The remaining days of 2022 are nigh and within the soccer realm, it’s been a yr full of loads of pleasure, unhappiness and epic moments that continually left us baffled.
We had a World Cup mired in controversy earlier than, throughout and after the match, however there was little discounting the thrilling motion throughout each match as Lionel Messi lastly led Argentina to glory.
There was additionally a bonkers remaining day within the 2021/22 Premier League season when the title was headed to Manchester City, then to Liverpool, then lastly again to City as victory sparked a wild pitch invasion.
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But that was a secure one and nothing just like the disgusting scenes through which numerous Melbourne Victory followers stormed the sector at AAMI Park and assaulted Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover.
Safe to say, there have been loads of moments in 2022 no-one might have seen coming.
So, with that mentioned, Foxsports.com.au has gazed into the crystal ball to see what footballing chaos awaits us in 2023 as we make 23 predictions starting from the practical to the downright absurd.
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#1: Ange Postecoglou takes up a job at a Premier League membership
Right, so this one appears a forgone conclusion.
The Celtic boss was closely linked with the Brighton emptiness after Chelsea poached Graham Potter from the Amex Stadium and was additionally talked about within the dialog for the Wolves gig.
Postecoglou will see out his second season in Glasgow, however after he leads the Hoops to consecutive Scottish Premiership league titles, he’s taking his abilities to the Premier League.
#2: Lionel Messi wins his eighth Ballon d’Or
Not precisely swinging for the fences with this prediction, however as we mentioned, a few of these needed to be practical.
There will be little to little doubt the subsequent Ballon d’Or goes to Messi due to the Argentinian skipper’s exploits in Qatar as he led his nation to glory.
#3: Manchester City lastly wins the Champions League
Sometimes you must make small sacrifices for the larger good.
In Manchester City’s case, meaning surrendering the Premier League title to Arsenal.
But it additionally means successful the trophy that everybody related to the membership has craved for a number of years: The Champions League.
City got here awfully shut in 2021, dropping to fellow Premier League outfit Chelsea within the remaining.
However, Pep Guardiola and his troops stay the final staff standing because the Spaniard lastly learns he doesn’t should overthink his techniques as a lot as he does.
Is 2023 the yr Pep Guardiola lastly delivers the Champions League to the Etihad? (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
#4: Jude Bellingham turns into the subsequent $100m celebrity
Jude Bellingham is just 19 years previous, however he’s set to turn out to be soccer’s hottest property both within the January window or the summer season.
The English midfielder displayed maturity past his years for the Three Lions on the World Cup. He’s continued to dazzle for membership aspect Borussia Dortmund, who appear resigned to dropping the teenager.
Premier League heavyweights Liverpool proceed to be carefully linked to Bellingham, however Real Madrid received’t let him transfer to Anfield with no combat as they’ve the funds to fund a transfer.
Wherever Bellingham finally ends up, he received’t go for something lower than 9 figures.
#5: Arsenal win the Premier League
The longer Arsenal maintain choosing up three factors and keep on the prime of the Premier League, the extra practical this truly appears.
There’s loads of video games left within the season and, admittedly, this journalist tipped the Gunners to return fifth within the pre-season predictions.
But so long as Mikel Arteta’s aspect proceed to win and others drop factors right here and there, why can’t they win the title?
#6: If Cristiano Ronaldo strikes to Saudi Arabia, he doesn’t final the yr
All indicators level to Cristiano Ronaldo transferring to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Nassr, with CBS Sports reporting the Portuguese celebrity is ready for a medical.
There’s murmurs Ronaldo might earn as a lot as $AUD308 million per yr ought to he signal on the dotted line.
If, and it’s a really large if, Ronaldo indicators, is there a assure he lasts taking part in in Saudi Arabia given his perception he can nonetheless hack it on the highest stage?
It can be some huge cash to stroll away from, however Ronaldo is a robust character. And as we noticed in his interview with Piers Morgan, he’s not afraid to tackle anybody and everybody.
