The competitive festive periods of the season around Europe are quickly approaching, which means teams will continue to fight for vital points in their respective leagues. However, what soccer predictions should gamblers be making this weekend?
Stuttgart vs Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich remain the team to catch in the Bundesliga, but they may have given a glimmer of hope to the team attempting to overthrow them at the top of the league. This weekend, they will come up against a Stuttgart side that have been extremely difficult to beat so far this season, and it could be a stern examination of the Bavarian champions.
Bayern showed last time out that teams can get joy against them, as they have continued to suffer since the injury picked up by Josh Kimmich. The German and European champions were wasteful in front of goal at the Allianz on Saturday afternoon, and they were made to pay for their missed chances as they were held by Werder Bremen. Bayern went behind in the game after Maximillian Eggestein opened the scoring. However, Bayern were able to rescue a point through Kingsley Coman.
Stuttgart have proven to be a tough nut to crack for all Bundesliga teams that they have faced so far this season, as they have lost just once in the eight games that they have played. They are unbeaten in six coming into this fixture. However, they have won just once in these six outings. Stuttgart have drawn their last four games, which includes their recent 3-3 tie against Hoffenheim. They may be a difficult team to beat, but Bayern will be optimistic that they will get chances in the game, and for that reason it’s hard to see anything other than a Bayern win.
Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur
There will be huge stakes at Stamford Bridge this weekend, as Frank Lampard will welcome his old boss Jose Mourinho back to his old stomping ground. Mourinho was brought in by the Spurs bosses to compete for trophies, but a title challenge this season would have been something that not even Daniel Levy could have foreseen.
Spurs have been excellent in the Premier League so far this season, as they have won six from nine games. They haven’t been beaten since their opening day defeat against Everton, and they have won five of their last six games in the top-flight. Of course, it is still early days in the Premier League this season, but this Spurs side appear to be pulling in the same direction. There was further evidence of that at the weekend, as they put in a fighting display to beat Manchester City 2-0. Harry Kane put in one of the performances of the season in that game, as Heung Min-Son and Giovani Lo Celso scored the goals in a Mourinho masterclass.
Lampard’s side will also be considered one of the title contenders in this unpredictable season, as they currently sit in third. A win this weekend would see the Blues overtake Spurs. Chelsea have won their last three in the league, with their defensive issues now being a sign of the past. The Blues come into this game against Spurs having won previously against Newcastle United at St James’ Park. An own goal from Federico Fernandez put the Blues in control, before a second half strike from Tammy Abraham sealed the points.
Mourinho has won five of the 12 matches that he has come up against Chelsea, but this will be a huge challenge this weekend. We expect a draw to be the most likely result.
Real Sociedad vs Villarreal
Not many people would have expected this fixture to be a meeting between the sides located towards the top of the LaLiga table at the beginning of the season. However, Real Sociedad against Villarreal will pit the teams located in first and third against each other this weekend, with Sociedad looking to open up a staggering six-point lead at the summit.
Sociedad have been the story of the season so far, and if they are to maintain their form over the festive period, then they could be considered a leading chance to win the league this season. They have won seven of their ten fixtures so far this season, and have been perfect over their last six matches. Sociedad won again in their most recent fixture, as Nacho Monreal and Mikel Oyarzabal goals sealed a 2-0 win against Granada.
Villarreal have also started the season strongly, but a European finish remains their main aim for the season. They have won half of their ten fixture so far, but have lost on just one occasion. They are unbeaten in their last six, but they have won just three games during this run of form. Villarreal will be looking to get back to winning ways after a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid last time out.
Sociedad’s form has been staggering so far this season, and we expect them to continue that excellent run with another victory against a talented opposition.
Napoli vs AS Roma
Two great rivals will be meeting in Serie A this weekend, as Napoli plays host to AS Roma. Both sides have started the season in good form, but their results over recent weeks have been contrasting.
Napoli current sits outside the Champions League positions, as they have lost two of their last three in the league. That run of form means that they sit in sixth place in the league. However, a win this weekend will lift them back into the Champions League places, while a win by two goals will see them end the weekend above Roma. Napoli lost their last game in the league against AC Milan, with Dries Mertens scoring the only goal in the defeat for the hosts.
Roma have been excellent in their last six games, as they are unbeaten. They have won five from six, and will come into this fixture having won their last three. Roma’s aim will still be to finish in a European place this season, and they would have take confidence from their recent win against Parma. Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored twice in that win to take his tally to five goals in the last two games. Meanwhile, Borja Mayoral also scored in the win.
Roma have been in excellent form so far this season, but this will be a big challenge. Napoli will be hoping to bounce back from defeat against Milan, but we think that a draw is the most likely result.