As 2010 is almost over, here are some predictions for the football world in 2011. As I’m from the UK, most of these will be EPL and European based.
I did this last year and I’ve just had a look at some of my predictions. Weirdly, I got about half of them right. So, I did okay, but I’m not quite Paul the Octopus (I did have Newcastle sacking Chris Hughton but also had France beating England in the World Cup Quarter-Finals!)
So here I am sticking my neck out once again.
Premier League Champions: Man United
Champions League Qualifiers: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City (not exactly a surprise I know)
Europa League Qualifiers: Tottenham, Liverpool
Carling Cup Winners: Arsenal
FA Cup Winners: Tottenham
Champions League Winners: Barcelona
Europa League Winners: Liverpool (I’m an optimist!)
Relegated from the EPL: Wolves, West Ham, and Fulham
Promoted to the EPL: Queen’s Park Rangers, Burnley and Cardiff (playoffs)
EPL Managers who won’t be in their current job at the end of 2011: Avram Grant, Carlo Ancelotti (he’ll walk rather than be pushed), Gerard Houllier, Steve Kean (kind of obvious that one), Mark Hughes, Roberto Mancini, David Moyes (he’ll get fed up at Everton and move on) and sadly Roy Hodgson (though not till the end of the season).
Players Player of the Year: Gareth Bale
Young Player of the Year: Andy Carroll
Football Writers Player of the Year: Gareth Bale
Manager of the Year: Owen Coyle
Wayne Rooney will leave Manchester United in the summer to go to Manchester City. They will be the only club to put a serious bid in for him.
Fernando Torres and Jose Reina will leave Liverpool for huge transfer fees in the summer. For once, Liverpool will spend wisely and build a much more competitive team, meaning these departures will help rather than hurt the team.
Blackpool will slide down the table towards the end of the season but will still have accumulated enough points to survive.
Tottenham will still use their attacking mentality in the Champions League knockout stages. This will prove to be their undoing and they will go out at the first knockout stage, as will Chelsea.
Sam Allardyce will take over as manager of Burnley, and will lead them back to the Premier League. This also has the added benefit of acting as a ’f**k you’ to Blackburn after the way he was fired.
An Arsenal player will break an opponent’s leg following a mistimed, rather than malicious challenge. Arsene Wenger will then use all the excuses he rejects when it happens to one of his players.
Ryan Giggs will return for Wales to play against England in the European Championship qualifier, it will make no difference. England wins 3-1.
Sepp Blatter will be re-elected as FIFA president.
Happy New Year!