Cristiano Ronaldo might be headed to Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
#7: Nick Montgomery is the subsequent A-League coach to be poached for an abroad gig
Since taking up on the Mariners in 2021, Nick Montgomery has led the membership to its first-ever FFA Cup remaining, a fifth-place end and has overseen the event of great expertise, together with Premier League-bound Garang Kuol.
With the Mariners sitting in fourth on the time of writing, the vultures will definitely be ready to swoop on Montgomery ought to he proceed to guide the membership with aplomb.
#8: Everton are relegated
Everton got here perilously near relegation final season and, on present type, can be locked in a dogfight for survival once more this yr.
Frank Lampard has an almighty job on his arms to show across the Toffees’ fortunes — and that’s if he’s given sufficient time to take action.
If the Everton board decides Lampard is the person to information the staff to security, the worst-case situation of life within the Championship will shortly turn out to be a actuality.
#9: Tottenham Hotspur win a trophy
It’s lastly going to occur.
All the jokes about Tottenham Hotspur’s empty trophy cupboard will turn out to be redundant when Antonio Conte’s aspect hoist the FA Cup aloft on the hallowed turf at Wembley.
It’s both that or they crash out to Portsmouth in a smash-and-grab loss at Fratton Park within the fourth spherical. There’s actually no in-between.
Harry Kane may lastly win a trophy subsequent yr. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
#10: Harry Souttar turns into the subsequent Australian to maneuver to a Premier League membership
Another that appears destined to occur.
Several Premier League golf equipment have been in for Souttar earlier than he tore his ACL whereas on Socceroos responsibility in November final yr. But his spectacular showings on nationwide responsibility on the World Cup reminded these groups what the towering defender can do.
Where he goes stays to be seen, however Souttar would be the subsequent Aussie in a protracted checklist to play within the Premier League.
#11: The Matildas make it to the semi-final stage of the World Cup
It hasn’t precisely been smoothsailing all through Matildas boss Tony Gustavsson’s reign.
But with 4 wins from their final 4 video games, might the Aussies be peaking on the proper time?
We’ve seen glimpses of simply how good this Matildas staff underneath Gustavsson will be, however we’ve additionally seen the opposite finish of the spectrum, which is reasonably bleak.
At a house World Cup, the Tillies will ship en path to an epic run to the semi-finals on the again of a sure stat striker scoring a ton of objectives, which leads us completely into …
#12: Sam Kerr (lastly) wins the Ballon d’Or Feminin
Sam Kerr scores objectives for enjoyable at each membership and worldwide stage — and 2023 can be no totally different.
It will even be the yr she lastly pushes larger up the Ballon d’Or Feminin rankings, having completed third in 2021 and 2022.
With performances to recollect at her house World Cup, Kerr will present the world why she is likely one of the greatest on the planet and get the worldwide recognition she deserves.
#13: Plans for a second division in Australian soccer are locked in
It’s a dialogue that pops up each few months, however 2023 is when plans for the National Second Division (NSD) are lastly put in to position.
That contains the checklist of competing groups, the format of the league and the way all golf equipment can be supported financially, amongst a number of different components to the league’s formation.
There’s loads of work that should go into it, however provided that discussions surrounding the NSD have been as sturdy as they have been in 2022, vital progress within the type of an official announcement can’t be additional than 12 months away.
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#14: Erling Haaland smashes Alan Shearer’s 34-goal document and scores 40
We’re not even midway via the Premier League and Erling Haaland has 18 objectives to his identify.
It’s a freakish run of scoring from the Manchester City striker — and there’s a lot extra to return.
The reality Haaland didn’t go to Qatar for the World Cup means he’s contemporary and able to tear opposition backlines aside as soon as extra.
Hopefully Alan Shearer has loved his time because the record-holder for many objectives scored in a single Premier League season, as a result of he’s going to be dethroned when it’s all mentioned and achieved.
#15: The A-League All Stars beat whichever European powerhouse visits subsequent
The A-League All Stars gave a superb account of themselves in opposition to Barcelona and even led 2-1 at one stage within the conflict, however it was to not be because the La Liga outfit ran out 3-2 victors.
