B/R Experts Predict Top Matches in World Football for Weekend Jan. 30-Feb. 1

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterJanuary 29, 2015

B/R Experts Predict Top Matches in World Football for Weekend Jan. 30-Feb. 1

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    Two matches stand out this weekend, with two top-of-the-table clashes on the agenda.

    The Bundesliga returns from its winter break with leaders Bayern Munich heading to second-placed Wolfsburg on Friday night.

    In the Premier League, table-toppers Chelsea play host to Manchester City, who are second in the table, on Saturday evening.

    In La Liga, David Moyes takes his Real Sociedad team to the Bernabeu to face Real Madrid, while Barcelona are at home to Villarreal.

    Struggling Borussia Dortmund are in desperate need of a change in fortune in the second half of the season, with their trip to Bayer Leverkusen offering a chance to begin on a high.

    Do you agree with our experts' predictions for this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Wolfsburg vs. Bayern Munich

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    Alex Livie: Wolfsburg 0-2 Bayern Munich

    First goalscorer: Arjen Robben

    Could Wolfsburg breathe new life into the Bundesliga title race? The unexciting answer is no, as Bayern will prove far too good.

    Karl Matchett: Wolfsburg 1-2 Bayern Munich

    First goalscorer: Robert Lewandowski

    This should be a poignant game and hopefully played out in the right spirit. Sporting-wise, Bayern to show the gap between first and second.

    Sam Tighe: Wolfsburg 1-2 Bayern Munich

    First goalscorer: Arjen Robben

    Huge match to re-open the Bundesliga but a familiar outcome, as Pep's Bayern edge it.

    Will Tidey: Wolfsburg 0-2 Bayern Munich

    First goalscorer: Robert Lewandowski

    The Bundesliga is back, rested and with Bayern Munich ready to destroy again.

    Mike Cummings: Wolfsburg 1-2 Bayern Munich

    First goalscorer: Thomas Muller

    Bayern Munich will win the Bundesliga by a wide margin and we all know it. Oh, and they'll win this game too. 

    Jerrad Peters: Wolfsburg 0-2 Bayern Munich

    First goalscorer: Thomas Muller

    What better way for Bayern to begin the second half of the Bundesliga season than with a clean sheet. They've allowed just four (FOUR!) goals this term in the German top flight.

    Alex Dimond: Wolfsburg 2-2 Bayern Munich

    First goalscorer: Robert Lewandowski

    Wolfsburg are an extremely strong side—even more so if they can somehow add Andre Schurrle—but Bayern remain a cut above the rest in Germany and should come away with at least something from this game.

Chelsea vs. Manchester City

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    Alex Livie: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

    First goalscorer: Eden Hazard

    A truly intriguing contest between the top-two sides in the Premier League. A win is more important for City than Chelsea, but Jose Mourinho's Blues will still come out on top.

    Karl Matchett: Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City

    First goalscorer: Eden Hazard

    These are the games in which Jose Mourinho shows his worth all too often if you’re an opponent of his. Bad run for City if they lose, though.

    Sam Tighe: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester City

    First goalscorer: Loic Remy

    Chelsea, tired and potentially without Diego Costa, can only muster a draw. Neutrals rejoice: An eight-point gap is close to insurmountable.

    Will Tidey: Chelsea 3-1 Manchester City

    First goalscorer: Oscar

    The two FA Cup scalps come together in this one, which I expect to be told as Chelsea flexing their title muscle.

    Mike Cummings: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

    First goalscorer: Eden Hazard

    No Costa? No problem for Chelsea, who will make a statement against their nearest rivals.

    Jerrad Peters: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

    First goalscorer: Eden Hazard

    Chelsea played 120 minutes against Liverpool on Tuesday but should still be strong enough to see off Manchester City and put eight points between themselves and the champions.

    Alex Dimond: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

    First goalscorer: Diego Costa (if he plays)

    Great players tend to respond to controversy with great performances, and Diego Costa could be primed for a big game against a Manchester City side that perhaps cannot afford to lose but lack the cohesion and confidence right now to win at Stamford Bridge.

Real Madrid vs. Real Sociedad

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    Alex Livie: Real Madrid 3-0 Real Sociedad

    First goalscorer: Gareth Bale

    The Liga leaders will keep their foot on the gas with a comfortable home win.

    Karl Matchett: Real Madrid 3-0 Real Sociedad

    First goalscorer: Gareth Bale

    David Moyes is busy Moyseying La Real, so it won’t be all that easy for Madrid to break through, but the away side lack a scoring threat.

