B/R Experts Predict Top Matches in World Football for Weekend of Dec. 20-22

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterDecember 19, 2014

B/R Experts Predict Top Matches in World Football for Weekend of Dec. 20-22

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    The Premier League dominates our selections this weekend, with three matches offering a test of our Bleacher Report experts' predictive powers.

    In-form Manchester United will be aiming for a seventh successive win when they travel to Aston Villa on Saturday.

    Liverpool were beaten 3-0 at Old Trafford and will look to bounce back when they play host to Arsenal on Sunday, before league leaders Chelsea make the trip to Stoke City the following day.

    In Serie A, high-flying Roma entertain AC Milan, while struggling Borussia Dortmund face a relegation tussle at Werder Bremen.

    But do you agree with our experts' predictions? Let us know in the comments below.

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Alex Livie: Aston Villa 1-0 Manchester United

    First goalscorer: Christian Benteke

    United may have won six on the spin, but they are not as good as that record suggests. Villa are having their own troubles, but they can edge this one. 

    Karl Matchett: Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United

    First goalscorer: Christian Benteke

    Villa’s defensive resilience will be tested, but they are stubborn enough to halt United’s winning run if they can nab a goal themselves.

    Sam Tighe: Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    First goalscorer: Wayne Rooney

    A standard victory for Man Utd at Villa Park. They're in frightening form.

    Will Tidey: Aston Villa 0-4 Manchester United

    First goalscorer: Marouane Fellaini

    Always like this fixture. United are on a roll and I think they'll dance to victory at the expense of a Villa side who've scored just 10 goals in 16 Premier League games this season.

    Mike Cummings: Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    First goalscorer: Own goal (in United's favour)

    One of these days, United will win a match without actually placing a shot on target. 

    Jerrad Peters: Aston Villa 1-3 Manchester United

    First goalscorer: Robin van Persie

    A decent run for Aston Villa ended with a 1-0 defeat to West Brom last weekend, and next up are Manchester United, who have won their last six matches. United were 3-0 winners at Villa Park last season and tend to enjoy this fixture.

    Alex Dimond: Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester United

    First goalscorer: Robin van Persie

    Christian Benteke has all the qualities required to cause havoc among a United defence that is far from settled, but as good as Jores Okore has been since returning, Aston Villa are even more susceptible at the other end.

Roma vs. AC Milan

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    Alex Livie: Roma 0-0 AC Milan

    A tense game in the Eternal City will see the spoils shared.

    Karl Matchett: Roma 2-0 AC Milan

    First goalscorer: Miralem Pjanic

    Milan picked up a good win over Napoli, but there is a big difference between the top two and the rest in Serie A.

    Sam Tighe: Roma 1-0 AC Milan

    First goalscorer: Juan Iturbe

    Roma to win a typically tight game in which neither side impresses. 

    Will Tidey: Roma 3-2 AC Milan

    First goalscorer: Gervinho

    Both teams have scored freely in Serie A this season, so I'm going for a ding-dong thriller that predictably ends with a Francesco Totti winner in added time.

    Mike Cummings: Roma 2-1 AC Milan

    First goalscorer: Adem Ljajic

    Roma trail Juventus by only a point in Serie A, so victory is crucial for the Giallorossi heading into the winter break.

    Jerrad Peters: Roma 1-1 AC Milan

    First goalscorer: Jeremy Menez

    Don't look now, but AC Milan are creeping up on Serie A's third Champions League spot. They delivered a statement-making win over Napoli last weekend, and while they've struggled against Roma in recent seasons you feel they're in a good moment and could come away from Stadio Olimpico with a point.

    Alex Dimond: Roma 2-0 AC Milan

    First goalscorer: Adem Ljajic

    Milan may be on a high after beating Napoli at home, but Roma are a better side and should win this one reasonably comfortably.

Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    Alex Livie: Werder Bremen 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Ciro Immobile

    Dortmund are far, far better than their record suggests. They can take some confidence into the winter break with a win in Bremen.

    Karl Matchett: Werder Bremen 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Franco Di Santo

    Jurgen Klopp says Dortmund are in a real relegation battle, and results continue to prove that to be the case. This one would be a devastating defeat.

    Sam Tighe: Werder Bremen 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Ciro Immobile

    I still don't trust Dortmund and neither should any of you!

