Tag: We Predict…

We Predict… The 2018-19 Season

You do realise that it’s been nearly one whole month since the FIFA World Cup finished, right? Three-and-a-bit weeks have passed since France dismantled Croatia in Moscow, which in our minds means we’ve been deprived of top class football for far too long. It’s about time the 2018-19 season kicked off and we get back to what really matters. Cast aside the mundane pre-season tours and friendlies for the real, proper, competitive, edge-of-your-seat drama acted out by the best players football has to offer.

After all, that’s what we’re all here for. The big leagues and the big names. And in 2018-19 those big names have a lot to answer for. There’s a mouthwatering title tussle in England while Cristiano Ronaldo sets out on his new adventure in Serie A, Steven Gerrard is the main story in Scotland and, as ever, the likes of FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus are bearing down on Real Madrid to steal their European crown.

With just a handful of days until the big kick-off we, the staff of Icons.com, are back again to answer (or at least attempt to answer) the burning questions on everyone’s minds ahead of the season opener at Old Trafford on Friday night. But don’t just take our word for it, send us your predictions for the season ahead on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages. You can hardly do much worse.

And, of course, be sure to check out our fantastic range of signed items from Premier League stars past and present – available right now on Icons.com.

Manchester City and Liverpool are strong favourites to contest the Premier League title.

Edward Freedman, Non-Executive Chairman

Premier League winners: MANCHESTER CITY are the strongest team with a great coach. There’s no reason that Liverpool can’t win it but City have strengthened with the addition of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City. It’ll be close.
2nd – Liverpool 3rd – Manchester United 4th – Tottenham Hotspur
Relegated: Cardiff City, Fulham and Crystal Palace
Golden Boot: SERGIO AGUERO looks fit and on form with lots of support from City’s myriad creative talent.

Serie A winners: Cristiano Ronaldo will change his role by coming deeper and be as good as ever. He has a lot of supporting acts at JUVENTUS, who should take the title easily.
La Liga winners: FC BARCELONA have strengthened while Real Madrid have disappointed during the summer. Madrid have already lost Ronaldo and if Luka Modric goes too that will be a seismic a blow.
Bundesliga winners: BAYERN MUNICH. It’ll be the same old, same old in Germany, which, admittedly is quite boring.

UEFA Champions League winners: The arrival of Arturo Vidal to FC BARCELONA will bring Real Madrid‘s three-year dominance to an end. Barca have an excellent coach who can pull it off.
UEFA Europa League winners: SEVILLA have a decent team and are well experienced in winning this competition. I like them out of the frontrunners.

Signing of the season: The very attacking RIYAD MAHREZ will only grow under Pep Guardiola alongside much higher quality teammates.

My team, FC Barcelona, will… be stronger at the back with a superb goalkeeper in Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Samuel Umtiti growing in stature. They’re now a real team and not just an attacking force.

Mark my words… Zinedine Zidane will be managing Manchester United before Christmas. More of the old school of English managers will be replaced by younger continental coaches.

There’s a new face in Turin. You may already know his name.

Dan Jamieson, CEO

Premier League winners: MANCHESTER CITY haven’t gone backwards so should retain the title under Pep Guardiola. That said, key component Fernandinho must stay fit.
2nd – Liverpool 3rd – Tottenham Hotspur 4th – Arsenal
Relegated: Newcastle United, Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town
Golden Boot: SERGIO AGUERO is the biggest goal threat in the league’s best and most creative team.

Serie A winners: It’s not just the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo that makes JUVENTUS favourites. It’s also the capture of Emre Can and the return of Leonardo Bonucci.
La Liga winners: Lionel Messi and FC BARCELONA win the league title for fun but is another league and cup double really enough?
Bundesliga winners: I’ll go with RB LEIPZIG just for the fun of it.

UEFA Champions League winners: From a tactical standpoint, LIVERPOOL are more suited to winning on the ultimate stage than in domestic competitions.
UEFA Europa League winners: Unai Emery knows how to win this competition and he’ll bring that nous to ARSENAL.

Signing of the season: NABY KEITA is like Roy Keane on steroids mixed with Paul Ince on fast forward.

My team, Liverpool, will… be pipped to the post by a Manchester City team who have more experience. But teams coming to attack allows us to counter with extreme pace so it should be another exciting campaign at Anfield.

Mark my words… Manchester United will implode, leaving Jose Mourinho to pack his bags and leave his hotel just in time for Christmas. England‘s youth players will start to break in to first teams across the country – the future is bright for 2026. Fulham (who have bought very well over the summer, by the way) will stay up with a surprisingly entertaining brand of football.

Jose Mourinho is into his third season at Manchester United…

Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager

Premier League winners: Out of sheer hope as much as expectation, I’ll say LIVERPOOL.
2nd – Manchester City 3rd – Manchester United 4th – Chelsea
Relegated: Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Crystal Palace
Golden Boot: HARRY KANE will finally break his August duct and, despite being exhausted from his FIFA World Cup exploits, the Englishman will win this honour yet again.

Serie A winners: Could you imagine JUVENTUS not winning the title now?
La Liga winners: FC BARCELONA will surely be Spanish champions again.
Bundesliga winners: The obvious choice in Germany is BAYERN MUNICH.

UEFA Champions League winners: Isn’t it FC BARCELONA‘s turn again?
UEFA Europa League winners: With a mere 50 hours left of the transfer window at the time of writing CHELSEA have only to keep their squad together to walk this competition.

Signing of the season: NABY KEITA gives Liverpool a new famous number eight as well as a proper number one.

My team, Liverpool, will… start strong but find themselves in second place after a tricky spell around Christmas time. Still, dare I say it’s our year? In the end they’ll have the league won with two games to spare.

Mark my words… Jose Mourinho will be gone by this time next year while at the same time the world transfer record will be broken once again and Liverpool will have won silverware. I also predict that I will have changed my mind about most of the above within the first two weeks of the season.

Liverpool’s Naby Keita is much-fancied to be a hit in the Premier League.

James Tildesley, Head of New Business

Premier League winners: No surprises here, really. I can’t see anyone beating MANCHESTER CITY. The only thing that I can see upsetting their dominance is an injury to Fernandinho as they don’t have a quality replacement at the time of writing.
2nd – Liverpool 3rd – Arsenal 4th – Tottenham Hotspur
Relegated: Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace
Golden Boot: The metronome that is HARRY KANE wins this while Mohamed Salah does well again… but not as well as last season.

Serie A winners: AC Milan will run JUVENTUS close.
La Liga winners: With Real Madrid in transition, FC BARCELONA retain the title.
Bundesliga winners: If anyone gets near BAYERN MUNICH expect the Bavarian side to buy their key players at the end of the season.

UEFA Champions League winners: FC BARCELONA will beat Manchester City in the final.
UEFA Europa League winners: If CHELSEA embrace the playing style of new manager Mauricio Sarri, they’ll be excellent in Europe.

Signing of the season: NABY KEITA is exactly what Liverpool need and he suits their playing style perfectly.

My team, Aston Villa, will… reach the play-offs at best. They need to rebuild after last season and the new owners will help with that. But to galvanise the team enough to put consistent performances across 46 gruelling games and win that league is a step too far.

