A new year means fresh opportunities for some of the leading sides around Europe. Some of the big guns will be looking to start the new year in excellent form, but which soccer predictions should be made for some of the most exciting matchups?
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich have asserted themselves as the team to beat in the Bundesliga, as they have moved to the summit. Bayern have only continued to get better with every passing week, but they will face a big challenge this weekend against Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Bavarian giants have only been beaten on one occasion so far this season, and have already started the new calendar year like they mean business. Bayern kickstarted their year with a 5-2 hammering of Mainz at the Allianz last time out. It looked as though it could be a disastrous start to the year at the break, as they trailed 2-0. However, the Bavarians came out swinging in the second period and scored five unanswered goals. Joshua Kimmich got the ball rolling as he made his long-awaited return from injury. Leroy Sane and Niklas Sule also found the net. Meanwhile, there were also a first two goals of 2021 for the star man last year, as Robert Lewandowski scored twice in the final 15 minutes.
It promises to be a challenging second half to the season for Borussia Monchengladbach, as they face an uphill battle to finish in the top-four. They are currently in seventh place in the Bundesliga table, but have a four-point disadvantage behind Borussia Dortmund. Draws were their biggest issue in December, as they were held on three occasions. However, they returned to action last weekend with a controlled 1-0 win against Arminia. Breel Embolo scored the only goal of the game in the second half for the visitors.
This will be a much more difficult challenge for Monchengladbach. The visitors will be the preference, as they showed last time out that they haven’t lost any of their sharpness.
Sevilla vs Real Sociedad
Two teams in LaLiga that will be hoping to finish in a top-four place this season meet at the weekend. Real Sociedad’s season is on the verge of falling apart after a tough run of form where they have won just once in six. No longer will they be considered a side that is capable of challenging for the league title and a top-four finish is the best that they will be able to achieve this season.
Sociedad’s first game of 2021 ended in a draw against Osasuna, as Ander Barrenetxea scored early in the second half. The home side managed just two shots on target in that game, which shows that they are struggling in the final third of the pitch at present. A big win is what is needed to revitalise their season, and that could come against Sevilla.
Sevilla have been closing the gap on the top four for the past couple of weeks, and they are now just three points behind Sociedad. An inferior goal difference means that they won’t be able to go above their opponents this weekend, but their form does indicate that the tide is turning. They were unable to get a first win of 2021 last time out, as they were held 1-1 by Real Betis.
The form book certainly indicates that Sevilla could be one of the challengers for a top-four finish this season. However, we expect these two talented sides to play out a draw this weekend.
RB Leipzig vs Borussia Dortmund
There will be a thrilling match in the German Bundesliga on Saturday, as Borussia Dortmund will clash with RB Leipzig. Any title challenge from Dortmund this season looks unlikely, which means that the nearest contenders will likely be RB Leipzig.
Leipzig are just two points behind Bayern Munich at present and have already shown in 2021 that they are capable of getting wins to close the gap. The title chasers won their first game of the calendar year at the weekend, as they edged past Stuttgart with a 1-0 win. Dani Olmo scored the only goal for the travelling side on that occasion with 20 minutes remaining.
Dortmund are currently eight points off the pace in the Bundesliga. That already looks to be a massive gap between themselves and Bayern Munich. However, there was an indication in their last outing that they could be about to enjoy an upturn in form. Dortmund won their second game in six last time out against Wolfsburg. Manuel Akanji and Jadon Sancho scored the goals in the win.
This will be a huge game for Leipzig, as they must win to put pressure on Bayern. However, we believe that a draw could be the most likely result.
AS Roma vs Inter Milan
Inter Milan continue to be the closest challengers to AC Milan this season, as the gap remains at one point in Serie A. There is a slight gap opening up between the top two and the rest of the teams in Italy’s top-flight, with six points the difference between Inter and third-place Roma.
Inter are in exceptional form at present, as they have won all six of their most recent fixtures. They returned to league action in fine form last time out, as they recorded a massive 6-2 victory at the San Siro against Crotone. Lautaro Martinez scored his first-ever Inter hat-trick in the big win, while Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi also found the net in the win.
Champions League football would have been the objective for AS Roma this season, and they look to be on track to achieve that. Roma have won their last two games, and may have their sights set on an unlikely title challenge. Roma once again found a way to win in their last league game, as they recorded a 1-0 win against Sampdoria. Edin Dzeko scored the winner with just under 20 minutes remaining.
Inter have been in exceptional form over recent weeks, but this will be a huge challenge. However, we expect them to overcome that challenge and claim the win.