022 has been a year like no other in football – but what does 2023 have in store?
Here, Standard Sport’s team of writers make their predictions for the year ahead…
West Ham’s David Moyes to be the next manager sacked. Lucas Paqueta, Nayef Aguerd and Thilo Kehrer played for Brazil, Morocco and Germany, respectively, at the World Cup, a reminder of the quality of players West Ham signed in the summer – and how badly they are currently underachieving.
Moyes has done a fine job at returning the club to relevance but he is now in danger of being a victim of raised expectations. The Hammers restart the campaign hovering just above the relegation zone, having begun it with Champions League ambitions. Moyes must improve results and steer the Hammers up the table – or face the potential consequences.
Erling Haaland will break the Premier League single-season scoring record of 34 goals shared by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole to deliver Manchester City yet another league title.
I think Pep Guardiola’s side will have too much for Arsenal in the title race but I’m backing the Gunners to finish in the top four, which would still be a great season for them.
I also think Newcastle will claim another top-four spot due to no European distractions, with Chelsea and Tottenham falling just short of Liverpool and having to settle for the Europa League. I suspect Antonio Conte quits Spurs in the summer, too.
Football to come home. What better way to get over the pain of tournament heartbreak for England than turning your attention to another one?
England Women are in action at the World Cup next summer and I am backing the Lionesses to go all the way. They swept all before them to win the Euros last summer and are only getting better under the guidance of head coach Sarina Wiegman.
You may need to set your alarm clocks for some early starts in Australia and New Zealand but, given their style of football and ability to win games, it’s worth doing to see the Lionesses in action.
This weird Premier League season to end with the most predictable of outcomes in Manchester City romping the division. The Lionesses will rule the world Down Under and Newcastle will qualify for the Champions League.
After a summer of obsessing over strikers, midfielders will be flavour of the next transfer window, headlined by Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice.
Graham Potter will lose his job at Chelsea, then pretty swiftly get another that he excels in. Lionel Messi will spend a fortnight playing under Phil Neville at Inter Miami before packing it in. And, on a serious note, several non- and perhaps even lower-league clubs will go to the wall in unsurvivable economic conditions.