What to expect in 2017


New Year’s Day has come and gone and a new year in world football has arrived.So what to expect in 2017 in world football?Unlike 2016 which was one of the most surprising and exciting years in world football,2017 will be a year of going back to normal unless surprises spring up like last year.In the year which there are no significant international tournaments,the focus will be on the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia which will serve as a warm up for the FIFA World Cup in 2018,but the main focus is on the qualifications for the grand stage of world football which will be next summer.In the South American qualifications there are no clear favorites to qualify for Russia besides that Brazil has successfully recovered from the disaster which happened during the qualifications and the Copa America last summer by hiring Tite on the bench who turned the tables in the Selecao,currently the Selecao leads the South American qualifications group with 27 points and during the autumn qualifiers the Selecao has won 5 consecutive matches and collected a maximum of 15 points.While in Brazil everything is everything accroding to plans,Brazil’s biggest rival which is Argentina with Leo Messi is in danger to miss its World Cup appearance for the first time since 1970 when they didn’t qualified for the World Cup in Mexico.Currently the Selecao is in fifth place which is the inter-continental playoff place,but only a point ahead of Colombia which in the World Cup in Brazil made a mark by being to the quarterfinals.and it will be a fight to the finish for the Seleccion to make it to the World Cup after huge problems arose within the Argentinian Football Association last summer which prompted Leo Messi to temporary quit the Seleccion while making his return in the autumn qualifiers.In European qualification some surprise have sprung with Northern Ireland making a second place in their group which consists of Germany the current World Cup champion,Azerbaijan,Czech Republic,Norway and San Marino.Before the qualifiers began no one gave serious chances for Michael O’Neill’s men which made the 2nd round of the European Championships last summer in France,if the Northern Irish hold their pieces together they could make the World Cup for the first time since the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico,meanwhile their former opponents in Euros which is Wales are having problems,after a successful debut in the Euros,Chis Coleman’s Red Dragon are dreaming to make their first World Cup appearance since 1958 when it was the last time they were featured in the World Cup.Currently the Red Dragons are 3rd in a group which had to be winnable for them with one victory and three draws which in included two consercutive 1-1 draws against Serbia and Georgia.In march the Red Dragons are making a quick trip to Dublin where they will face Ireland and it will be probably the most crucial qualifying match to keep the dream of making the World Cup alive.After a disastrous qualifying campaign which saw them not seeing the Euros last summer, the Dutch are tied with Sweden in Group A for the World Cup qualifiers.Both countries will meet on the final matchday of the qualifiers in october which might be a final for both sides.Besides the World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup this summer,also awaits us the season in club football in both domestic and international competitions,which unlike last year will give very few surprises.In the French Ligue 1 there is the threeway race between Nice,PSG and Monaco for the title.Unlike previous seasons which the Parisians have easily captured the Ligue 1 title,this season they are trailing Monaco and the biggest surprise of the season which the red and blacks of Nice which are waiting for their first Ligue 1 title since 1959 when the last time they were French champions and they hope to pull a similar sensation like Leicester did last season.In Italy,Juventus got finally some serious competition from Roma which is trailing the bianconeri by four points in the league table in what is probably the last ever season for Roma legend Francesco Totti which wants to go out in style-a Serie A title in his hands.Spalletti built a very solid squad which includes Edin Džeko the giallorossi’s top scorer with 13 goals during this season,it would be interesting to see that Roma has the ability to give Juventus a title chase run since last season the bianconeri won their fifth consecutive Serie A title and nobody could stop them.In the English Premier League,it is all about London,since the London clubs are occupying three of the top five spots with Chelsea under Antonio Conte leading and cruising to their sixth title with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool is in 2nd with six points behind the Blues and both North London clubs are 3rd (Arsenal) and 4th (Tottenham) and like every season the focus besides the title race are the places in European competitions and Tottenham is determined to lock a place for a direct participation in the Champions League for another season.Meanwhile last year’s sensation which is Leicester City is doing pretty bad,but surprisingly they are making good in the Champions League since the made it to the 2nd round,if they defeat Sevilla only sky will be the limit for Claudio Ranieri’s men.In the Bundesliga,Bayern got an unusual challenger this season in the form of Red Bull Leipzig which is traling the Bavarians only by three points and it will present a serious threat to the Bavarians for the rest of the season and it will try to pull a sensation like Leicester last year.This year in world football will not be like last year where there were a lot of surprises but you can count that there will be the drama and the passion like all these years and potentially like we saw it there will be surprises,so stay tuned for this year.

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