Concert-wise, 2014 is already off to a sizzling start. This month's highlights include Justin Timberlake (Jan. 19), George Strait's farewell tour (Jan. 30) and two nights with the Eagles (Jan. 29 and 31) -- all at the SAP Center in San Jose.

That same venue remains the tuneful epicenter in February, offering up Demi Lovato (Feb. 11), Imagine Dragons (Feb. 13) and a doubleheader with Sting and Paul Simon (Feb. 17). Then, of course, there's the Miley Cyrus visit (Feb. 24 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Feb. 25 at SAP Center).

I expect that's just the tip of the iceberg. More top acts are sure to announce 2014 Bay Area dates in the months to come. Which ones? That's hard to say -- but I'm going to try and say it anyway.

Here's a look at the major acts that might also be playing the Bay Area this year. This is not based on "insider" information, but rather on simple research and gut feeling. In other words, mark these in pencil -- definitely not pen -- on your calendar.

  • One Direction: Local One Direction fans were in crisis mode after the world's top boy band announced its most recent tour and it didn't include a Bay Area date.

    Prediction: Relax, we'll get a One Direction stadium show, right around the time the group performs a two-night stand Sept. 12-13 at the Rose Bowl in Southern California. The question is -- which stadium? I think it will be Levi's Stadium, the 49ers' new digs in Santa Clara. In fact, I predict that this will be the first concert at the venue. It's already landed dates with WrestleMania and the Super Bowl, so why not One Direction? If it doesn't work out for Levi's -- perhaps due to a conflict with the 49ers' game schedule -- look for One Direction to play O.co in Oakland.

  • Paul McCartney: Will Beatlemania strike Candlestick Park again? That's been the speculation ever since reports surfaced that Sir Paul was interested in performing the final concert at the 49ers' old stadium before it's demolished. McCartney was said to have floated the possibility to Mayor Ed Lee before performing at the Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park in August.

    Prediction: McCartney seems really interested in promoting his new album, dubbed, appropriately enough, "New," and plans to tour Europe and Japan this year. Thus, it's certainly not inconceivable that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer could add some North American dates for this year. He played New York's Shea Stadium -- another historically significant Beatles venue -- before it was torn down in 2008. So, yes, he'll play Candlestick -- likely in the fall.

  • Metallica: The Bay Area's mightiest metal band has plenty of roadwork on tap, with more than 20 spring-summer dates scheduled in South America and Europe. There's been no word on whether Metallica also plans to heat up the amps in North America this year.

    Prediction: Metallica won't skip the opportunity to play Candlestick Park one final time. The band usually does a pretour warm-up show in the Bay Area, but that won't be at Candlestick -- because Metallica will want to be in peak form for that giant hometown gig. Instead, I expect them to play the 'Stick in the fall. Indeed -- if that McCartney booking falls through -- look for Metallica to perform the venue's final concert.

  • The Rolling Stones: Mick, Keith and the boys only played in a baker's dozen of markets, including Oakland and San Jose, during their 2013 North American tour. It's not like them to leave money on the table, so it's plausible that they could swing through the U.S. again -- possibly for a series of stadium dates.

    Prediction: The Stones are already set to roll through Japan, Australia and some other countries in late winter and early spring, so look for them to spend the summer on our side of the Pacific. I think they'll play the big houses this time around, with Candlestick or Levi's being the best bets.

  • Eminem: If you've heard his latest album, "The Marshall Mathers LP 2," then you know that Slim Shady really needs to give his fan base some reason -- any reason -- to still pay attention. A full-fledged North American tour would definitely do the trick.

    Prediction: Don't hold your breath. Eminem just doesn't seem to like touring anymore. He'll probably do a handful of festival dates, but it's doubtful they will include the Bay Area.

    Follow Jim Harrington at Twitter.com/jimthecritic, www.facebook.com/jim.bayareanews and http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/concerts.