Football has always been a difficult game to predict. Due to its complex nature, fans and even pundits who bet on the football with Paddy Power tend to get their predictions wrong. Although people may be unlucky and get a prediction slightly wrong, there are just some predictions which are not even close to being right. After last seasons’ crazy campaign, where Leicester ended up winning the league, you’d think that the press would try and be more cautious in their predictions. However, once again there were predictions that were completely wrong. Here are our top five.
Manchester clubs to dominate
At the start of the season, it was difficult to find a pundit who didn’t think that the title was going anywhere other than Manchester. Both Manchester City and Manchester United had two of the most expensive squads ever assembled in football, and were now managed by two of the best managers in the modern game – Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho. Although this prediction seemed likely at the start of the season, both teams have failed to get the results which are required of title-winning teams. While the Manchester clubs have failed to pick up the points required, outside favourites Chelsea have stormed to the top of the table picking up impressive results, including going on a 13 game winning streak.
Leicester to challenge for Europe
Leicester’s title winning campaign in the 2015/16 season was a once in a lifetime achievement. After their sensational campaign, many pundits believed that Leicester would be able to use their success to go to bigger and better things. Although many didn’t expect Leicester to retain their Premier League title, contention for a place in a European competition was the minimum expected. Despite not being expected to replicate their success, Leicester have been performing well below expectations all season and even were involved in a relegation scrap at the beginning of 2017. Despite their disappointing campaign, their Premier League journey so far has been remarkable considering that they only got promoted three seasons ago!
Walter Mazzarri to be the first manager to get sacked
After an impressive first season back in the Premier League, many were surprised when Watford announced that they would be parting company with Quique Sánchez Flores despite finishing 13th in the table and leading them to an FA Cup semi-final. The appointment of Walter Mazzarri was a surprise to many, and many pundits predicted a short reign at Vicarage Road for the Italian due to being unable to speak English, his lack of knowledge of the English game, and his last managerial job at Inter being unsuccessful. Although Watford have had a fairly unspectacular season, Mazzarri has managed to keep Watford safe from relegation and has done well enough for his job to not be considered under pressure throughout the season. Despite keeping their Premier League status, Watford look set to end the season with less points and a lower league position than last season, which could potentially lead to Mazzarri losing his job.
Hull to finish rock bottom
Many fans are often optimistic after getting promoted from the Championship, but it was the opposite from Hull fans. A lack of investment of pre-season, departure of manager Steve Bruce, and only 13 senior players, Hull joined the Premier League with a weaker squad than their Championship. All these factors made people believe it would be a painful Premier League season for them. Although it is a real possibility that Hull will still be going down to the Championship, it has not been the disaster season that was expected. Under Marco Silva, Hull have been steadily picking up points to give them the best chance of survival. Their home record under Marco Silva is also one of the best in the league. Despite relegation looking very likely, Hull’s fighting spirit has ensured that their survival fight will go down to the final few games of the season.
Chelsea’s transitional year
After a disastrous 2015/16 season, which led to manager José Mourinho getting sacked just sixth months after winning the Premier League title, fans and pundits expected this season to be a ‘transitional’ year under Antonio Conte. However, acquisitions of David Luiz, Marcos Alonso, and N’Golo Kante, as well as a rejuvenated Eden Hazard has led to Chelsea running away with the league. Despite an indifferent start to the season, a tactical tweak has brought out the best in every player in the squad and led to some impressive results throughout the season – including a 13 game winning streak.