Analysis

12 bold predictions for 2017: Simeone leaves Atletico, Poch to Barcelona

Mauricio Pochettino
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5. Emery doesn’t last the season

It's been a half-season to forget for PSG, who romped to the title in 2015/16 but currently find themselves behind both Nice and Monaco in the Ligue 1 standings. Unai Emery has failed to find the right balance despite having a hugely talented squad to work with, and the ex-Sevilla boss could pay for continued underachievement with his job.

Unai Emery

Emery has struggled since joining PSG from Sevilla in the summer

6. Real Madrid wins consecutive European Cups

Zidane has won more trophies (three) than he's lost games (two)

The gift of Zinedine Zidane keeps on giving: the former France international simply refuses to lose, no matter how poorly his team play. Real Madrid's ability to continue winning despite being far from their best is an ominous sign for the rest of Europe as los Blancos look to become the first team to retain the Champions League in its current format (Milan last achieved the feat in 1990).

There are probably stronger teams in the competition but, as The Guardian's Sid Lowe put it, Zidane has won more trophies (three) than he's lost games (two). Don't rule them out.

7. Pochettino replaces Luis Enrique at Barcelona

His strong belief in a high press to retain possession will go down well with Barcelona fans

Luis Enrique has come under pressure at Barcelona this term, with individual brilliance often masking strategic errors. He could be on his way out of Camp Nou at the end of the campaign, with Tottenham boss Pochettino a potential replacement.

And why not? The Argentine may have previously managed local rivals Espanyol, but his strong belief in a high press to retain possession will go down well with fans of Catalonia's biggest club.

Mauricio Pochettino

Could ex-Espanyol manager Pochettino return to the city of Barcelona?

8. Man United sells De Gea

The dust has since settled on 2015's fax-machine fiasco, when Real Madrid's attempt to sign David de Gea was thwarted in comic fashion. This story might not be over yet, though: Keylor Navas hasn't looked his usual self since before the Copa America, and Madrid retain an interest in Spain's No.1 goalkeeper.