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Top 10 football predictions for 2024

With 2024 fast approaching, now seems like an extremely good time to think about what is likely to happen in the world of football next year.

We have racked our brains to come up with our top 10 predictions for 2024, starting with one which could shake up the football universe next year.

A superstar will join the Saudi Pro League

Saudi Pro League (SPL) clubs went on a wild spending spree last summer, snapping up numerous big-name players from each of the top leagues in Europe.

We anticipate they will look to ramp things up even more in the next couple of transfer windows by acquiring the services of at least one of the sport’s top superstars.

The SPL has the resources to target players such as Erling Braut Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah – do not be surprised if one of them has their head turned in 2024.

Morocco will snap their AFCON hoodoo

Morocco made history at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, becoming the first African nation to progress to the semi-finals of the prestigious tournament before being defeated by France.

They are one of the favourites to win the latest edition of the Africa Cup of Nations early next year and look a good bet to end their long wait to lift the trophy.

Morocco last won the AFCON title in 1976, but their talented squad is strongly fancied to be crowned continental champions when the final is staged on February 11.

Manchester City fancied to make it four-in-a-row

Manchester City are chasing their fourth successive title in the Premier League and it would be a brave move to back against them achieving the feat.

Their squad remains much deeper than all of their title rivals and that will prove to be the decisive factor as the current campaign unfolds.

Pep Guardiola’s side are just one point clear at the top of the standings after 12 games, but they should power clear of the pack when the season reaches its business end.

Beware Real Madrid in the Champions League

Man City have been well-backed to go back-to-back in the Champions League after sweeping through the group stage this season, but they may fall short in their quest to retain the title.

Real Madrid are chasing their 15th success in this competition and appeal as the value bet to knock City off their perch at the end of the campaign.

Midfielder Jude Bellingham has drawn comparisons with Zinedine Zidane since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund during the summer – a European title in his first season is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Newcastle United will sack Eddie Howe

After guiding Newcastle United to a top four finish in the Premier League last season, things have not gone to plan for manager Eddie Howe this term.

The Magpies are not only struggling to keep pace in the league, but they are also in danger of crashing out of the Champions League at the group stage.

Newcastle must appoint a better manager than Howe if they are to achieve their aim of becoming a big-hitter in Europe. He will be axed by the north-east outfit before the end of 2024.

England will fail at the 2024 European Championship

England failing at major international tournaments is nothing new, with one paltry World Cup success in 1966 on home soil a poor return for the supposed ‘home of football’.

They have blown a handful of decent chances under manager Gareth Southgate in recent years and more misery awaits at the European Championship in Germany next summer.

Despite having a talented squad which could win the title, Southgate’s overly cautious nature will once again impact England’s hopes of lifting a major trophy.

A big-name manager will leave the Premier League

The high-pressure nature of the Premier League means that longevity is not a trait usually associated with managers in the English top flight.

Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) and Guardiola (Man City) are two of the longest-serving managers in English football, but we have a feeling at least one of them will not be around after this season.

Whether it is the riches of the SPL, the lure of an international job or the need to take a break – one or both of them will leave the Premier League next year.

Another club will get famous owners

North American actors Ryan Reynolds and Robert McElhenney have generated plenty of publicity for Wrexham since taking over the club in February 2021.

There have been plenty of other rumours circulating about potential celebrity takeovers of clubs since then and we think it will happen next year.

With Dwayne Johnson (aka ‘The Rock’) on his way to becoming a billionaire, could we see him decide League Two club Bradford City is a project he could sink his teeth into?

The Glazers will still be at Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of 25% of Manchester United has been ‘imminent’ for some time now but is still to be officially confirmed by the club.

Regardless of when, or even if, it is eventually completed, the deal will not result in the much-maligned Glazer family relinquishing their grip on the club.

United fans who want them out of Old Trafford will need to strap themselves in for a long ride – the Glazers will still be around at the end of 2024 and beyond.

A match official will punch Mikel Arteta

We are half-joking with our final prediction for 2024, but it relates to an issue the Premier League needs to address.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is one of the worst in the business for the disrespect he shows towards match officials and needs to be forced to reign in his antics.

If the Premier League fail to get to grips with this problem, the day may not be too far away when a match official decides they have had enough and takes matters into their own hands.

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