The World Cup in Russia seems like a distant memory right now, with the eyes of the footballing world returning to the trials and tribulations of the Premier League recently. How long will Mourinho last at Old Trafford? When will Arsenal shake off the defensive fragility of the Arsene Wenger era? And what month in 2019 will Manchester City retain their Premier League crown?
But before getting ahead of ourselves and predicting the Premier League, let’s look at some of the lessons we learned from the summer festival of football in Russia.
Germany would win the World Cup
Fans who were surveyed weren’t alone in thinking that Die Mannschaft would win the World Cup for the second-time in a row. When Leroy Sane was omitted from the squad, stunned pundits and fans remarked how good the Germans must be if they could leave a player like Leroy Sane out of their squad.
Perhaps Germany may have avoided the shame of being dumped out of the World Cup in the group stages by South Korea if Joachim Low had taken the Manchester City winger to Russia.
England would let down their fans, again
The punters and the experts probably thought they were safe in saying that England would be the biggest disappointment of the tournament. Just over two years ago under the stewardship of Roy Hodgson, the England team had been dumped out of Euro 2016 by Iceland.
In the following two years, one manager had been sacked after being filmed drinking a pint of wine and offering advice on how to circumnavigate FA player rules. The man who took over from him had no real success to speak of in management, having been the man responsible for taking Middlesbrough down from the Premier League. Southgate had also made it quite clear that he hadn’t wanted the England job either. So the team looked doomed to failure in Russia. However, they surprised everyone, reaching the semi-final stage for the first-time since Italia ’90 and even winning a penalty shoot-out along the way.
What can we learn from World Cup predictions?
Firstly, noting in football is predictable, that’s why so many people around the world love it. Leicester City, Portsmouth, Huddersfield and Porto have all shown that in recent year’s predictions and odds mean nothing.
Below are a list of some of the predictions for this season’s Premier League, let us know in the comments section which ones you think will be way off the mark.
Manchester City will become the first team to retain the Premier League in 10 years
Last year Pep Guardiola’s team looked as close to perfection as is possible in football, and many experts are tipping them to run away with the title this time round. However, a prolonged push at the Champions League and the rise of Liverpool may throw a spanner in the works for the Citizens.
Wolves will finish safely mid-table
Yes Wolves have a lot of good players, but they don’t have a lot of Premier League experience, either in the playing squad or the management team. They played good football in the Championship but that’s no guarantee that they will prosper in the Premier League.
Cardiff will be down before the Christmas trees
According the bookmakers and the pundits, Cardiff have already been relegated from the Premier League. There’s no point in Neil Warnock’s men even playing any of their games. But Huddersfield certainly showed last year that a smaller team with less resources can cut it at Premier League level.