    Sam Tighe: Real Madrid 2-0 Real Sociedad

    First goalscorer: Karim Benzema

    Cristiano Ronaldo will be missing, but Real Madrid have several other Galacticos capable of changing the game. And they will.

    Will Tidey: Real Madrid 3-0 Real Sociedad

    First goalscorer: Karim Benzema

    Another Moyes miracle? I don't think so—not even with Cristiano Ronaldo suspended for the match. Madrid to make light work of this one.

    Mike Cummings: Real Madrid 1-1 Real Sociedad

    First goalscorer: Toni Kroos

    No Cristiano, no party for Real Madrid, who could find life difficult against Real Sociedad.

    Jerrad Peters: Real Madrid 3-0 Real Sociedad

    First goalscorer: Gareth Bale

    Cristiano Ronaldo is suspended for this match, but that only means the likes of Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema will have more chances to score against a Real Sociedad side that, while solid defensively, struggles mightily in front of goal.

    Alex Dimond: Real Madrid 1-0 Real Sociedad

    First goalscorer: Gareth Bale

    This could be an interesting battle tactically; without Cristiano Ronaldo to worry about, David Moyes will be confident he has the tactics to stifle Real. Carlo Ancelotti's side are at home, however, and they should have just enough quality leftover to find a winning goal.

Barcelona vs. Villarreal

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    Alex Livie: Barcelona 2-0 Villarreal

    First goalscorer: Luis Suarez

    Barcelona are in hot pursuit of Real and can keep up the pressure with a comfortable three points.

    Karl Matchett: Barcelona 3-1 Villarreal

    First goalscorer: Neymar

    This should be an end-to-end game between two offensive sides—at least until Barça start to dominate and take control.

    Sam Tighe: Barcelona 3-0 Villarreal

    First goalscorer: Neymar

    Villarreal looked iffy last weekend, whereas the Neymar-Messi connection just keeps improving for Barca. There's only going to be one result.

    Will Tidey: Barcelona 4-0 Villarreal

    First goalscorer: Lionel Messi

    Highly predictable fare here, folks. Barcelona romp, and Messi is in the goals. 

    Mike Cummings: Barcelona 3-1 Villarreal

    First goalscorer: Neymar

    Messi, Neymar and Suarez are practically unstoppable, which should come as a surprise to practically no one. A few more goals and another win for the Blaugrana.

    Jerrad Peters: Barcelona 2-0 Villarreal

    First goalscorer: Neymar

    Villarreal are on a nice little run and tend to play Barcelona close. But you just feel that after beating Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey, the Catalan giants are only going to progress from strength to strength.

    Alex Dimond: Barcelona 3-1 Villarreal

    First goalscorer: Neymar

    Barcelona really seem to be hitting a nice rhythm at the moment, and Villarreal could be walking into a buzz saw, as Neymar and Lionel Messi continue to impress together.

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Dortmund

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Alex Livie: Bayer Leverkusen 0-1 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Ciro Immobile

    At some point, Borussia Dortmund have got to start hitting form. A win at Leverkusen will be the ideal tonic.

    Karl Matchett: Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Ciro Immobile

    The Dortmund revival starts here! Well, it better start soon anyway, or there are going to be a lot more embarrassed faces around rather than the merely perplexed of late 2014.

    Sam Tighe: Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Hakan Calhanoglu

    Both sides are weakened by the Asian and Africa cups, and both play to an entertaining draw to begin the second half of the season.

    Will Tidey: Bayer Leverkusen 0-1 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Marco Reus

    Jurgen Klopp surely used the winter break to remind his team that they're not useless. They'll win this one.

    Mike Cummings: Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Karim Bellarabi

    No, BVB won't finish the season in the relegation places. But after such a disastrous first half of their season, Jurgen Klopp's men will be satisfied with a draw here.

    Jerrad Peters: Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Marco Reus

    Borussia Dortmund have had an encouraging winter break and are welcoming some healthy bodies back into the lineup. They're a side that's emanating positivity at the moment, even if they happen to have posted a woeful record during the first half of the season.

    Alex Dimond: Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Hakan Calhanoglu

    Jurgen Klopp will be hoping the winter break has fixed his team's problems and restored some of their confidence, but this is a tough game to start out with, and they may have to settle for simply not losing.

Latest Standings

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    B/R Experts' Table
     Week's TotalTotal
    Mike Cummings5158
    Karl Matchett5140
    Alex Livie8138
    Sam Tighe4134
    Jerrad Peters3129
    Alex Dimond5128
    Will Tidey1100

     

    Correct result: One point

    Correct first goalscorer: Two points

    Correct scoreline: Three points