Mark my words… Burnley will drop like a stone with the addition of European football to their fixture list. They’ll finish 17th. Manchester United will have a horrendous season with Jose Mourinho gone in January. Losing Assistant Manager Rui Faria is massive – it’s going to be a hard watch for United fan this season.

Steven Gerrard is the big story in Scotland as he looks to topple Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic.

Alistair Hunter, Senior Editor

Premier League winners: LIVERPOOL have just about enough to topple Manchester City. Either way this will be an enthralling title race that goes down to the wire. Buckle up, this is going to be a classic.
2nd – Manchester City 3rd – Tottenham Hotspur 4th – Chelsea
Relegated: Cardiff City, Bournemouth and a Rafa-less Newcastle United
Golden Boot: Another season among Europe’s top scorers cements HARRY KANE‘s place among the Premier League greats.

Serie A winners: Carlo Ancelotti pulls off the mother of all upsets in bringing the Scudetto back to NAPOLI.
La Liga winners: Arturo Vidal gives FC BARCELONA much-needed backbone. La Blaugrana won’t be stopped in Spain – unless they find themselves twelve yards from goal, of course.
Bundesliga winners: John Williams’ Imperial March plays as BAYERN MUNICH sweep their rivals aside once again.

UEFA Champions League winners: Those of us who had at least one eye open during the FIFA World Cup will have seen just how fearless and seemingly unstoppable Kylian Mbappe is right now. Under the astute guidance of Thomas Tuchel, this is the year that PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN finally get it right.
UEFA Europa League winners: Rangers storm to success in Baku… only joking. Not even Stevie G can pull off a miracle of that magnitude. I’ll play it safe and go with perennial UEL winners SEVILLA.

Signing of the season: Tottenham’s capture of… wait… what? Oh. Oh my. Okay, in that case, I’ll go with ALISSON. The keeper will prove his distribution is as assured as his brilliant shot-stopping.

My team, Cambridge United, will… finish so aggressively mid-table that they may even break the league in two. My other team, Rangers, will close the gap on Celtic, win at least one Old Firm derby and snag the Bhoys’ Treble Treble by claiming one of the cups. All aboard the Steven Gerrard bandwagon – the Gers are on their way back.

Mark my words… the pressure on Premier League officials to implement VAR will prove all too much after a campaign riddled with refereeing mishaps. Ryan Sessegnon will be snapped up by a top six side in January amid fresh calls for his inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s England squad but the most exciting home-grown prospect will break through down the road at Chelsea. Callum Hudson-Odoi, remember the name.

Lionel Messi’s FC Barcelona are expected to retain the Spanish title.

Brett Sinclair, Warehouse Manager

Premier League winners: MANCHESTER CITY‘s very talented squad will cruise to the title if they stay fit.
2nd – Tottenham Hotspur 3rd – Liverpool 4th – Chelsea
Relegated: Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town and Fulham
Golden Boot: This is tough one with some of the world’s best footballers playing in the league this season but I hope PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG’s pace gets the service it deserves.

Serie A winners: I expect great things from JUVENTUS after the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo. Juve will be closely followed by Napoli.
La Liga winners: FC BARCELONA take the title with Real Madrid not too far behind.
Bundesliga winners: No-one will come close to BAYERN MUNICH as they glide to victory.

UEFA Champions League winners: JUVENTUS will push through. For their sake, I hope the officials are more switched on this season.
UEFA Europa League winners: CHELSEA will focus on winning this.

Signing of the season: FELIPE ANDERSON will do great things for West Ham United.

My team, Leicester City, will… finish fifth this season. There’s not much else they can do. It would be great to see a repeat of their title-winning exploits in 2015-16 but it’s best to be realistic.

Mark my words… Arsenal will not lift a trophy this season or finish in the top five. Sorry to all the Gunners out there.

Paul Pogba is now a world champion – can he shine at Old Trafford?

Daryl Angel, Head of Customer Support

Premier League winners: MANCHESTER UNITED
2nd – Liverpool 3rd – Manchester City 4th – Arsenal
Relegated: Southampton, Cardiff City and Brighton and Hove Albion
Golden Boot: ROMELU LUKAKU shares the honour with HARRY KANE.

Serie A winners: I would love to see one of the Milan sides back on top but I don’t think it’s possible after CR7‘s move to JUVENTUS.
La Liga winners: FC BARCELONA, no doubt about this.
Bundesliga winners: I would love to see BAYERN MUNICH toppled but I don’t think anyone has the squad to do so.

UEFA Champions League winners: MANCHESTER UNITED will face JUVENTUS in the final with Paul Pogba scoring the winner… but for whom I don’t know yet.
UEFA Europa League winners: Having been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stages, PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN treat the UEFA Europa League as the most important trophy of the season.

Signing of the season: 35-year-old Lee Grant at Manchester United… or Jack Wilshere for West Ham United. JEAN MICHAEL SERI to Fulham could also be one of the coups of the summer.

My team, Manchester United, will… either win the league or crash and burn ten games into the season and sack Jose Mourinho before Christmas. I hope Mourinho’s third season curse is about to change.

Mark my words… everybody will see that £70million for Allison is ridiculous and Liverpool fans will be singing for the return of Loris Karius by Christmas. Rangers will finally challenge Celtic in the SPL. Paul Pogba will either become Manchester United club captain or be gone by this time next year.


So, that’s what we think will go down during this season’s campaign. But what do you think? Send us your predictions by getting in touch via our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages!

For our full range of Premier League signed products check out icons.com now!



We Predict… The 2018 UEFA Champions League Final

It’s almost here. The countdown to the 2018 UEFA Champions League final is in its final stages and this year the anticipation could not be any higher. Kiev better brace itself, because when Real Madrid and Liverpool clash on Saturday evening, there’s sure to be fireworks.

We know it’ll be an exciting, enthralling and electric final. We know there’s a good chance the match won’t finish goalless. We know there’s history to be made. But what we don’t know – for certain, anyway – is exactly what will happen. But we can always guess. So, without further adieu…


Dan Jamieson, CEO

I’m with esteemed football writer Jonathan Wilson, who has argued that Real Madrid are a giant “sleep-walking into a hammering.”

I’m a born and bred Scouser and a big Liverpool fan, so forgive me for any perceived bias, but I just think Real won’t know what’s hit them. Lots of teams press but Liverpool are on a different level. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané are clocked as two of the top even fastest players in European football and it’s the Gegenpress that creates the chances rather than our more functional midfield. Marcelo will go walkabout, Sergio Ramos will push up too high and dive in too much, while Cristiano Ronaldo will get frustrated by a lack of service.

This is the end of the road for this great Real side but now the youngest, quickest and hungriest team they will have played will bring down the curtain on their regal rein. Exuberance triumphs over experience.

Score: Real Madrid 0-4 Liverpool
Man of the Match: Sir Bobby of Firmino.
Random prediction: After Madrid lose, they spend the summer trying to buy their conquerors.


Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager

Real are the dream opposition for Liverpool – ageing, slow, over-confident. Madrid may have the experience in finals like these but Liverpool will have the hunger. There will undoubtedly be some early jitters and the occasion might get to some of the Liverpool players (as it did in the first 20 minutes of the first leg against Roma) but when they get their first chance they will quickly see how easy it is to get at Madrid’s defence.

Many of Liverpool’s games are won in the middle of the pitch, where a dynamic trio dispossess their opposite numbers, and get it to that forward three at pace. Injuries mean they are without linchpin midfielders Emre Can and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain while Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro will prove to be the hardest opposition Klopp’s side have come up against. So, it will be up to Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, and the competition’s leader for assists, James Milner, to control the game.

I expect a high-scoring match but those who doubt Liverpool’s defensive qualities should re-watch the performances of Dejan Lovren and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s against Manchester City in the quarter-final at the Etihad.

Score: Real Madrid 2-3 Liverpool
Man of the Match: James Milner.
Random prediction: Marcelo will misplace a pass that leads directly to a goal.

The final takes place at Kiev’s Olimpiyskiy stadium on Saturday at 19:45 (GMT)

Alistair Hunter, Senior Editor

Liverpool have all the tools to stop Real Madrid but there’s something about Zinedine Zidane’s side in these finals that makes them seem unstoppable.

Call it experience, call it genuine star quality, call it luck, call it whatever you want – there’s just something about them that has me believing that, especially if it goes beyond the 90 minutes, it’s they who pull through. I have been lucky enough to have attended the last two finals so I have seen this in action.

But, on a more practical note, I believe it’ll be Real’s strength in depth that will prove a decisive factor. After all, however Zidane chooses to line up his side in Kiev, he’ll have numerous options on the bench. One of Gareth Bale, Isco or Marco Asensio (or even all three) could be left out of the starting XI. Klopp doesn’t have that luxury and the more this incredibly high-octane, end-of-season game wears on, the more likely it is that fresh legs make the difference.

Score: Real Madrid 3-2 Liverpool (AET)
Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo.
Random prediction: Ronaldo will win and convert a first half penalty.


James Tildesley, Head of New Business

Much has been said about Real Madrid’s weaknesses and, in particular, how Marcelo marauding forward would afford space to Liverpool’s key threat, Mohamed Salah. But I don’t think a team that has got itself to the final for a chance to win its third consecutive UEFA Champions League title could be that tactically naive.

Admittedly, I looked at Madrid against Bayern Munich and thought it to be promising for Liverpool and in the final Marcelo may well find himself out of position. However, I think mental strength will be a deciding factor and, given that Liverpool were rocked several times against Roma, I can see that coming to the fore again.

Score: Real Madrid 2-1 Liverpool
Man of the Match: Luka Modric.
Random prediction: Marcelo provides either the assist or a key pass for a Real goal while also being at fault for a Liverpool goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo is aiming to win his fifth UEFA Champions League title

Jamie White, Social Media Producer

Being a Liverpool fan, I have to have faith in the Redmen to bring home that trophy even if my head says Real Madrid will win.

Given their experience in winning this competition over recent years and considering the players they have at their disposal, it’s hard look past the Spanish giants for a third straight title. Having said that, on our day, we can beat anyone and there can be no bigger or better occasion to prove that than this one. People talk up Liverpool’s powerful attacking trio but its that leaky back line that will have to prove itself in limiting the damage caused by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo. I think that, should the game go to extra time, Liverpool may run out of steam with their high-pressure tactics. Real’s greater strength in depth will also play a key role in swinging the balance.

Score: Real Madrid 3-2 Liverpool
Man of the Match: Luka Modric.
Random prediction: (Not so random) Dejan Lovren will drop a howler.


Scott Hutchison, US Partner

If you’re looking for a defensive battle, this isn’t the match for you. Expect both teams to constantly press, setting us neutrals up to enjoy a free-scoring affair. I’m a firm believer in the intangibles, with experience being top of the list.

I can’t see Liverpool being intimidated by the occasion, but when that whistle blows, they’ll line up opposite the side who have reigned over this competition for three of the last four years. That will bring a certain confidence to Real and will put them up early, making this less of a competitive match than most would want.

Score: Real Madrid 4-2 Liverpool.
Man of the Match: Can it really be anyone other than Cristiano Ronaldo?
Random prediction: Chelsea showed that if you smother Mo Salah, you smother and ultimately stop Liverpool. He may get his goal but expect the Egyptian’s possession overall to be very limited.


So, that’s what we think will go down in Kiev. But what do you think? Send us your predictions by getting in touch via our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages!

Get 10% off ALL Liverpool and Real Madrid signed memorabilia on Icons.com.



We Predict… The 2017-18 Season

So, here we are again. When Leicester City travel to Arsenal on Friday night to open the 2017-18 Premier League season, it’ll be the first of 380 league matches that stretch over ten months and determine the fates of twenty topflight clubs. Win roughly 25 of your 38 matches and you’ll be in with a shout of the title; avoid losing more than 20 times and you should, in theory, stay up. It’s as simple as that, right?

Well, not quite. This is, after all, one of the most unforgiving leagues in all of world football. It’s a division in which the title defence of the two previous champions ended in finishes of 10th and 12th respectively. Where a team with five UEFA Champions League winners amongst its ranks could only muster a measly 13th place in 2016-17. And where a side who finished some 32 points shy of last season’s champions have spent nearly £100million on new recruits over the summer.

This is indeed a brutal league. But that’s exactly why it attracts the biggest audiences, a number of the biggest stars and most certainly the biggest names in management. For the likes of Mourinho, Conte, Pochettino, Klopp, Wenger and Guardiola, this weekend’s action offers the potential first step towards the ultimate glory. But to whom the trophy will go is anyone’s guess.

Giving it our best shot, we, the staff and partners of Icons.com, are back again to answer (or at least attempt to answer) the burning questions on everyone’s minds ahead of the big kick-off. But don’t just take our word, get involved on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages by giving us your predictions for the season ahead. You can hardly do much worse.

And, of course, be sure to check out our fantastic range of signed items from Premier League stars past and present – available right now on Icons.com.

It’s make or break time for Pep Guardiola in Manchester

Edward Freedman, Chairman

Premier League winners: Manchester City
Top four: Chelsea (2nd), Liverpool (3rd), Arsenal (4th)
Relegated: Huddersfield Town, Watford, Brighton & Hove Albion
Overachievers: Everton – The Toffees have spent big but have invested well this summer. Wayne Rooney‘s return brings valuable experience to a dressing room packed with new and exciting faces.
Underachievers: Arsenal – Last year I predicted that because the Gunners had spent nothing they would falter. This year, despite the purchase of Alexandre Lacazette, the same problems will persist. Wenger should have left years ago.
Golden Boot: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Signing of the season: Ederson (Manchester City) – The Brazilian youngster is an improvement on former keepers at the Etihad.

FA Cup winners: Chelsea
League Cup winners: Liverpool

UEFA Champions League winners: FC Barcelona
UEFA Europa League winners: AC Milan

Random prediction: Lionel Messi will become only the fifth player ever to have won five Pichichi trophies after he finishes the season as La Liga’s top scorer.

