The crystal ball is out. 2018 is history. 2019 is where it’s at. Not many global sports events this year, but there is more than enough to get excited – and foolish – about. In that vein, let’s take a look at some of the biggest sporting events across the calendar this year, so that we can predict the outcome and look silly when none of them come true. Some of these predictions, though, are driven by a little logic and form.

Here we go.

CRICKET

We are two days away from a potentially historical Test match in Sydney, which everyone assumes to be India’s week with destiny after failing to win a series in Australia. Then there will be no Test cricket for India for six months. Three ODI series – 13 matches – will be played in the run-up to the World Cup in England.

Test Series: India to win at Sydney, take the Test series 2-1, Pujara Man of the Series
3-match ODI series against Australia: India to win 2-1, Shikhar Dhawan Man of the Series
5-match ODI series against New Zealand: New Zealand to win 3-2 (India never has it easy on a New Zealand tour right before a World Cup)
5-match ODI series at home against Australia: India to win 4-1

IPL 2019:
Bold one here, but I predict the Rajasthan Royals to finally come good and win their second IPL title.

ICC World Cup 2019:
England to win their first ever World Cup title. They’re at home, favourites, and difficult to beat with a long batting order and superb all-rounders. Theirs to lose. Expect India to reach the semifinals.

Ashes 2019:
Australia travel to England, hopefully with Steve Smith and David Warner. World Champions England to win the Ashes 3-1.

FOOTBALL

ISL 2018-19: Expect Sunil Chhetri to lead Bengaluru FC to their first ISL title after he leads India at the AFC Asian Cup (where they will crash out in the group stages).

EPL 2018-19: Liverpool lead the table by 7 points, but expect champions Manchester City to give them a fight. But Jorgen Klopp’s men will win the English Premier League – Liverpool’s first since 1991, and their 19th league title overall. Expect Manchester United to fight back and finish in the top 4.

Champions League 2018-19: Expect Juventus to finally break their draught and win the Champions League, led by a record-breaking Cristiano Ronaldo. Their biggest competition will be Barcelona and PSG.

TENNIS

ATP Men’s Tour:

Novak Djokovic will continue his dominance in 2019, getting closer to Nadal and Federer’s all-time records. Andy Murray will be back, but not at his best. Federer will probably compete in 2019 in his last professional season – expect him to retire by 2020. Nadal will push Djokovic the most, for the final time in his career. The World no. 1, however, will compete for the GOAT tag, finishing 2019 with 17 Grand Slams to his name.

Australian Open: Djokovic
French Open: Djokovic (beats Nadal in the final – believe it)
Wimbledon: Shock winner
US Open: Djokovic

Masters 1000 titles: Djokovic (2), Nadal (2), Federer (1-2), Zverev (3)

F1

The 2019 Formula One Drivers Championship will not be one-way traffic again. Expect Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen to really challenge the dominance of Lewis Hamilton – who, on 5 titles, is only 2 behind Michael Schumacher. Who better than a German on 4 titles to stop him?

Prediction: Sebastian Vettel to win Ferrari’s first Drivers’ title since 2007, Verstappen second, Hamilton third. Vettel might win up to 8 races this season, while Hamilton will win 4-5.

BADMINTON

Indian Badminton is now a world power. Expect PV Sindhu to embrace the winning habit after falling in multiple finals over the last few years. 2019 will be her biggest year yet.

Title prediction: All England Open 2019, Singapore Open 2019, China Open.
Also expect Saina Nehwal to come back strong in 2019 and win at least one major title on the circuit. Ditto for Kidambi Srikanth, who will reach a couple of big-tournament Finals.

OTHERS

Expect Tiger Woods to win that elusive 15th GOLF major after more than ten years of failing.

Expect ex F1 champion Fernando Alonso to win motor racing’s covered Triple Crown by winning at Le Mans.

Expect Serena Williams to win at least one Grand Slam title in 2019, to make her the most successful singles tennis player in the history of the sport.

Expect Naomi Osaka and Sloane Stephens to be a bit more consistent and add to their Grand Slam tally.