In Review

2020 football predictions: it’s coming home… for Liverpool, not England

Which teams will be victorious in 2020? We try to predict the football future…

When putting together the sporting predictions for 2019 we backed Liverpool to win their first top-flight title since 1990. 

At the time, 21 matches in, the Anfield club were four points clear at the top of the table and looked a good bet to go on and lift the Premier League trophy. 

However, Manchester City had something to say about that as Pep Guardiola’s side went on a magnificent winning run to claim back-to-back titles. 

With another healthy points advantage, could Liverpool finally end what is now a 30-year wait for the title? Or can Man City (or Leicester) stop the runaway Reds in their tracks?

Here we look into our crystal football and predict the big winners in 2020.

Premier League: Liverpool

Surely Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp and the Kop will be celebrating a Premier League title win come May?

In terms of league form the Anfield club are streets ahead of their rivals and even with another miraculous comeback the gap – 10 points at Christmas, with a game in hand – should be too big for Man City and Leicester to close.

Carabao Cup: Manchester City

Man City have won the league cup for the past two seasons and will hope to make it a hat-trick in 2020.

However, in the two-legged semi-finals they will face rivals Manchester United. After losing the Manchester derby 2-1 at home in December, City will be out for revenge against the Red Devils. 

Should Guardiola’s men defeat United over two legs they will be confident of beating Leicester City or Aston Villa in the Wembley final on 1 March.

FA Cup: Tottenham Hotspur

It really is the luck of the draw when predicting a winner of the FA Cup. 

In the third round Wolves will face Man Utd while on Merseyside there’s a derby between Liverpool and Everton – so at least two Premier League teams will be out of the cup early.

Man City are always a decent bet for any domestic cup, but over in north London Jose Mourinho has been tasked with ending Tottenham’s trophy drought. 

Could 2020 be a special year for Spurs and the Special One? 

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The 2020 Uefa Champions League final is scheduled to be played in Istanbul

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Uefa Champions League winners: Barcelona

The chase for the Premier League title could have a negative effect on Liverpool’s Champions League defence. 

The holders have a tough task in the last 16 against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid and could find themselves out of the competition at the first knockout stage. 

The Champions League is also the holy grail for Guardiola and Man City. But while we believe they will beat Real Madrid in the round of 16, there could be more UCL heartbreak this season for the men from the Etihad. 

Barcelona suffered a stunning defeat at Anfield in the semi-final last season, but there won’t be any tears this time around for the Catalans.

We predict that Lionel Messi will be lifting the famous silver trophy in the Istanbul final on 30 May.

Uefa Europa League: Inter Milan

Five British teams – Manchester United, Arsenal, Celtic, Wolves and Rangers – have qualified for the knockout stages of European football’s second biggest club competition. 

It would be easy to pick one of the UK sides to lift the Europa League trophy on 27 May in Gdansk, but there will be plenty of dangerous competition from teams who have dropped down from the Champions League. 

Ajax and Inter Milan are two of the teams who enter at the round of 32 stage in February and we predict that it will be Italian giants Inter who will be celebrating in Poland. 

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Euro 2020 will now take place from 11 June to 11 July 2021

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

2020 Uefa European Championship: France 

Dig out the memes and dust off the flags, football’s coming home! 

This summer promises to a cracker with Euro 2020 on the schedule. The tournament will be held for the first time in multiple countries and luckily for England, Wembley Stadium has been chosen as a host venue.

England will play their three group games at Wembley and the London ground has also been selected for both semi-finals and final. 

Could this (sort of) home advantage work in favour of the Three Lions? England boss Gareth Southgate will certainly hope so.

However... let’s be realistic here, this is England we’re talking about. 

While we believe that Southgate’s side could reach the last four, the “years of hurt” will continue for the Three Lions as they lose in the semi-finals. To Germany. On penalties. Probably.

The Germans, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal (the holders) will hope to be contenders for the Euro crown.

But with players like Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and N’Golo Kante in their ranks, we feel that France will be too strong for the rest and complete a World Cup and Euro double.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 

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