Soccer Predictions & Picks for Season 2018/2019

Major League Soccer is in full playing mode and European national leagues are currently in preparation mode for 2018/2019 campaign. This upcoming season will be special for many teams, as players participating at World Cup will have very short holidays before club training camps. However, this will not prevent us at to come with soccer predictions for season 2018/2019. We try to guess and pick the champions of four best European leagues, Major League Soccer and Champions League in 2018/2019.

Jump directly to 2018/2019 predictions for:
England – Premier League predictions
Spain – La Liga predictions
Italy – Seria A predictions
Germany – Bundesliga predictions
Major League Soccer predictions
Champions League predictions

England – Premier League predictions

Season Start: 10 August 2018
Season End: 12 May 2019

With the sole exception of Leicester in the season 2015/2016, the title always took one of four clubs in past 20 years. Either Manchester City, or United or Chelsea or Arsenal. These four clubs plus Tottenham and Liverpool and you have all candidates for Premier League Champion in 2018/2019. However, to pick one out of six is not that easy.

Manchester City is defending champion and I expect that main focus this season will be on Champions League. That is the trophy City is missing and success on the international stage is what owners definitely want. Manchester United is not an entertaining side under Mourinho management. I am not enjoying their play anymore and do not expect it will change this season. They can still achieve one of the top four places and qualify for Champions League, but the title is too far away for them. Arsenal is in the phase of a rebuild. After parting ways with longtime manager Arsene Wenger, they need to find their winning identity again. I expect a season of tries and falls and subsequent restarts this season. Chelsea swapped managers in the off-season. They were not in such a mess as Arsenal, but they still will need time to regroup.

Tottenham is the obvious „black horse“ every season and I expect them to win the title really soon. However, with more than half of the starting line-up staying in World Cup till the half of July and with a short holiday before training camp, I am pretty sure that this season will tough for Hotspurs. Tottenham will leave Wembley to their new stadium this season, which will bring another boost but they will lose power not later than during Christmas.

And that leaves us with Liverpool. Klopp’s team had good last season and their participation in Champions League Final was not a coincidence. Liverpool has a consolidated team with probably the best manager in England plus Salah and Firminho are at their prime now. They brought Shaqiri to Anfield Road and if they solve goalkeeper issue, they will be 2018/2019 Premier League champion in my opinion.

My Premier League champion pick: Liverpool
Odds: +490

Spain – La Liga predictions

Season Start: 17 August 2018 
Season End: 26 May 2019

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are usual suspects for La Liga title. Valencia, Sevilla or Villareal are interesting teams, but there is nobody (me neither) who counts with them in the title battle.

Barcelona is the defending champion and they still have Messi. And it is really Messi time in Barcelona, with Iniesta and Xavi off to Japan and Qatar, and Neymar in Paris. Messi is an ultimate chief in Barca and he still has a lot to prove after pretty disappointing time in Argentina shirt at the 2018 World Cup. Messi can make Barcelona the best team in the world, but he can also destroy them as we witnessed during the World Cup.

Real Madrid is a big unknown to me at the moment. They went from Zidane to Lopetegui as manager and they sold Ronaldo to Juventus for 100 million euros. We still await who will be bought as successor (Hazard or Mbappe). They still have Sergio Ramos and Modric, but now the time of Asensio and Isco finally come. And I think they need year or two to accommodate fully to the big stage at Santiago Bernabeu. However, even with Real in a transition period, Madrid can celebrate La Liga title.

Atletico Madrid is coming into the second season at their new home – Wanda Metropolitano stadium with a consolidated squad. They kept Griezmann, Oblak, and Godin. They still have Diego Simeone as manager and if Griezmann will handle the load of long World Cup run, they can have a successful season.

My La Liga champion pick: Atletico Madrid
Odds: +1400

Italy – Seria A predictions

Season Start: 19 August 2018
Season End: 26 May 2019

Seria A is always (or at least in last 7 years) the story of Juventus versus the rest. So the question stands, can Juventus win 8th title in a row? Or will Napoli finally break their rule? Juventus will look different in 2018/2019. Gianluca Buffon left for Paris. It is hard to describe the loss of the heart and soul of the team. But they have Ronaldo now. What a move from a business point of view, but what about the game? Can Juventus adapt to one big star, who will attract all the attention of fans and a lot of attention from defenders? Hard to say, but the strength of the Juventus squad will be huge.

Napoli, AS Roma, Lazio and Inter Milan are the main contenders who would like to attack Juventus spot at the top of the table. They made a few interesting changes, e.g. as Napoli hiring coach Ancelotti. I expect them to give Juventus a hard time during the 2018/2019 season, but in the end, I still do not see any team as good as Juventus.

My Seria A champion pick: Juventus
Odds: n/a

Why does Juventus dominate Seria A for years? Read 7 reasons in our Soccer Column.

Germany – Bundesliga predictions

Season Start: 24 August 2018
Season End: 18 May 2019

If Seria A is about Juventus versus the rest than Bundesliga is Bayern Munich against the rest. Borussia Dortmund, the main contender of past seasons is in decline. Schalke and Leverkusen will do their best but it is still not enough to level Bayern. RB Leipzig is improving their soccer model to be the powerhouse in Germany but it is too early to call them really dangerous. It is not about the particular players or about the manager, it is about the strength of the Bayern Munich brand

My Bundesliga champion pick: Bayern Munich
Odds: -714

USA & Canada – Major League Soccer predictions

Final: December 2019

Guessing the outcome of Major League Soccer (MLS) is a different sport as guessing any European national league champion. It is much harder thanks to unique playoff format and two conference system. At this moment I see Sporting Kansas City and LAFC in West and New York City and Red Bull in East as main contenders, but a lot can change till the start of the play-off in October. My best guess at the moment is New York City.

My MLS champion pick: New York City
Odds: +900

Champions League predictions

Group Stage Start: 18 September 2018
Final: 1 June 2019

Trying to pick the Champions League winner before the season starts is much harder than any national league. The field of possible winners is pretty wide. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Paris St. Germain are the biggest names, but you can not discount also other participants like Liverpool, Monaco, Inter Milan, Napoli etc. What I am almost sure is that Real Madrid will not repeat the success of the past three seasons. Zidane and Ronaldo are gone, and the new generation needs more time to establish on an international stage.

I would seek the finalists between Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester City, Paris St. Germain (PSG) and Bayern. And I know that owners of Manchester City and PSG have special desire to win the most prestigious trophy in club football. But the questions is, can they do it? And this is the time for very bold soccer predictions. I think they can do it. I do not expect PSG – Man City final, but I guess that one of them will win Champions League 2018/2019. And as Manchester City has a better squad with more experience in hard-fought battles from the Premier League, I would go with them.

My Champions League winner pick: Manchester City
Odds: +550

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