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Mon. 05 September 2011

CIES predicts Europe's national league champions in 2011/2012

For second year running, the CIES Football Observatory and RunningBall have teamed up to forecast the final tables of the big-5 European leagues, following 60% success rate for 2010/2011 season.

The most probable national champions in Europe’s five top leagues in 2012 will be Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Paris St-Germain. These are the findings of the statistics model developed by the CIES Football Observatory, which combines academic research with the data-collecting expertise and vast database of RunningBall, the Number One in the real-time sports information sector.

Predictions are based on the detailed analysis of squad composition. Contrary to the vast majority of other prediction models, only biographic data are taken into account. Past results of clubs are not considered, which makes our procedure particularly original and innovative.

For the 2010/2011 season, the model correctly predicted league triumphs for Manchester United in England, FC Barcelona in Spain and LOSC Lille Métropole in France. Internazionale Milan in Italy and FC Bayern Munich in Germany fell short their predicted potential but are now again touted for the top spot.

Raffaele Poli, Chief researcher of the CIES Football Observatory, said: “We are delighted that our foray beyond previous frontiers of knowledge in the area of professional football has yielded such encouraging results. Now that the 2011/2012 season has started in almost all of the 5 Top European Leagues we are very eager to see how our statistical model will fare in its second year.”

RunningBall CEO, Giancarlo Tottoli, commented: “Running Ball is very pleased to continue its partnership with the CIES Football Observatory and to put its know-how and data assets at the disposal of scientific research. After more than 150 years in the history of the modern game, our tools and experience contribute to offer yet new and exciting insights into football that will certainly also fascinate fans all over the world.”

The scientific statistics model is structured around three axes: practice, international experience and stability. Practice consists of the number of matches played as a professional during the last five seasons, with particular emphasis on recent and big-5 league games. International experience consists of the percentage of national A-team matches played during past year, weighted according to results obtained by the country represented. Stability is the overall average stay of players in their current team, with more importance given to the number of seasons in the first-team squad for defenders and midfielders.

All predictions can be accessed for free via the CIES Football Observatory website at In the item publications, it is also possible to download an excerpt of the sixth edition of the Annual Review of Football Players’ Labour Market, which was published recently.

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