The 2011/12 seasons are kicking off all round Europe. The Premier League in England starts today and the leagues in Germany and Scotland are already underway. I called together the talents of some of the best writers around to give you a glimpse into their predictions for the season ahead.

Terry Duffelen is one half of the excellent “Bundesliga Show” podcast and the fantastic new website “Bundesliga Lounge” be sure to check it out. Here are Terry’s predictions for new Bundesliga season.

Who do you think is the favourite for the title in your respective league and why?

I’m placing my fiver on FC Bayern Munich for the title. Mainly because they rarely go two seasons without winning it but also because I think they have finally addressed their defensive problems with the recruitment of Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Rafinha to their ranks. I think Bayern could win the league by ten points or more.

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For the 2011/12 season a group of likeminded bloggers are getting together to blog about the excellent and exciting Europa League. Please follow @EuropaLegion for all the latest posts and info. There will not be a new site, just lots of posts on some excellent websites. Here goes my first contribution.

The same day that Liverpool and Spurs locked horns to see who could disrespect the Europa League more. There was disappointed for a few teams in the Eredivisie. Heracles last day win secured their place in the Europa League play-offs meaning FC Utrecht missed out on the chance of European football.

FC Groningen’s failure to beat PSV at the Euroborg meant they couldn’t catch AZ Alkmaar for the last automatic spot. What’s this you say! Teams battling at the end of the season to PLAY in the Europa League. Madness!

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Steve Mitchell asks the question – Whatever happened to Benito Carbone?

15 years ago, a little Italian striker called Benito Carbone landed in South Yorkshire after Sheffield Wednesday took a three million pound gamble on a player who had a reputation for being a journeyman footballer.

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It is hard sometimes to keep up to date with all the previews flying around twitter and the like.
So gibfootballshow is here to help you.
For all your Europa League needs here are a list of some fantastic previews for tonights games.



And then there was four….well that is until now, I have made my decision. Can’t just blurt it out though, and I feel I owe everyone that has voted and commented reasons as to how I came about my decision.

I’ve read a brief history of all the clubs, played games with them all on PES 2011. And then I went about writing down my Pros and Cons of supporting each club. Which I will share with you now.

A club with a fantastic history and club that has Maradona in its list of former player is surely a club worth following. They also currently boast some of the most exciting players in Serie A. Marek Hamsik, Edison Cavani and Ezquiel Lavezzi to name a few. They play a different brand of football compared to most other teams. Not many teams go for 3-4-1-2 these days so it is exciting to watch. Also any game at the Stadio San Paolo can provide a fantastic atmosphere and superb home support.

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So first of all I would like to thank everyone for reading/voting and commenting on the last piece. I have been blown away by the response and in all honesty it has made my task incredibly difficult. After Roma’s strong start Fiorentina and Juventus have come back strong and as we speak it is La Viola who sit top of the table. Well done to everyone who voted for Fiorentina.

I am pretty sure I have narrowed it down to 4 teams that I will sleep on and make a decision. Before I get to who I have left, I will explain who has been let go.

“The Old Lady” Juventus got 14% of the vote and so many strong arguments to follow them. So many good players and such a superb history. Great piece on the Juventus Offside giving 10 reasons to be a Juventus fan and there’s not many of those points I can disagree with.

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You may have already guessed from the topics I cover on my site to the amount of rubbish that I tweet about, I am a fan of most European football. Only a full time job and the amount of hours in a day stop me from watching more. The first big tournament I remember is Italia ’90, I feel in love with Totò Schillaci, Roberto Baggio, Maradona and the whole West Germany side.

Back then Italian football was the hot topic, most fans that I speak to loved watching Football Italia on Channel Four and fell in love with everything about the league, including James Richardson. Once the Channel Four deal stopped so did my oppurtinity to watch Serie A. Bravo took it on but I didn’t have access to it. There was a period of about five years where I was subjected to only five channels and not internet. Watching Serie A just wasn’t a possibility.

