Back on the 5th of January, I made some predictions, most of which were based on various hunches rather than particularly robust data. I fared as follows:
Manchester United will win the Premier League; QPR will stay up while Reading, Southampton and Newcastle will go down. Chelsea will retain the FA Cup and win the League Cup too.
This was mostly wrong. Manchester United won the league, Reading now play in the Championship. Meanwhile, so do QPR, Southampton and Newcastle United survived, while Chelsea didn’t win either domestic cup competition.
Celtic will win the SPL; Dundee will get relegated. Celtic will also win the Scottish Cup, while Inverness Caley will win a first major trophy in the League Cup.
I got all of these (unsurprisingly) correct, apart from St Mirren’s rather unlikely League Cup win.
The Champions League will go back to Barcelona, and I think Dortmund will get a long way in the tournament too. Napoli will win the Europa League, ending Atletico Madrid’s domination of the competition which subsequently will lead to Falcao departing for either Real Madrid or Chelsea.
Barcelona got annihilated by Bayern in the semi-finals of the Champions League, while Napoli didn’t get anywhere near the final of the Europa League, being knocked out in the last 32 by Viktoria Plzen, 5-0 on aggregate. And Falcao, in a bizarre turn of affairs, went to Monaco to further his career.
Rangers will win the Third Division, and the proposed league reorganisation will result in them jumping to a new second tier. East Fife will stay in the Second Division.
Rangers did win the Third Division but are in the third tier for this season. The Fife did stay in the Second Division (now League 1, in an exciting renaming move), via the play-offs.
Brazil will win the Confederations Cup on home soil, raising hopes to be subsequently dashed in 2014. Tahiti will get absolutely blitzed in their three matches and the entire concept of the tournament will be called into question.
Brazil won the Confederations Cup, annihilating Spain in the final. Tahiti did get blitzed but did manage to score one goal, that accolade belonging to Jonathan Tehau. Given how good the tournament was as a whole, and its usefulness in testing infrastructure and political stability in the run-up to a World Cup, its concept is definitely not being called into question.
Nigeria will win the Africa Cup of Nations, with Cote d’Ivoire again not living up to the hype. Dider Drogba will retire from international football after the tournament.
I’ve already given myself credit for this prediction, although Didier still runs out in an orange jersey and is likely to fancy one last, final international tournament hurrah in Brazil next year.
In tennis, Andy Murray will win another Grand Slam in 2013, with Federer and Djokovic sharing the others.
The first part of this I got spot on, with Murray’s historic Wimbledon victory ending 77 years of British male mediocrity at SW19. Djokovic won in Australia, while Rafael Nadal defied various naysayers (myself included) to pick up the US and French Opens.
As far as the big cricket this year is concerned, England will win the Ashes at home in the summer; the Australian series will end in a 2-2 tie with England therefore retaining the urn.
Again, part 1 of this was bang on with England not being entirely convincing other than in short spells but still managing to skittle the Aussies 3-0. The 2013-14 series will be very tight indeed, particularly if England’s batsmen other than Ian Bell continue to play as badly, and Ryan Harris continues to bowl as well for Australia at home.
Mo Farah will win one gold at the World Athletics Championships; Jess Ennis will come second. Team GB will win two golds in total.
Farah won two golds; Ennis was injured and became Ennis-Hill by the time she had to pull out of the Championships; and the never knowingly beaten Christine Ohuruogu made it three for Team GB in another strangely encouraging yet underwhelming championships for the Brits.
Rory McIlroy will win two Majors in the golf, with a first-time winner for one of the others.
Two majors? What was I thinking? At that point in early January I didn’t know he was about to sign with Nike, giving him a whole new 14 clubs to get used to. It’s been a frustratingly difficult year for boyfriend-of-Wozniacki. In the end there were three new major champions this year in Adam Scott (Masters), Justin Rose (US Open) and Jason Dufner (US PGA), while Phil Mickelson completed the set for 2013 at Muirfield.
In the rugby union world. Scotland will have yet another awful Six Nations, with England running out Grand Slam and tournament winners.
Scotland didn’t have a hugely encouraging Six Nations but did somehow win 2 games and finished above Ireland and France. England looked set for a first Grand Slam since 2003 before they were hammered 30-3 in the Millennium Stadium, with Wales keeping the trophy in Cardiff.
Chris Froome will win the Tour de France, with Bradley Wiggins helping him to do so.
Right, but also then wrong. Froome winning the Tour this year was almost routine after last year’s successes for Sir Wiggo, who sat out for 2013 through injury.
The sporting year of 2013 is almost over, then. I will attempt another set of largely incorrect predictions come January 2014.