The final round of fixtures around Europe before the international break takes place this weekend. Which soccer predictions should gamblers be making for the games taking place in the major leagues in the coming days?
Real Sociedad vs Barcelona
The LaLiga title race looks set to go down to the wire judging by the recent results that we have seen in the Spanish top-flight, and Barcelona will be confident that they could be the team to take advantage.
The Catalonian giants have recovered since a slow start to the season, with a change to three at the back seemingly being the difference that has been needed. Since their defeat against PSG at the Nou Camp in the Champions League, Barcelona have been excellent in every game that they have played, and if they can maintain those levels, then they will fancy their chances of being crowned the kings of Spain.
Real Sociedad will not be an easy fixture for them this weekend, as they have lost just once in six. Sociedad are within six points of the Champions League places, and a win this weekend could be the pressure back on Sevilla in that particular race. However, they will need to a much better performance than they managed last weekend, as they were beaten 1-0 away from home against Granada.
Barcelona’s away form will be the difference in this fixture, as they travel to Sociedad having won their last seven on the road. We expect them to get an eighth consecutive victory away from home in this fixture.
Bayern Munich vs Stuttgart
A gap between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig has been opened up over the past weekend, as the reigning champions made it three wins on the bounce, while Leipzig could only manage a draw in their most recent fixture.
Bayern will be looking to extend their four-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with another win this weekend against Stuttgart. There are still clear defensive issues in this Bayern side, as they once again conceded against Werder Bremen at the weekend. That means Bayern have now gone six games without keeping a clean sheet in all competitions. However, it is their attacking quality that is always able to get them out of the hole that they put themselves in. Leon Goretzka continued his excellent season by opening the scoring in the 3-1 win this past weekend, while Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski added further goals.
Bayern will be coming up against a side in decent form this weekend, as Stuttgart are unbeaten in their last five Bundesliga games. They are knocking on the door for the European places coming into this round of games, and could move to within a point of Bayer Leverkusen with a win this weekend. Stuttgart have won two of their last three, which includes the 2-0 win that they picked up against Hoffenheim at the weekend.
Stuttgart may be in excellent form at the moment, but this will be a huge challenge at the Allianz. We can’t see past Bayern getting the win that they need.
Inter Milan vs Sassuolo
Inter Milan are setting a relentless pace in the Serie A title race, as they made it seven wins from seven this past weekend. The game between themselves and the chasing pack now stands at nine points, although Juventus do have a game in hand.
Inter are looking excellent value to be crowned champions of Italy this season, as they have lost just twice so far this season. No side has scored more goals than them this season, while only Juventus have conceded fewer. Their form is the best in Europe at this stage of the season, as they picked up a seventh consecutive win against Torino on Sunday afternoon. Lautaro Martinez scored the winner five minutes from time in that game.
Sassuolo look to be in a race for the next best-placed team in Italy outside of the top seven. It looks unlikely that they will be able to catch Lazio, who are seven points ahead of them, but a finish in the top half of the standings would be an excellent return for them this term. They picked up a first win in four at the weekend, as they beat Hellas Verona 3-2 in an instant classic. Hamed Junior Traore scored the winning goal in the final ten minutes.
That recent win for Sassuolo against Verona will give them confidence coming into this game, but it would be hard to bet against Inter winning an eighth straight game in Serie A.
West Ham United vs Arsenal
Not many people would have thought that West Ham United would be above Arsenal in the Premier League standings coming this late in the season. However, the Hammers are still within touching distance of the Champions League places, and a win this weekend could be huge for them to achieve that unlikely target.
West Ham will need to find a way to play against the bigger sides in the league though, as they have been disappointing in recent fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester United. David Moyes has been more concerned with not conceding in these games, and that has taken away their attacking threat. The Hammers never looked like getting back into their recent game against Manchester United after going 1-0 down, but they will be confident coming into this London derby back at their home ground.
Confidence will also be high at Arsenal coming into their second derby in two weeks, as the Gunners picked up a famous win against Tottenham Hotspur last time out. Alexandre Lacazette scored the winning goal from the spot against Spurs, which puts the Gunners just seven points away from the Hammers in the league standings.
This is a more difficult game to call, as the Hammers have been excellent throughout the season. Arsenal aren’t on the same level as United or Liverpool this season, which means West Ham could go more attacking. The draw could be the best bet in this game.