10 Surprises That Could Happen in European Football This Season

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer ISeptember 30, 2011

10 Surprises That Could Happen in European Football This Season

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    So far, the 2011-2012 European football season has supplied us with some surprising stories.

    We have witnessed Arsenal fall to a mid-table side, Carlos Tevez get suspended for refusing to play and Barcelona become even more unstoppable.

    League tables throughout Europe see surprising sides leading in multiple divisions, and this season is poised to see some more incredible changes.

    Here are 10 events that we could see this season in European football.

No 10: Juventus Could Once Again Play Champions League Football

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    Now, we are only four matches into the Serie A campaign, but Juventus are surprisingly on top of the table. 

    Juventus have not faced the best sides in Serie A so far, but if Juventus can manage to get a positive result agains AC Milan this weekend, anything can happen.

    If Juventus are able to qualify for the Champions League, it will be the first time since 2009 that they reach Europe's top football competition.

No 9: Trabzonspor Could Reach the Last 16 of the Champions League

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    Originally, Trabzonspor did not qualify for the Champions League group stage after getting eliminated in the third playoff round to Benfica.

    However, due to Fenerbache's involvement with a match-fixing scandal, Trabzonspor were given the spot that Fenerbache held in the Champions League for this season.

    In their first match, Trabzonspor surprised everyone by winning 1-0 at the San Siro over Inter Milan.

    After a 1-1 draw with Lille, Trabzonspor are now on top of Group B's table through two matches.

    If Trabzonspor keep this up, they could quite easily advance to the round of 16 in the Champions League, becoming the first club since Fenerbache in 2008 to achieve a spot in the knockout stage.

No 8: Carlos Tevez Could Retire

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    Roberto Mancini and Carlos Tevez have had a shaky relationship within the last two years. Despite having multiple transfer requests and complaints about his playing time, Tevez has remained with Man City.

    But after City's 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich and the news that Tevez refused to go on as a substitute, Tevez has been suspended for two weeks, and Man City are now looking to suspend Tevez until the transfer window opens in January.

    But Tevez, who continues to say that he wants to leave Manchester, might just pull a fast one and decide to retire.

    Tevez has already claimed multiple times that he wants to retire if he doesn't move, and if he cannot move due to the high amount that is required to play his transfer fee, retirement might just be Tevez's only option and an option that he is not afraid to use.

No 7: Arsene Wegner Might Get the Sack

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    In case you have lived in a cave over the last month, Arsenal have been a shell of their old selves and only now look like they are recovering from the loss of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

    However, Arsenal is still a massive question mark when it comes down to their results on the pitch, and despite playing better, Arsenal still have an uphill climb.

    If Arsenal do not become a top club like we know that they could be, they could quite easily remove Arsene Wegner and put in a new manager with a new message for the direction of the club.

No 6: Real Madrid and Barcelona's Dominance Will Get Challenged

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    Undoubtedly, the two best sides in La Liga are Real Madrid and Barcelona. Both sides have finished one-two in the league table every year since 2008.

    So far this year, Barcelona and Real Madrid have already experienced slipups, which has resulted in Real Betis topping La Liga's table.

    Now this season is still young, but with clubs in La Liga slowly getting stronger, this could easily be the year that we see one of the two giants fall out of the top two spots of the table.

No 5: Manchester United Might Not Win Their Champions League Group

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    Manchester United have been nothing short of impressive in the Premier League this season, leading the table with 17 points and a staggering 22 goals scored in six matches.

    However, the Red Devils have not been able to move that success into the Champions League this season. Through two matches, United are in third place with two draws.

    In their last match at Old Trafford, Man United lost a 2-0 lead and needed a 90th minute goal from Ashley Young to earn a draw against Basel.

    Unless United can start to play in the Champions League like they have in the Premier League, they could quite easily finish in second place or in the bottom half of their group.

No 4: Kaka Might Return to Being One of the Top Players in the World

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    Over the last several years, Kaka has been a shell of his old self due in large part due to the injuries that he has accumulated.

    Kaka's failure to prove his worth for Real Madrid caused massive transfer rumors and has caused many people to think Kaka was done.

    But this season, Kaka (who is finally healthy) has once again proven his worth for Real Madrid and looks like a player that is once again in the ranking for best players of the world.

    If Kaka remains healthy, he will be among the best players in the world.

No 3: Fernando Torres Could Leave Chelsea

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    Since he has joined Chelsea, Fernando Torres has drastically underperformed. Torres has scored two goals for Chelsea this year, but those goals have been overshadowed by a red card and a shocking miss in those matches where he scored.

    Torres has been linked to multiple clubs already in Europe. and if he does not get back to his top level soon, that could easily happen.

    If Torres did leave, it would not hurt Chelsea with a strong amount of other striking options. Also, this move probably would be best for Torres due to the fact that he will be able to escape the pressure of his big contract and play in a less physical league.

No 2: Lionel Messi Could Score More Than 55 Goals

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    It's crazy to think that Lionel Messi is only 24 years old and is so dominant. In the last two full seasons, Messi has scored a remarkable 100 goals and has supplied 33 assists in 113 matches.

    However, Messi is only continuing to get better, and already this season, he has scored a remarkable 16 goals in all competitions.

    Now that Messi has more offensive help with Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas, Messi will only continue to score plenty of goals, and it should come to no one's surprise that Messi could score at least 55 goals, if not more this season.

No. 1: Someone Other Than Barcelona Could Win the Champions League

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    Despite the stranglehold that Barcelona have on the football world today, there is always the possibility that another side could shock the defending champions.

    There is Bayern Munich, who haven't conceded a goal since August and are hosting the final this May. Alongside Bayern, there are sides such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, AC Milan etc. that could upset Barcelona along the way.

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