    Will Tidey: Werder Bremen 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Ciro Immobile

    The Dortmund slump ends here, surely? Well I'm saying it does anyhow.

    Mike Cummings: Werder Bremen 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Franco Di Santo

    Wouldn't it be fun if Dortmund won the Champions League and got relegated in the same season? Shouldn't we all be hoping for this?

    Jerrad Peters: Werder Bremen 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Ciro Immobile

    Borussia Dortmund continue to find new ways to lose, but a match against Werder Bremen—who have been even worse than they have to start the season—may be just the tonic for manager Jurgen Klopp aand Co.

    Alex Dimond: Werder Bremen 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Marco Reus

    Finally, Dortmund face a side struggling even worse than they in the Bundesliga! Dortmund's struggles are still far from over, but things might start turning around with a win in this game.

Liverpool vs. Arsenal

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Alex Livie: Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal

    First goalscorer: Danny Welbeck

    Liverpool may have grabbed a win in the cup in midweek, but that was against Bournemouth. Old problems will resurface, with Arsenal exposing them in ruthless fashion.

    Karl Matchett: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

    First goalscorer: Olivier Giroud

    It’s difficult to see Liverpool picking up a win in this game, but Arsenal are hardly unstoppable themselves, despite a very good weekend win.

    Sam Tighe: Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

    First goalscorer: Alexis Sanchez

    Arsenal banish horrifying memories of last season's 5-1 with a tight win here.

    Will Tidey: Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal

    First goalscorer: Alexis Sanchez

    Could it be the end for Brendan Rodgers? It certainly won't help, should my prediction of a Gunners win on the road come to fruition. It's 1989 all over again.

    Mike Cummings: Liverpool 2-3 Arsenal

    First goalscorer: Raheem Sterling

    Neither team can defend, but you get the feeling that Arsenal could just about outscore Liverpool at the moment.

    Jerrad Peters: Liverpool 1-3 Arsenal

    First goalscorer: Olivier Giroud

    Arsenal were shellacked 5-1 at Anfield last season, but last February's result won't be repeated on Sunday. The Reds come into the match in the bottom half of the Premier League table while six-place Arsenal have put the ball in the back of the net with regularity in recent outings.

    Alex Dimond: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

    First goalscorer: Raheem Sterling

    The Manchester United result was a real low point for Liverpool, but they would have scored a few were it not for the brilliance of David De Gea. If they can keep Alexis Sanchez reasonably quiet, they should be able to get a positive result.

Stoke City vs. Chelsea

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Alex Livie: Stoke 0-2 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Diego Costa

    Stoke won't make life easy for Chelsea, but the Blues simply have too much quality not to take three points.

    Karl Matchett: Stoke 1-2 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Eden Hazard

    Chelsea will face a test of resilience and patience against Stoke but ultimately have enough talent to get the win.

    Sam Tighe: Stoke 1-2 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Diego Costa

    A game Chelsea would have lost last season, but this year it's different. Mourinho's men roll on.

    Will Tidey: Stoke 1-0 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Jon Walters

    Surely not? But hold on for a second here, Stoke are expert scrappers and Chelsea have only won two of their five league games on their travels. Upset klaxon.

    Mike Cummings: Stoke 1-2 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Diego Costa

    Chelsea's last trip away from Stamford Bridge resulted in a loss to Newcastle. Jose Mourinho won't let it happen again.

    Jerrad Peters: Stoke 0-3 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Diego Costa

    Earlier this month Stoke pulled off a 3-2 win over Arsenal at the Britannia, but beating Chelsea is another matter entirely. The Blues, for their part, need to win matches like this if they're to maintain their three-point lead over Manchester City.

    Alex Dimond: Stoke 0-1 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Diego Costa

    The Britannia Stadium is no longer the fortress it once was, but Chelsea will have to dig deep to grind out a narrow victory over Mark Hughes' side.

Latest Standings

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images
    B/R Experts' Table
     Week's TotalTotal
    Mike Cummings3120
    Karl Matchett 3103
    Alex Dimond 4102
    Jerrad Peters499
    Sam Tighe 293
    Alex Livie 691
    Will Tidey 279

    Correct result: One point

    Correct first goalscorer: Two points

    Correct scoreline: Three points

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