By Tony Attwood
We’re at the international break with the newly fangled “Extragames Country Cup” which from my limited experience not too many people quite get, and since I’m persistently anti-international matches I’m not going to explain.
But before the season began we made a prediction about who would win six different leagues in Europe and it is time at the first international break to see how we are getting on with our prediction.
And just to remind you, the point was that in a growing number of leagues one club dominates to such a degree that we know who is going to win the league before the season begins. Which rather defeats the object of it all.
So here are our predictions, and how it is going so far…
England – predicted winner: Manchester City
So what has gone wrong with our prediction? Well, basically one game which ended Wolverhampton 1 Manchester City 1. Had it ended Wolverthampton 0 Man City 1 then our nominees would indeed have been top of the league.
And we should also note the Manchester City have the same number of points as they had after four games last season. Pep Guardiola (the manager) has said he is “satisfied” with how things have gone so far, but he is worried about performance and fitness.
Much of this comes from two facts. First Manchester City, in common with some other clubs, rushed their players back after the WC giving the players far less recovery time than is normal. We will see if this affects them – especially as they have a smaller squad than the teams around them.
Spain – predicted winner: Barcelona
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Of course in Spain there are two challengers for the title and Atletico with an outside chance, but we expected Barcelona to keep on keeping on as Real Mad changed things around at the management level.
And after just three games, yes they are top, although with Real Mad right on their tails. But Barcelona have scored 12 goals in three games – it isn’t really a competition is it?
Scotland – predicted winner: Celtic
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I’ve included the list down to 7th because there has been some thought that if there is to be a challenge it will come from Rangers, but in fact it is coming in these early days from Hearts. It was the game which ended Hearts 1 Celtic 0 that tilted the balance.
Italy – predicted winner: Juventus
And Juventus it is. How could it be any other way? Sassuolo is now entering their sixth year in the top division. The only point of interest is Sassuolo has scored one more goal than Juventus.
Germany – predicted winners: Bayern
Another obvious one – and that is the point of all this, to point out that the fundamental essence of the competition has been allowed to vanish. We know who will win before we start, so what’s the point?
France – predicted winners: PSG