THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Chelsea, Barca and Bayern most probable champions

European Leagues

European Leagues

The most probable national champions in Europe’s top five 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 No 1 in the real-time sports information sector.

Following last year’s successful experience, the CIES Football Observatory and RunningBall have teamed up again to forecast the final tables of the top five European leagues: the English Premier League, the Spanish Primera Liga, Italy’s Serie A, the French Ligue 1 and the German Erste Bundesliga.  Predictions are based on the detailed analysis of squad composition and, contrary to the vast majority of other prediction models, only biographic data are taken into account. Clubs’ past results are not taken into consideration.

For the 2010/11 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 of 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 2011/12 season has started in almost all of the top five European leagues, we are very eager to see how our statistical model will fare in its second year.”

RunningBall CEO, Giancarlo Tottoli, commented: “RunningBall 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 of history in the modern game, our tools and experience contribute to continue offering 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 top-five 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 at their current team, with more importance given to the number of seasons in the first-team squad for defenders and midfielders.

By assembling these criteria, stars are assigned to clubs in each league. Teams with three stars have a squad strong enough to win their championship; those with two stars can claim a European place; while the main objective for those with one star is to avoid relegation. For the first time, the researchers have also identified clubs that during the past two seasons have obtained better results than those predicted. These usually overachieving clubs are indicated with a heart.

All predictions can be accessed for free via the CIES Football Observatory website at During the whole season, results will be compared on a weekly basis according to the CIES Football Observatory model and those obtained by clubs. This will enable the researchers to identify over- or underachieving clubs, whose results ought to improve or worsen over the course of the season.

The CIES Football Observatory and RunningBall have also joined forces for the last Annual Review of Football Players’ Labour Market, which was published recently and which follows the evolution of the demographic characteristics of players in the leading European leagues. An excerpt of the report can also be downloaded for free from the CIES Football Observatory website at

(CIES Football Observatory Press Release)