EPL '09: Ten Things That Will Happen!
2009 will undoubtedly be a fascinating year for Premier League.
For the first time in the Premier League, Liverpool are top of the table at the turn of the year.
For the first time in many years, it seems as though an ''outsider'' will break up the top four's monopoly.
For the first time in a long time, the top teams can't win at home but are invincible on the road.
Ashley Young is the star shining bright. Cristiano Ronaldo's seems to be waning.
Hull City are looking to break into the top half of the table, Tottenham are struggling to stay in the top flight.
The boy wonder Fernando Torres is nowhere to be seen, notorious mischief maker Anelka is stealing the limelight.
This season has had many surprises.
And it is this unpredictability that is keeping football fanatics coming back for more, even in times of economic crisis.
Are these signs of times to come?
Will Arsenal ever hit the heady heights their fans started to take for granted during Henry and Bergkamp's twilight?
Are Aston Villa and Liverpool as good as they seem?
Are foreign managers no longer practical - or even fashionable?
Here is a list of 10 things I know WILL happen when the Premier League resumes in the New Year:
1. Players will become softer.
2. Referees will have more to do and will resort to brandishing cards ever more frequently.
3. Attendances will continue to fall as the football fan struggles to pay the going rate.
4. England will keep on winning under Cappello.
5. Tottenham will climb up the league under Redknapp, as will Blackburn under Allardyce.
6. UEFA and FIFA will continue to spend millions investigating ways to facilitate refereeing without making much progress.
7. More and more transfer bungs from years past will continue to emerge as the FA seeks greater transparency in footballing transactions.
8. The club vs country row will be severely tested when England's Euro 2010 qualifiers recommence.
9. More incompetent ex-professionals will take up cushty jobs in television and broadcasting, thus blocking the career paths of brighter and more literate candidates.
10. Transfer fees will hit the ceiling during the summer and will start to deflate as pragmatism wins over at last.
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