Dan Jamieson, CEO

Premier League winners: Manchester City
Top four: Liverpool (2nd), Chelsea (3rd), Manchester United (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Watford, Huddersfield Town
Overachievers: West Ham United – The Hammers have finally bought a striker with bags of Premier League experience.
Underachievers: Southampton – After years of gradual progress, decline will finally set in at St Mary’s.
Golden Boot: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
Signing of the season: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – I always go for Liverpool‘s big money signing…

FA Cup winners: Chelsea
League Cup winners: Tottenham Hotspur

UEFA Champions League winners: Liverpool. Come on, we can all dream!
UEFA Europa League winners: Manchester United will retain the trophy after dropping out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stages.

Random prediction: Barcelona will improve despite the departure of Neymar Jr. They’ll wrestle the Spanish title back from Real Madrid.

Wayne Rooney has returned to Everton – could his experience bring success to Goodison?

Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager

Premier League winners: Manchester United
Top four: Manchester City (2nd), Chelsea (3rd), Tottenham Hotspur (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Swansea City, Huddersfield Town
Overachievers: Chelsea – A paper thin squad coupled with the return of UEFA Champions League football should make life tough for the Blues but Eden Hazard will keep them winning.
Underachievers: Manchester City‘s backline – Pep’s back four will improve on last season but they’ll still leak plenty of goals.
Golden Boot: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Signing of the season: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) – The Serbian will make a big difference for United but if Liverpool can sign a central defender the title is in the bag.

FA Cup winners: Liverpool
League Cup winners: Liverpool

UEFA Champions League winners: Paris Saint-Germain – Neymar Jr will take the Parisians that one step further they need this year.
UEFA Europa League winners: Villarreal – Though Arsenal will surely walk it if only they try.

Random predictions: Dele Alli‘s rise to superstardom continues, earning him a big money move at the end of the season for, let’s say, £200million. From March onwards, a number of players will feign and/or elongate injuries in order to be fresh for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. One of Nathan Redmond or Tom Davies sneaks onto England‘s plane for Russia.

Alistair Hunter, Senior Editor

Premier League winners: Manchester City
Top four: Manchester United (2nd), Arsenal (3rd), Chelsea (4th)
Relegated: Burnley, Huddersfield Town, Stoke City
Overachievers: Newcastle United – The Rafa Revolution rolls on. In fact, he even manages to take a handful of points from former employers Liverpool and Chelsea.
Underachievers: Stoke City – Mark Hughes wins the sack race feeling the absence of the brilliant Marko Arnautovic. The rest of the bottom half chews them up and spits them out.
Golden Boot: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Signing of the season: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) – Manchester City fans will thank their lucky stars for that buy-back clause as the exciting young forward links up with Jamie Vardy to devastating effect.

FA Cup winners: West Ham United – Slaven Bilic’s side overcome Championship opposition in the Final.
League Cup winners: Cambridge Unit- ah, no, we’re out already. Okay, let’s go with Manchester City.

UEFA Champions League winners: Real Madrid – No-one thought back-to-back titles could be done. Why can’t they make it three-in-a-row with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at the top of their game?
UEFA Europa League winners: Lyon – The French side weren’t too far off last season and this year the Final takes place in their own back yard.

Random prediction: A goalkeeper will get on the scoresheet at some stage this season. Liverpool sacrifice the topflight for a deep run in the UEFA Champions League as they reach the semi-finals. Cambridge United win automatic promotion from League Two.

Icons favourite Dele Alli: world football’s next £200million player?

Joe Turnbull, Editorial Intern

Premier League winners: Manchester City
Top four: Liverpool (2nd), Tottenham Hotspur (3rd), Manchester United (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Stoke City, Huddersfield Town
Overachievers: Newcastle United – Rafa Benitez is experienced at Premier League level. I wouldn’t bet against him taking the Toon into the top ten.
Underachievers: Chelsea – Friction between Antonio Conte and the board will be their downfall. New boy Alvaro Morata won’t click and injuries will deplete their squad, leaving the Stamford Bridge side languishing in sixth.
Golden Boot: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Signing of the season: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) – Though he cost a lot of money, the Belgian brings guaranteed goals. Lukaku is a fantastic player who will step up to the plate and may even give Jose a long run in the UEFA Champions League.

FA Cup winners: Liverpool
League Cup winners: Tottenham Hotspur

UEFA Champions League winner: Bayern Munich
UEFA Europa League winner: AC Milan – After the summer the Rossoneri have had, it’s difficult to see past them. The English clubs will represent themselves well.

Random prediction: Neymar Jr carries Paris Saint-Germain all the way to the Final but they come up just short to Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Matt Sheppard, Editorial Intern

Premier League winners: Chelsea
Top four: Manchester City (2nd), Arsenal (3rd), Tottenham Hotspur (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Swansea City, Huddersfield Town
Overachievers: Newcastle United – Rafa will finally get to show exactly why he decided to stick by the Toon Army following their relegation the season before last.
Underachievers: West Ham United – There’s lots of hype around the Hammers’ big-name signings but most of them will prove well past their sell-by date.
Golden Boot: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Signing of the season: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) – The Portuguese international will form a partnership with Kevin de Bruyne that turns into quite something.

FA Cup winners: Arsenal
League Cup winners: Manchester City

UEFA Champions League winner: Real Madrid
UEFA Europa League winner: AC Milan

Random prediction: Pep Guardiola will resign at the end of the season, following a failure to land the league or UEFA Champions League. Nathaniel Chalobah will be on that plane to Russia next year.

Italian giants AC Milan are well fancied for UEFA Europa League glory

Chris Jinks, A1 Sporting Memorabilia

Premier League winners: Arsenal
Top four: Chelsea (2nd), Manchester City (3rd), Liverpool (4th)
Relegated: Burnley, Swansea City, Huddersfield Town
Overachievers: Arsenal – Without the distraction of trying (and repeatedly hopelessly failing) to win the UEFA Champions League, the Gunners focus on domestic matters. Momentum stays with the team early in 2018 when they would usually falter.
Underachievers: Manchester United – Mourinho has made a number of big money signings but The Special One will be unable to get the team to gel. Without a trophy, Jose gets grumpier by the day.
Golden Boot: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea)
Signing of the season: Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal) – In a time when we have £200million players, Wenger still finds a bargain in this free transfer.

FA Cup winners: Chelsea
League Cup winners: Tottenham Hotspur

UEFA Champions League winner: FC Barcelona
UEFA Europa League winner: Villarreal

Random prediction: Arsene Wenger will call it a day having finally won the league, bowing out on a high. (I’m going to keep predicting this each year until it’s true!)

Harm Jan Deuring, De Hand van Maradona

Premier League winners: Manchester City
Top four: Manchester United (2nd), Tottenham Hotspur (3rd), Arsenal (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Burnley, Watford
Overachievers: Huddersfield Town – The Terriers do what many believe to be impossible: they avoid relegation.
Underachievers: Chelsea – Morata for Diego Costa is a mistake while Eden Hazard will be sorely missed during the opening weeks of the season. Liverpool will also struggle under the weight of their busy schedule.
Golden Boot: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) and Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) share the honour.
Signing of the season: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) – The Serbian is the missing link in Jose’s midfield. Tottenham‘s first signing of the season will be a close second – whoever it may be!

