2014 promises to be a great year for sport with the Premier League being the most competitive its ever been and a Brazil World Cup to look forward to. Here are my predictions for the year ahead.
Winners – Argentina
Runners up – Brazil
3rd Place – Germany
Brazil will be very tough to beat on home soil however I tip Lionel Messi’s Argentina to pip them to the post. Argentina lost just twice in their qualifying, and I feel that this competitive football that they have played over the last two years will give them the advantage over the hosts, who qualified automatically.
It looks set to be a tough World Cup for the European sides as the tough weather conditions may affect their performances. Spain are still a strong force to be reckoned with however I feel that the young Germans, with upcoming stars such as Gotze, Kroos and Muller will be Europe’s best hope. As for England, a tough group means they will do well to reach the Quarters.
Winners – Manchester City
Runners up – Chelsea
3rd – Arsenal
4th – Tottenham
18th – Sunderland
19th – Norwich City
20th – Cardiff City
My tip for the title is Manchester City. Its agreed by many that they have the strongest squad in the league and they are unstoppable at home at the minute. Their away form is improving and Manuel Pellegrini seems to have the respect of his players, allowing him to get the best out of them.
In second I think will be Mourinho’s Chelsea. Jose seems to be getting the results without his team performing to their full potential, despite this, his team currently lie 3rd.
The other top four places will be very close, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester United will all be pushing for a top four place but I feel that Arsene Wenger’s experience, along with Mesut Ozil, will guide Arsenal into third. A top name striker to support Giroud may see them challenge for the title but i feel their is much more quality and depth in the Man City and Chelsea squads.
Spurs may be seen as a controversial choice for 4th place after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, however with the singings they have made, and Tim Sheerwood at the helm, I feel this team could achieve this season. Sheerwood’s youth knowledge may push some of the senior players more as youngsters such as Townsend and Rose have already made an impact into the first team.
Liverpool, despite having the best player in the league, Suarez, lack other players with the ability to change a game. If they do miss out on the Champions League, despite singing a new lucrative contract, i cannot see a player of Luis Suarez’s ability staying.
Manchester United are depending on Rooney and Januzaj far too much, and I don’t believe their success will carry on under David Moyes as it will take time to adjust to losing such an influential figure such as Sir Alex Ferguson.
Of course it all depends on the signings the teams make, a world class player could be the difference between the title, and missing out on the all important Champions League.
The bottom half of the table looks to be as tight as the top this year.
Cardiff are my favourites for relegation with the sacking of Malky Mackay. Fans unrest at Vincent Tan means there is a negative atmosphere at the club. With the appointment of relevant managerial novice, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer imminent, Cardiff fans will hope he can perform miracles in his first Premier League job.
Norwich seem to be a weak side currently with their summer signings failing to produce. Fans are on the back of Manager Chris Hughton as his side struggle to get results.
Sunderland are currently bottom of the league, and although things have improved slightly under new boss Gus Poyet, I don’t think their squad is good enough to stay up.
West Ham, Fulham and Crystal Palace will all be looking over their shoulder, but I feel they have enough to stay up.
Liverpool are my tip to lift this years FA Cup as in Suarez they have a player who can win a game on his own.
I can’t see past last years winners Bayern Munich. Pep Guardiola’s team look invincible so far this year, and although I think Man City will perform well, I believe the Germans will be champions again.