of ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI), initially devised to rank international teams. The SPI incorporates data from as early as 1888 and play-by-play stats from Opta.
The SPI ratings are FiveThirtyEight’s most accurate estimate of the overall strength of a team, and comprise an attacking rating based on the number of goals a team would be expected to score against an average opponent at a neutral venue, and a defensive rating that represents the number of goals a team would be expected to concede in the same scenario.
The two scores are then taken to produce the overall SPI rating which represents the percentage of available points (three points for a win; one for a draw, and none for a defeat) that the team would be expected to accrue if the same match was played over and over again.
The data allows FiveThirtyEight to project the result of a match played between the two teams in a host of situations; for example a league game played between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park, and at Ibrox, or a cup clash played at Hampden Park.
Elsewhere Hibs are up 17 places to 399; Livingston jump up to 416 from 436 and Ross County have moved from 602 to 584 after their 4-1 beating of Aberdeen.
The Dons meanwhile suffered the biggest overall fall, plummeting 52 places to 419th from 367th.