FA Cup winners: Arsenal
League Cup winners: Surprisingly, a side outside the top six!

UEFA Champions League winner: Real Madrid
UEFA Europa League winner: AS Monaco

Random prediction: Alexis Sanchez will stay at the Emirates but will have a disappointing season. No-one in the Manchester United squad will be banned for more games than Jose Mourinho himself.

Is this the year Arsene Wenger finally wins back the Premier League title?

Scott Hutchison, US Partner

Premier League winners: Manchester United
Top four: Manchester City (2nd), Chelsea (3rd), Arsenal (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town, West Bromwich Albion
Overachievers: Crystal Palace – Frank de Boer guides the Eagles to a nice finish alongside the big boys.
Underachievers: Tottenham Hotspur – The Wembley hoodoo comes for Spurs again.
Golden Boot: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Signing of the season: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United) – The Mexican is an absolute steal for what he’ll do on the pitch and pure highway robbery for what he’ll do for the club in the North American market.

FA Cup winners: Manchester City
League Cup winners: Everton

UEFA Champions League winner: Chelsea
UEFA Europa League winner: Celtic

Random prediction: My prediction that Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic would move to the Premier League didn’t come true in 2016-17 but he will crush it in Germany this season, becoming one of the darlings of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. That move to England will be a superstar signing come the summer of 2018.


So, that’s what we think will go down during this season’s Premier League campaign. But what do you think? Send us your predictions by getting in touch via our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages!

For our full range of Premier League signed products check out icons.com now!



We Predict… The 2016-17 Season

Leicester City v Everton - Premier League

Such is the nature of Leicester City’s 5,000/1 title triumph last season that it would seem ridiculous to suggest we’re at the starting blocks of the most unpredictable season ever. And yet, with the addition of even more superstars to the most competitive major league in Europe, there are sure to be a whole host of twists and turns over the course of the next ten months.

So, with managerial heavyweights Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola going toe-to-toe in Manchester, just down the road from a Liverpool team beginning to fit Jurgen Klopp’s mould, while Antonio Conte adapts to life in London beside Premier League veteran Arsene Wenger and exciting young boss Mauricio Pochettino, there’s sure to be fireworks.

Trying to make sense of it all ahead of Saturday’s big kick-off, the staff and partners of Icons.com have given their answers to the biggest questions. But we’d like to hear from you on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages: don’t be shy, give us your predictions for the season ahead and check out our fantastic range of signed items from Premier League icons past and present – available right now on Icons.com.

Edward Freedman, Chairman

Premier League winner: Manchester City
Top four: Manchester CityLiverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea
Relegated: Bournemouth, Burnley, Hull City
Underachievers: Arsenal – The Gunners have spent nothing this summer; manager Arsene Wenger should have gone two seasons ago.
Signing of the season: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Mane is an honest and hard worker, he’s just the player Jurgen Klopp’s side need right now.

FA Cup winner: Tottenham Hotspur
League Cup winner: Manchester United

UEFA Champions League winner: FC Barcelona
UEFA Europa League winner: Juventus

Random prediction: This will be Arsene Wenger’s last season at ArsenalPep Guardiola will be key to Manchester City‘s success.

Dan Jamieson, CEO and Managing Director

Premier League winner: Manchester City
Top four: Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea
Relegated: Hull City, Watford, Sunderland
Overachievers: Crystal Palace – Alan Pardew produces good attacking teams and if they were to get him, Christian Benteke could be the difference.
Underachievers: Arsenal – This is is the year when Arsene Wenger’s transfer philosophy is exposed as fundamentally flawed.
Signing of the season: Loris Karius (Liverpool) – The goalkeeper may be injured now but he will be a star by the end of the season. Henrikh Mkhitaryan – I liked him before he moved to Dortmund and he should suit Manchester United’s UEFA Europa League endeavours.

FA Cup winner: Chelsea
League Cup winner: Tottenham Hotspur

UEFA Champions League winner: FC Barcelona will get back on top.
UEFA Europa League winner: Sevilla would seem an obvious choice.

Random prediction: Arsene Wenger will not sign a new contract. Manchester United will suffer from squad shuffling and rotation issues as they try to find the right combinations. Pep Guardiola will complain about English football’s congested fixture list within months.

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League

Sergio Aguero remains one of the Premier League’s most fearsome strikers, can he lead Man City to the title?

Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager

Premier League winner: Manchester City
Top four: Manchester CityManchester UnitedChelseaArsenal
Relegated: Hull City, Burnley, Swansea City
Overachievers: Arsenal – The Gunners have spent nothing again and will no doubt have 10+ injuries and yet somehow they’ll still manage to finish among the biggest spenders on the globe.
Underachievers: Manchester United – All that money… what a waste of all that money…
Signing of the season: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – The attacking midfielder was expensive but will be key to Liverpool’s pacy frontline. Nathan Redmond will be useful at Southampton.

FA Cup winner: Liverpool
League Cup winner: Chelsea

UEFA Champions League winner: Bayern Munich
UEFA Europa League winner: Manchester Uni- no, not really! Juventus or Benfica.

Random prediction: I’ll be laughed at for my prediction about Sadio Mane. Despite all the summer spending by Manchester City, Kevin de Bruyne will remain key to their success. 

Margaret Plunkett, Head of Customer Service

Premier League winner: Manchester United
Top four: Manchester UnitedArsenal, Manchester CityChelsea
Relegated: Hull City, Southampton, Burnley
Overachievers: Arsenal – My beloved Gunners will remain in the top four despite not spending umpteen millions on new players.
Underachievers: Tottenham Hotspur – Spurs have an excellent manager but his players will let him down again this season.
Signing of the season: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)

FA Cup winner: Chelsea
League Cup winner: Liverpool

UEFA Champions League winner: Bayern Munich
UEFA Europa League winner: Atletico Madrid

Random prediction: Sam Allardyce will bring success to England at last.

Wayne Rooney Testimonial: Manchester United v Everton

Can Jose Mourinho bring Manchester United back into title contention with an expensively assembled new-look side?

Alistair Hunter, Editorial Assistant

Premier League winner: Manchester City
Top four: Manchester CityManchester UnitedChelseaTottenham Hotspur
Relegated: Hull City, Swansea City, Watford
Overachievers: Middlesbrough – If only Aitor Karanka can glue the pieces together, there’s genuine talent on Teesside in Marten de Roon, Viktor Fischer and Alvaro Negredo.
Underachievers: Leicester City – The fearless Foxes won’t be as lucky with injuries again this season. Regardless, the Premier League has an inexhaustible love of seeing successful teams fail. The bottom half beckons for Claudio Ranieri’s miracle men.
Signing of the season: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) – He’s getting on a bit, yes, but the Premier League will suit this brash, physical phenomenon. That secret yoga routine has kept him nimble.