It’s the second time the All Stars have misplaced by that scoreline, with a 5-1 loss to Manchester United the large outlier.
However, the All Stars’ luck may lastly flip after they tackle the subsequent European heavyweights to tour our shores.
The query is, who may that be?
#16: Kevin Muscat scores a gig in Europe
Ange Postecoglou received the J1 League with Yokohama F. Marinos in 2019 and scored the Celtic gig solely two years later.
Fellow Aussie supervisor Kevin Muscat achieved the identical feat this yr and it’s extraordinarily troublesome to think about he received’t be on the identical continent as his former mentor subsequent yr.
Where that is perhaps stays to be seen, however Muscat virtually actually received’t comply with Postecoglou’s footsteps for a 3rd time to Celtic given the defender’s ties to bitter rivals Rangers.
#17: Tony Gustavsson produces one other whiteboard masterclass
The Matildas boss delivered one of many extra attention-grabbing press conferences in 2021 when he introduced out a whiteboard and produced an image to resemble exterior strain, inner strain and the “efficiency zone” between the 2.
It is smart, we swear! Picture: SuppliedSource: Supplied
It was actually a novel approach of getting your level throughout and never a way seen typically, if in any respect, within the soccer world.
Let’s hope a whiteboard and marker aren’t out of attain from Gustavsson in future press conferences so we get just a few extra of those golden nuggets of perception.
#18: Garang Kuol makes his Premier League debut
It’s the 84th minute in one among Newcastle’s first Premier League fixtures within the 2023/24 season.
Star winger Miguel Almiron claps the St James’ Park devoted after a masterful show.
Waiting to take the Paraguayan’s place on the sideline is none apart from Aussie teen sensation Garang Kuol, who steps onto the pitch to an enormous roar from the Toon Army.
It simply sounds so excellent, doesn’t it?
#19: Belgium fails to qualify for Euro 2024
The Qatar hangover continues for Belgium.
Of course, it closely is dependent upon who the Red Devils usher in as Roberto Martinez’s substitute, however the reality the Belgian FA marketed the emptiness on their web site must be a case for some nervy occasions.
Some might say the person prowess of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku will drag Belgium over the road.
However, with Austria and Sweden of their Euro 2024 qualifying group, nothing will be taken without any consideration.
#20: Newcastle United finishes within the prime three
It’s been a protracted, very long time since Newcastle final had the prospect to play within the Champions League.
But the Magpies are sitting fairly within the prime three with only one loss to their identify all season.
Although the mega-rich house owners’ willingness to loosen the purse strings for brand spanking new signings has helped, supervisor Eddie Howe’s position within the membership’s turnaround can’t be overstated sufficient.
Newcastle will proceed to experience their tidal wave of momentum and end the 2022/23 season within the prime 4 for the primary time in 20 years.
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#21: San Marino wins their first worldwide match since 2004
We did warn you that a few of these is perhaps bordering on the absurd.
San Marino, ranked 211th on the planet by FIFA, haven’t received a recreation in a protracted, very long time.
But 2023 is the yr of La Serenissima, regardless of that includes in a Euro 2024 qualification group of Denmark, Finland and Slovenia to call three.
Bring on the upsets!
#22: A League One staff makes it to the quarterfinal of the FA Cup
There’s nothing like a little bit of FA Cup magic, is there?
You should go way back to the 2017/18 season to the final time a League One staff made the quarterfinals, when Wigan Athletic made it after a surprising upset over Manchester City.
Yet there’s all the time an upset on this competitors yearly, the query is: Which staff would be the one to ship it?
#23: The Socceroos crack the highest 25 within the FIFA rankings
After the unbelievable run to the Round of 16 on the World Cup, the Socceroos are ranked No. 27 on the planet and have all of the momentum going into 2023.
No fixtures for subsequent yr have been introduced, however with a fully-fit staff that doesn’t have to fret about any extra Covid bubbles and protocols, there’s no motive to doubt this staff and what they will do subsequent yr.
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