Predicting Every Major EPL, Serie A, La Liga and Bundesliga Match
For many teams around the world, this weekend is their last opportunity this season to taste the satisfying feeling of victory and hear the cheers of their fans.
The season has been long and grueling—with plenty of highs and lows—and it now is coming to a close. Can teams finish on a positive note and achieve their last attainable goals for the season, or will they succumb to the pressure and be forced to spend the entire offseason relieving their mistakes?
Read on to see the key details and predictions for every top game around Europe this weekend, and see which teams will be ending the season in style.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Sunderland
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EPL—Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET
The situation is ridiculously clear for Tottenham Hotspur.
In order to make the Champions League next season, they must beat Sunderland this weekend and hope that they get a little bit of luck along the way from Newcastle United—who we'll get to in a minute.
Spurs trail their London rivals Arsenal by a point and seemingly can do nothing other than win this weekend and hope for the best. Sunderland will know that they can't be relegated and will therefore not have as much to play for as they would otherwise have—making this one a very one-sided fixture.
The question will be not whether Tottenham win, but rather by how much.
They've been very strong at White Hart Lane this season, are the better team and have far too much to play for here to walk away with anything other than victory.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 3, Sunderland 1
Newcastle United vs. Arsenal
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EPL—Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET
It's the biggest game in England this weekend, and whilst it might not seem like a difficult fixture for Arsenal, the reality is that traveling to Newcastle United certainly isn't an easy task.
They haven't been as strong this year as they were in 2012, but the Magpies can still be very good at home. St. James' Park is a long way from London and could well see the Gunners struggle early in this one—particularly if they're missing a couple of key players like it seems they will be.
Arsene Wenger will have prepared his side all week for this, and having seen them dispatch of Wigan with ease, you'd have to think that they'll win this one.
But you simply never know with the Magpies.
I think the Gunners will get home, but I don't think it will be easy, and like we've come to expect from the final day of the Premier League, I think it will be filled with drama.
Just in case we haven't already had enough this season.
Prediction: Newcastle United 1, Arsenal 2
Chelsea vs. Everton
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EPL—Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET
With Chelsea winning the Europa League and (essentially) qualifying for the Champions League last week, the Blues come into this home fixture without as much to play for as it appeared they would have when the schedule was released at the beginning of the season.
Everton cannot play in the Champions League next season, and whilst they've been strong, they simply aren't able to completely mix it with the top five teams in the league.
Having said that, however, this is still a very big game, with the myriad of storylines likely to make for an emotional and high-intensity Premier League clash between two very good clubs.
Is this Rafa Benitez's last ever game in the Premier League? How will the response be for David Moyes, who is leaving Everton for Manchester United next season? Is it Marouane Fellaini's last game for the Toffees? Is it Leighton Baines'? Is this the last time that we will see Frank Lampard or even Fernando Torres at the Bridge? How will the London club's fans respond to the Europa League title?
Meaningless game. Pfffft.
Prediction: Chelsea 2, Everton 0
Siena vs. Milan
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Serie A—Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ET
We change leagues now and head to Italy, where a drama-filled fixture is set to take place between Siena and Milan, who are desperately trying to ensure their Champions League future.
Milan have been very good since the arrival of Mario Balotelli over the summer, but saw their fixture suspended last week after racism. There was much said after the game by players and officials alike, and all eyes will be firmly on the Italian giants as to how they'll respond under pressure this week.
Short of Fiorentina winning by a huge margin, Milan would likely only need a draw here to ensure their third-place finish in Serie A, which they should do here.
Siena have lost their last five in a row, and against the might of the Italian champions, don't appear like they'll be ending that run any time in the near future.
Milan will win comfortably and qualify for the Champions League for 2014.
Prediction: Siena 0, AC Milan 3
Getafe vs. Valencia
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La Liga—Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET
The race for the top four in Spain is all that remains to be decided this season, and it will come down to the performances of both Valencia and Real Sociedad for the final week.
Valencia tasted Champions League football earlier this season and were perhaps unlucky not to go further than they did in the competition. They will be desperate to ensure that they have an easy draw into the European competition next season as well.
They scored a huge away win over Rayo Vallecano last week, which showed they're more than capable of winning on the road, and will need to produce that form this week against Getafe. The home side have won just one of their past seven games and lost to 15th-placed Osasuna last weekend, which does seem to suggest that Valencia will simply be too strong for them in this one.
They have more to play for and are in better form, and should see their current goalscoring prowess continue with a dominant win to finish off the season.
Prediction: Getafe 0, Valencia 3
Sevilla vs. Real Sociedad
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La Liga—Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. ET
With a seven-goal difference over Valencia in the league standings, the chance of playing Champions League football will likely just come down to how Real Sociedad play in their final fixture of the year.
Sociedad have been a great surprise in the Spanish league, and they would love to finish that off with a spot in the European competition next season. They'll need to beat Sevilla this weekend first, however, and given the strong home form that they've had this season, it certainly won't be easy for Sociedad.
Sevilla have won 12 of their 17 home games this season, whilst Sociedad have won just over a third of their away fixtures. They haven't been in the greatest form either, but with so much to play for in this one, Sociedad should be good enough to walk away with all three points.
It won't be easy, mind you, but they should get there in the end.
Prediction: Sevilla 0, Real Sociedad 1
Freiburg vs. Schalke 04
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Bundesliga—Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. ET
This is perhaps the pick of the fixtures around Europe this season, with the winner of Freiburg and Schalke 04 earning a European spot and the loser, well, losing.
The away side already had a strong showing in the Champions League this season and appeared destined to qualify for the European competition again heading into the final weeks of the season. However, with a shock result or two and a strong run of form from Freiburg, it's all come down to the final week and an epic matchup at the Mage Solar Stadion.
Schalke have won just five away fixtures all season and have scored significantly less goals than they have done in front of their home fans in 2013. Combine that with Freiburg's defensive solidity at home this year (allowing just one goal per game) and this one is shaping up as a great match.
It will be very close and tense, but I like Freiburg to finish strong here.
They've been playing well and come into this one with a mount of confidence. Schalke will simply be trying not to lose, and as we've seen throughout the years, that tactic simply doesn't work at times, and I think the home side will be too strong defensively to lose this one.
It will be a cruel blow for Schalke, but a close loss it will be.
Prediction: Freiburg 1, Schalke 0
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