FA Cup winner: Manchester City
League Cup winner: Cambridge United – At the time of writing, the U’s have just dumped out Championship side Sheffield Wednesday to reach Round Two. Wembley calls…

UEFA Champions League winner: FC Barcelona – There’s no way you keep Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr and Luis Suarez quiet two years in a row.
UEFA Europa League winner: PSV Eindhoven – The Dutch side finish third in their UEFA Champions League group then battle to victory in Stockholm under Phillip Cocu, an achievement that’ll earn the boss a move to a top European side.

Random prediction: Dele Alli will continue his remarkable rise at Tottenham Hotspur. There will be at least one nine-goal thriller as the league’s porous defences are exposed by one of Europe’s finest collection of attacking midfielders.

Harm Jan Deuring, De Hand van Maradona

Premier League winner: Manchester United
Top four: Manchester United, Manchester CityTottenham Hotspur, Chelsea
Relegated: Hull City, Burnley, Bournemouth
Overachievers: Everton’s play will be the opposite of last season’s: not sparkling but very efficient. David Moyes will guide Sunderland to a solid season.
Underachievers: Liverpool‘s inconsistency will result in a paltry mid table finish. Arsenal will fail to qualify for a UEFA Champions League spot and Arsene Wenger will quit next summer.
Signing of the season: Ilkay Gundogan – The German will be a key player for Manchester City from day one.

FA Cup winner: Manchester City
League Cup winner: Chelsea

UEFA Champions League winner: FC Barcelona 
UEFA Europa League winner: Internazionale under Frank de Boer

Random prediction: Harry Kane will again finish the season as Premier League top goalscorer. Injuries will disrupt the debut season of Zlatan Ibrahimovic but at the end of season he will have played an important role at Old Trafford.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League

Dele Alli was red hot for Tottenham last season, will his stock rise yet further this campaign?

Chris Jinks, A1 Sporting Memorabilia

Premier League winner: Manchester United
Top four: Manchester UnitedManchester CityLiverpoolChelsea
Relegated: Sunderland, Swansea City, Hull City
Overachievers: Liverpool – The Reds will have momentum with Jurgen Klopp as in charge and the team as a whole will become greater than the sum of all its parts.
Underachievers: Arsenal – The same stagnant strategy with no real leadership on or off the pitch will lead to a finish outside the top four in Wenger’s last season.
Signing of the season: Henrikh Mkhitaryan – The spotlight is bound to be on fellow summer signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba meaning the pressure is off the Armenian playmaker.

FA Cup winner: Chelsea
League Cup winner: Liverpool

UEFA Champions League winner: FC Barcelona
UEFA Europa League winner: Atletico Madrid

Random prediction: This will be Arsene Wenger’s last season in the Premier League but he will eventually return to manage here… as England boss.

Scott Hutchison, US Partner

Premier League winner: Chelsea
Top four: ChelseaManchester United, Manchester CityArsenal
Relegated: Burnley, Hull City, Swansea
Overachievers: Middlesbrough – Boro will be this season’s Bournemouth.
Underachievers: Manchester City – Pep Guardiola will find the Premier League much harder than previous stops. Paul Pogba – There’s no way the Frenchman lives up to the hype and his hefty price tag.
Signing of the season: Andre Ayew (West Ham United) 

FA Cup winner: Liverpool
League Cup winner: Manchester United – Jose Mourinho will desperately want to win silverware in his first season at Old Trafford.

UEFA Champions League winner: FC Barcelona
UEFA Europa League winner: Manchester United – See above.

Random prediction: The key for any Premier League team to win America’s hearts begins with the smarts to sign Dortmund’s US wunderkind Christian Pulisic and someone will oblige in the January transfer window.


So, that’s what we think will go down during this season’s Premier League campaign. But what do you think? Send us your predictions by getting in touch via our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages!

For our full range of Premier League signed products check out icons.com now!



We Predict… UEFA EURO 2016

A giant replica of the Henri Delaunay trophy, awarded to the winner of the UEFA European Championship, is displayed near the Eiffel Tower on the Champs de Mars in Paris on June 23, 2013 on the sidelines of the launch of UEFA Euro 2016 brand and logo. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

With the opening match of UEFA EURO 2016 fast approaching, the staff and partners of Icons.com have made their predictions for what will happen during the month-long festival of football in France.

UEFA EURO 2016 is set to be the biggest European Championships ever with an expanded field of twenty-four teams vying for glory in France. As an official UEFA licensee, we can hardly wait for the competition to begin. With four home nations competing, including Roy Hodgson’s England and a Gareth Bale-led Wales making their tournament debut, there is much to look forward to. And don’t forget, we have a fantastic and wide range of official UEFA EURO 2016 signed memorabilia available to buy from Icons.com throughout the tournament. Check us out!

 

Edward Freedman, Chairman

Winners: Germany
Runners-up: Spain
Top Goalscorer: Antoine Griezmann (France)
Early Exits: Portugal and Wales

What will happen to England?: Quarter-finals. The Three Lions will reach the last eight of the competition but a quarter-final loss will be manager Roy Hodgson’s final match in charge of the national team.

Dan Jamieson, CEO and Managing Director

Winners: Germany
Runners-up: Croatia
Top Goalscorer: Thomas Muller (Germany)
Early Exits: Portugal and Russia
Surprise Packages: Switzerland, Northern Ireland and Slovakia
What will happen to England?: The last 16. England will scrape through Group B, finishing third, before losing to a good team in controversial but predictable fashion.

Random Predictions: Dele Alli will be voted into the Team of the Tournament. France will set the competition alight but lose in the semi-finals on penalties to Germany.

Above: Icons CEO Dan Jamieson believes England's Dele Alli will make the UEFA Team of the Tournament

Above: Icons CEO Dan Jamieson believes England’s Dele Alli will make the UEFA Team of the Tournament

Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager

Winners: Germany
Runners-up: Spain
Top Goalscorer: Antoine Griezmann (France) and Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium)
Early Exit: Italy
Surprise Packages: Wales and Turkey
What will happen to England?: Semi-finals. Wales will give England a tough game but The Three Lions will still finish top of Group B. After two knockout triumphs, we will eventually run out of steam, losing our semi-final 2-1 AET.

Random Predictions: Cristiano Ronaldo will break Michel Platini’s and become the UEFA European Championships‘ all-time leading goalscorer. Toni Kroos will complete more passes than any other player but Luka Modric will play more key passes.

Margaret Plunkett, Head of Customer Service

Winners: France
Runners-up: Germany
Top Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud (France)
Early Exit: Portugal and Wales
Surprise Packages: Czech Republic and Switzerland
What will happen to England?: Last 16. The lack of a solid back line will be costly once again for England.

Random Predictions: I must be loyal Gooner and say that Olivier Giroud will continue his fine form for France and lead them through a good tournament. Mesut Ozil, as usual, will complete the most passes of any player at the competition.

Above: Could Cristiano Ronaldo become the European Championships' all-time leading goalscorer?

Above: Could Cristiano Ronaldo become the European Championships’ all-time leading goalscorer?

Alistair Hunter, Editorial Assistant

Winners: France
Runners-up: Belgium
Top Goalscorer: Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
Early Exit: Italy and Wales
Surprise Packages: Poland and Croatia
What will happen to England?: Quarter-finals. Roy’s boys will top Group B but scrape through their first knockout test, looking fatigued and lacking depth. Tired and short on confidence, England will come unstuck against a familiar foe in the last eight.