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Only 5 games left in Serie A and things couldn’t be closer at the top, 4 points seperate the top 3, and 5 points seperating the 4 teams chasing that elusive last Champions League place and that’s what I will be concentrating on.  AS Roma’s 1-0 win away at Bari thanks to Marko Vucinic’s goal saw the Capital club take the top spot in Serie A, Inter Milan’s 2-2 draw at Fiorentina saw them slip from the top spot for the first time since Matchday 7. This gave A.C Milan the chance to pull within 1 point of Inter and 2 points off top spot, however they struggled against Catania at Home and Boriellio’s 80th minute goal saved a point for the Rossoneri.

Of the 3 teams Milan have the toughest run in, having to face Sampdoria, Palermo, Fiorentina, Genoa and Juventus all 4 teams still fighting for a place in European competition next season, and to make things worse for Leonardo’s men, only 1 of those games (Juventus) is at the San Siro, for me this rules Milan out of the title race, however they are safe for a 3rd spot, miracles can happen though, I can see them picking up 8 points from 15 and finishing on 72 points.

The race between Roma and Inter however is alot tighter, Inter a slight advantage with 3 home game to Roma’s 2, however Roma’s next game is the Rome Derby against Lazio so it will feel like a home fixture in venue, maybe not in atmosphere though. After tthat Roma have a home game against Sampdoria which will not be easy as Del Neri’s men are in the hunt for a Champions League qualifier place,  a trip to high flying Parma is next having a great season back in Serie A and finding themselves only 5 points away from Juventus in that last Europa League spot, Cagliari then travel to the Stadio Olympico and on the last day Roma travel to Verona to take on Chievo in which the Marcantonio Bentegodi stadium could be the scene for great triumph or disappointment.

Inter have a slight advantage in that apart from Juventus’s visit to the San Siro on Friday night (16th) none of Inter’s 4 remaining opponents are trying to qualify for Europe so the quality of team isn’t as high, this is balanced up with 3 of the teams, Siena, Lazio and Atalanta are all fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table and there is nothing more dangerous than a team fighting for their place in Serie A, Inter i’m sure however will feel strong enough to overpower these teams. Home games against Atalanta and Chievo should be 3 points each the destination of the title will be decided on Inter and Roma’s away performances.

My opinion is Inter will win 4 of the last 5 games and pip Roma to the title by 1 point, of course as with every league anything can happen, and with only 1 point seperating the teams, there will be a number of twists and turns I’m sure, as I’m sure will be the chase for the last Champions League place, Palermo sit in 4 th place right now, their games remaining include a visit from Milan and finishes with 3 away games at Siena, Sampdoria then Atalanta, that 2nd last games against Sampdoria will be an absolute huge fixture, with Sampdoria only in 5th place due to goal difference, it could come down to that game to decide 4th place. Before the crunch match with Palermo, Sampdoria have the small task of taking on Milan and Roma and finish with a very hard match when Napoli come to town.

Napoli themselves are 5 points off Palermo at the moment so with a good run, they could be in contention when they have to travel to Sampdoria on the last day they’re run in is slightly favourable Home games against Cagliari and Atalanta and away trips to Bari and Chievo, Napoli have the players capable of winning all 5 games, but they can be eratic and could lose them all too.

The last team trying to fight their way into the Champions League is no other than the “Old Lady” Juventus a very up and down season could be salvaged by a late run into that 4th spot, it’s not going to be easy though, the 5 games left starts and ends with trips to Milan, Inter tonight and Milan on the 16th of May in the middle they have home games against Bari and Parma and an away game against dangerous home side Catania. Juve’s away form has not been good at all, but again on their day they could beat all 5 teams, in my eyes however this will not happen, I am predicting 2 wins from 5 for Juve.

So after all 5 games have completed what are my predictions:

1. Inter Milan – 80 pts – Champions League Group
2. AS Roma – 79 pts – Champions League Group
3. A.C Milan – 72 pts - Champions League Group

4. Sampdoria – 64 pts -  - Champions League Play-offs
5. Palermo – 62 pts – Europa League Play-offs
6. Napoli – 59 pts – Europa League 3rd round qf
7. Juventus – 59 pts

Inter to pip the title from Roma, Sampdoria to take that last Champions League place, and the biggest shock would be Juventus missing out on all European competition.

Of course now that I’ve put my predictions on here, I will be completely wrong and it’ll be all change, should be an exciting climax to the season.