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This season’s Big 5 European league champions will be Manchester City, Barcelona, PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich, according to a set statistical model developed by the CIES Football Observatory.

Barca, PSG and Juve already lead their divisions, while both Man City and Bayern currently sit in second place.

The CIES Football Observatory data is built around what it calls ‘pitch production’ which includes data sets on shots on target, ball possession and shots conceded from the box. The result is a calculation of expected points per match (see tables below). The model has been built over the past two seasons with the first half of this season’s data being used to create the current tables.

“Manchester City achieved so far 5% of points per match less than expected according to its pitch production. Conversely, Liverpool obtained 15% more and its results are supposed to decline in the second part of the season,” say the report authors.

In the Premier League the most over achieving team on this methodology is Burnley (+46%) while the most under achieving is Huddersfield (52%). Chelsea are performing exactly to expectations while Spurs are way ahead of what could be expected (38%). Man Utd are also beating their predicted points score by 5% and Arsenal by 23%.


PSG top the French league and are 25% above their predicted points outcome, In Spain Barca top the league but are 2% below their points per match expectancy. Real Madrid are 13% off the pace.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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