Random Predictions: Poland’s Arkadiusz Milik will earn a big money move from Ajax after impressing alongside Golden Boot winner Robert Lewandowski. It will help usher in a new age for strike partnerships in world football.

Harm Jan Deuring, Social Content Co-ordinator

Winners: Spain
Runners-up: France
Top Goalscorer: Thomas Muller (Germany) and Alvaro Morata (Spain)
Early Exit: Italy and Belgium (QF)
Surprise Packages: England and Wales
What will happen to England?: Semi-finals. England will finally take their revenge on Portugal in the quarter-finals but lose to Spain in the next round.

Random Predictions: The best game of the tournament will be between Belgium and Germany, in which the Belgians will deserve to win but see Germany go through. Paul Pogba will be the Player of the Tournament despite losing in the final to Spain.

Above: Hot tip? Germany's Thomas Muller is fancied by many on the Icons team to win the Golden Boot.

Above: Hot tip? Germany’s Thomas Muller is fancied by many on the Icons team to win the Golden Boot.

Chris Jinks, A1 Sporting Memorabilia

Winners: Germany
Runners-up: France
Top Goalscorer: Thomas Muller (Germany)
Early Exit: Portugal and Czech Republic
Surprise Packages: Wales and Poland

What will happen to England?: Semi-finals. Staying optimistic but also realistic, as long as England can avoid the big guns they can reach the final four. Roy has selected the right players but still hasn’t found a suitable formation.

Scott Hutchison, US Partner

Winners: France
Runners-up: Germany
Top Goalscorer: Antoine Griezmann (France)
Early Exit: Belgium and Italy
Surprise Packages: Republic of Ireland and Austria
What will happen to England?: Semi-finals. I can’t believe that I’m the most optimistic of the Icons bunch…

 

So, that’s what we think will go down at this summer’s UEFA EURO 2016. But what do you think? Send us your predictions by getting in touch via our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages!

For our full range of official UEFA EURO 2016 signed products check out icons.com now!



We Predict… The 2015-16 Season

 

It feels like an age since Chelsea lifted that Premier League trophy, bringing the 14-15 Premier League season to a close. It’s been a busy summer for almost every club but here we are, at that exciting stage again; the beginning of a new season! Who will emerge as champions? Which signings will prosper? Which will flop? Here is how everybody at Icons thinks the season will pan out at home and abroad…

Icons-memorabilia-3

Edward Freedman, Chairman

Premier League top four: Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, Manchester United

La Liga: Barcelona

Champions League: Barcelona

F.A Cup: Southampton

League Cup:  Arsenal

Relegation: Aston Villa, Norwich, Watford.

Surprise Package: Sterling and Harry Kane have poor seasons. At least 2 Premier League managers go before Christmas.

Dan Jamieson CEO and Managing Director

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool

Premier League top scorer: Sergio Aguero

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich – Pep finally gets it right

FA Cup: Liverpool

League Cup: Man City

Premier League bottom 3: West Ham, Sunderland, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Everyone is saying Bournemouth so that’s boring, how about Sterling to live up to the price tag? Crystal Palace to push for Europe

Negative surprise packages: Louis Van Gaal to be gone by this time next year having spent a third of a billion pounds on everything apart from what they need

Random predictions: The UEFA Champions League is more enjoyable on BT Sport than ITV and no one misses Andy Townsend

 

Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, City, Manchester United, Liverpool

Premier League top scorer: Sergio Aguero, if he can stay fit

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Barcelona

FA Cup: Man United

League Cup: Man City

Premier League bottom 3: Watford, Bournemouth, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Sterling to start 30 games and get double figure goals. Rooney to break England goal scoring record against Switzerland.

Negative surprise packages: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United). Depay to have great opening 10 games and then go off the boil.

Random predictions: three managers sacked by Christmas day, Mitrovic to be sent off at least twice for Newcastle, Balotelli to leave Liverpool – celebrations go wrong and fire engines called to Anfield after fireworks mishap.

Margaret Plunkett, Head of Customer Service

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Hazard

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Real Madrid

FA Cup: Arsenal

League Cup: Stoke

Premier League bottom 3: Norwich, Leicester, Watford

Positive surprise packages: Jurgen Klopp to manage in Premiership in 2015/16 season

Negative surprise packages: Sam Allardyce to return as Premiership manager

Random predictions: Arsenal to beat Chelsea in a Premiership game to prove Community shield win was not luck or a fluke.

 

Jack O’Neill,  Editorial Intern

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Diego Costa

La Liga winners: FC Barcelona

Champions League winners: FC Barcelona

FA Cup: Manchester United

League Cup: Manchester United

Premier League bottom 3: Norwich, Leicester, Watford

Positive surprise packages: Bournemouth to survive by playing positive attacking football. Diego Costa to miss the first month of the season getting a hamstring transplant. Never gets injured again. Jack Wilshere to look on in envy from the Arsenal medical table.

Negative surprise packages: Southampton to become the new Everton and push the top 4 all the way. Everton to become the new Southampton and lose all their best players.

Random predictions: Alan Pardew to lose his cool once again and punch Jose Mourinho on the touchline. Hazard / Oscar / Willian to outscore the Three Amigos in the Champions League.

 

Alistair Hunter, Editorial Intern

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City

Premier League top scorer: Diego Costa

La Liga winners: FC Barcelona

Champions League winners: FC Barcelona

FA Cup: Manchester United

League Cup: Aston Villa

Premier League bottom 3: Sunderland, Watford, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Bournemouth to escape relegation on the final day of the season; Newcastle and Aston Villa will be reinvigorated – the latter especially so.

Negative surprise packages: Claudio Ranieri will be sacked before Christmas, sending Leicester into a tailspin they fail to recover from. Roberto Firmino will score fewer than five goals for Liverpool, putting more pressure on Brendan Rodgers.

Random predictions: A goalkeeper will score at some point this season. Alan Pardew will have a quiet and controversy-free season.

 

Harm Jan Deuring, Social Content Co-ordinator

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City

Premier League top scorer: Hazard

La Liga winners: FC Barcelona

Champions League: Bayern Munich

FA Cup: Arsenal

League Cup: Manchester City

Premier League bottom 3: Watford, Norwich City, Leicester City

Positive surprise packages: Stoke City playing Brazilian samba football. Spurs impress with youngest team ever, but will end fifth again.

Negative surprise packages: Liverpool, Southampton

Random predictions: Louis van Gaal will get his own dictionary, Depay will do better than Di Maria.

 

Scott Hutchison, US Partner

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Harry Kane

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Chelsea

FA Cup: Chelsea

League Cup: Everton

Premier League bottom 3: Norwich, Sunderland, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Bournemouth stay up, and Matt Richie is the reason why.

Negative surprise packages: Every single signing (aside from Milner) Brendan Rodgers made this summer for Liverpool.

Random predictions: Brendan Rodgers is on the hot seat by week 8.

 

 

 



We Predict… The 2014-15 Season

It’s that time again. Who is going to win the Premier League? Who is going to score for fun? Will there be surprises and disappointments? Here are the Icons team’s expectations for the new season.

