Football fans have a multitude of reasons to expect the forthcoming season to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. With four blockbuster leagues, a number of fascinating transfer deals and a World Cup to ponder over, it’s fair to say this season won’t be short on entertainment.
The English Premier league is often criticised for being predictable, with Manchester United being the title favourites most years, but this year the league really has been blown open. The loss of Ronaldo has weakened United whilst both Chelsea and Liverpool have made slightly sluggish starts to the season. Fans of Arsenal and Manchester City will hope their team can have a shock title campaign whilst Portsmouth and Hull will join the newly promoted teams in the struggle against the drop. Newcastle, Charlton, Notts County and Luton are all favourites in the respective leagues.
- They’re going to miss a certain someone, but I’m still prediciting more success for the Red Devils
Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan side are the early favourites to take the Serie A title. The arrival of Samuel Eto’o has strengthened Inter, however they will fell the loss of Ibrahimovic. Their city rivals AC Milan will hope that the loss of Kaka won’t derail their chances, but they will miss their icon greatly. Bari, Siena, Livorno and Catinia are all favorites for the drop, whilst Brescia are a good tip for Serie B.
- Inter are my tip for Serie A
The whole worlds talking about Real Madrid; the arrivals of players such as Benzema, Kaka and, of course, Ronaldo has fuelled expectations of a La Liga title. Barcelona are the Champions of Europe though, and you can bet on a close race between the two. At the other end of the table, Xerez, Tenerife and Jermaine Pennant’s new side Zaragoza could all struggle.
- Real have signed some serious talent but will take a while to gel; Barcelona are already a superb team and I think this will win them the league this year
The Fußball-Bundesliga championship had been won by Bayern Munich three times on the trot before Wolfsburg won last term. Munich are determined to win the title once again and have managed to hold onto their talisman- Franck Ribery. Luca Toni and Mark van Bommel will be key players for them. Werder Breman could be dark horses after their disappointing 10th place finish last season.
- It’s an outside bet, but I think that Werder might snatch the title. If they do, their fans will surely be celebrating like Christmas come early.
The 2010 South African World Cup
If the 2009 Confederatons Cup is anything to go by, next years World Cup will be brilliant. As usual Brazil and Argentina will go into the tournament as heavy favourites, but both of the South American giants have been patchy recently. Chile have been playing some great football of late and could do well. Nigeria are in fantatsic form whilst both Holland and England are unbeaten in European qualification. Benin, Gabon, Uzbekistan and North Korea are all in a good position to qualify, and all four have humbled bigger teams in their qualification bid.
- It’s far too early to be predicting World Cup winners, but I think the soaring temperatures will help Nigeria go very, very far
So, there you have it. A small, whistlestop preview of a season that promises to be both big and exciting. As always there will be shocks and spills along the way and, as a general football lover, I’m eagerly anticipating every minute of the forthcoming season.