Icons-Predictions

Edward Freedman, Chairman

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Diego Costa

La Liga winners: FC Barcelona

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich

FA Cup: Liverpool

League Cup: Arsenal

Premier League bottom 3: Aston Villa, Sunderland, West Ham United

Positive surprise packages: Everton will have an impressive season, but with the same result as last year.

Negative surprise packages: Tottenham will struggle mid-table.

Random predictions: A Premier League manager will depart within a month.

Dan Jamieson, Managing Director

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal

Premier League top scorer: Sergio Aguero

La Liga winners: Real Madrid

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich

FA Cup: Liverpool

League Cup: Everton

Premier League bottom 3: Burnley, Aston Villa, Leicester City

Positive surprise packages: Philippe Coutinho and Juan Mata will be their respective players of the year for their clubs. John Stones to be in the England team by the end of the year.

Negative surprise packages: 50% of the managers in the Premier League to not be in their jobs by the end of the season. Messi, Suarez and Neymar to score 100 goals between them in all competitions but not win any of them.

Random predictions: Raheem Sterling to the future of English football. James Rodriquez to be the future of football in general.

 

Ben Soley, Marketing and Sales Manager

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool

Premier League top scorer: Daniel Sturridge

La Liga winners: Real Madrid

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich

FA Cup: Manchester United

League Cup: Chelsea

Premier League bottom 3: Burnley, Swansea City, Hull City

Positive surprise packages: Bojan Krkić for Stoke. Southampton to be mid-table again.

Negative surprise packages: Sunderland to narrowly escape relegation again. Costa and Fabregas to be a success at Chelsea – this will upset me deeply.

Random predictions: Man Utd to be top after 8 games, the wheels to come off after Christmas. Arsenal’s team doctor to fail them yet again, losing the title in the last month. Coutinho to have most assists in the league.

Margaret Plunkett, Head of Customer Service

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Diego Costa

La Liga winners: Real Madrid

Champions League winners: FC Barcelona

FA Cup: Everton

League Cup: Manchester City

Premier League bottom 3: Burnley, Aston Villa, Leicester City

Positive surprise packages: Wayne Rooney will flourish.

Negative surprise packages: Liverpool will have troubles scoring goals when Sturridge will miss half the season through injury.

Random predictions:

 

Harm Jan Deuring, Social Content Co-ordinator

Premier League top 4: Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal

Premier League top scorer: Robin van Persie

La Liga winners: Real Madrid

Champions League winners: Real Madrid

FA Cup: Chelsea

League Cup: Liverpool

Premier League bottom 3: Burnley, West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City

Positive surprise packages: Louis van Gaal will construct a winning football machine that wins the title. Eric Lamela will prove that last season was an incident.

Negative surprise packages: Liverpool will discover that national + international football is hard to deal with.

Random predictions: Alexis Sanchez will have an amazing start at Arsenal, but will pick up an injury and struggle to come back. Liverpool will struggle to score goals.

Imran Sabur, Design Co-ordinator

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal

Premier League top scorer: Wayne Rooney

La Liga winners: Real Madrid

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich

FA Cup: Chelsea

League Cup: Southampton

Premier League bottom 3: Burnley, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa

Positive surprise packages: Rooney to dominate the league after been made captain by Van Gaal. Ander Herrera proves that Moyes was on to a winner when he tried to sign him last season. Lampard receives a standing ovation from Chelsea fans after scoring against his former club to put an early dent in their title credentials.

Negative surprise packages: Lampard receives a standing ovation from Chelsea fans after scoring against his former club to put an early dent in their title credentials – good & bad, because I’m a United fan. Sturridge to perform better without Suarez in the team.

Random predictions: Giggs contemplates coming out of retirement due to injuries early december.

Scott Hutchison, US Partner

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal

Premier League top scorer: Diego Costa

La Liga winners: Real Madrid

Champions League winners: Real Madrid

FA Cup: Chelsea

League Cup: Everton

Premier League bottom 3: Burnley, Southampton, Leicester City

Positive surprise packages:

Negative surprise packages: Van Gaal and Rooney relationship (bad for United, fun for the rest of us all).

Random predictions: Brendan Rogers on the hot seat by January.

 



We Predict… The 2014 FIFA World Cup

It’s that time again. Who is going to win the World Cup? Who is going to score for fun? Will there be suprises and disappointments? Here are the Icons team’s expectations for the World Cup in Brazil.

Dan Jamieson, Managing Director

World Cup winners: Germany

Runner-ups: Argentina

Top goal scorer: Sergio Aguero

Early exiters: Spain, Portugal, Italy

Surprise packages: Teams – South-Korea, Japan, Colombia. Players – Raheem Sterling, Marouane Fellaini, Shinji Kagawa.

Random predictions: Rooney to be dropped by the England’s last game, Klose to level Ronaldo’s goalscoring record, Brazil to fall short due to lack of flair.

 

Margaret Plunkett, Head of Customer Service

World Cup winners: Argentina

Runner-ups: Brazil

Top goal scorer: Sergio Aguero or Karim Benzema

Early exiters: Portugal, Spain

Surprise packages: Teams – Ivory Coast, Belgium, Chile. Players – Paul Pogba.

Random predictions: England to finish at least 1 game with 10 men, Germany to be knocked out in quarter final’s, Ivory Coast to reach the semis.

Ben Soley, Marketing and Sales Manager

World Cup winners: Brazil

Runner-ups: Argentina

Top goal scorer: Lionel Messi or Fred

Early exiters: Netherlands, Uruguay

Surprise packages: Teams – Switzerland, Bosnia. Players – Aturo Vidal, James Rodriguez.

Random predictions: Messi to play against CR7 at some point, Oz to concede 10 or more in the group stages, England’s youth to beat Italy or Uruguay, Brazil and Spain out in the semis.

 

Scott Hutchinson, US Partner

World Cup winners: Argentina

Runner-ups: Germany

Top goal scorer: Sergio Aguero

Early exiters: Brazil, Spain

Surprise packages: USA to get revenge vs. Ghana, finish level with Portugal, get a respectable result vs. Germany, and advance into the knockout stage.

Random predictions: England beats Italy outright, the English nation turns from sour pessimists to unbridled joy and support.

 

Edward Freedman, Chairman

World Cup winners: Argentina

Runner-ups: Spain

Top goal scorer: Lionel Messi

Early exiters: England, Cameroon

Surprise packages: Teams – Japan, Colombia. Players – Wayne Rooney (because he will be dropped when it doesn’t matter).

Random predictions: During every press conference, Roy Hodgson will be defending the English performance by blaming the heat.

Harm Jan Deuring, represents Mainland Europe

World Cup winners: Brazil

Runner-ups: Uruguay

Top goal scorer: Karim Benzema or Robin van Persie

Early exiters: England, Spain

Surprise packages: Teams – Japan, Colombia. Players – Keisuke Honda.

Random predictions: During every press conference, Louis van Gaal will make clear (read: shout!) to English journalists he will not answer any questions about ManU-related transfer rumours. “That is a stupid question!”

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