Soccer Predictions and Tips - January 2-4, 2021

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by Brad King
| 28/12/2020
Chelsea vs Manchester City

The first round of games around Europe in 2021 takes place in January, but what soccer predictions should gamblers be making for some of the most interesting fixtures?

Chelsea vs Manchester City

There will be a huge match at the top of the Premier League to kick off the new year, with Manchester City travelling to Stamford Bridge. City will need to continue to build momentum as the season progresses, as they need to bridge the gap to the current leaders Liverpool.

It has been far from a vintage start to the season for Pep Guardiola’s side, as they went into the Christmas period outside the top six in the league table. However, they have still lost just twice this season. Only Liverpool have lost a fewer number of games, but draws have been problematic for the Citizens. City have already been held on five occasions this season, with only Brighton & Hove Albion drawing more games. Overturning those draws into wins in the second half of the season will be pivotal to their chances of winning the league this season. However, that already looks to be a massive challenge for the former champions.

Chelsea are in an unusual position, as they aren’t completely in the title race at present. Frank Lampard’s side lost two games on the bounce before Christmas, and that saw them fall down the league table. Top four will continue to be the aim for the Blues this season, but a victory in this fixture could see their targets reassessed once again. Victory over West Ham United recent highlighted what the Blues are capable of when they are at the peak of their powers.

This will be the biggest game in Europe at the start of 2021, and it could go either way. However, there will be pressure on City to win this game, and we expect them to get the win.

Southampton vs Liverpool

Liverpool’s relentless charge to a second straight Premier League title will take them to St Mary’s in early January, as the Reds will be looking to continue their excellent first half of the season. Jurgen Klopp’s side have lost just once in the Premier League this season, but since that defeat against Aston Villa they have been near faultless.

Liverpool couldn’t be in better form coming into this fixture, as they have won their last two games before Christmas. One of those wins came in the form of a 7-0 success away from home against Crystal Palace. Mohamed Salah scored twice from the bench in that game, while Roberto Firmino’s form would have also pleased Klopp. The Brazilian has now scored three goals in two games, and that looks set to continue into the second half of the season.

Southampton’s relegation worries were eased in the first half of the season, and they instead look primed to challenge for a place in Europe if they can maintain their form. They have won the joint third-highest number of games in the league this season, and have looked excellent at both ends of the field. However, defeat against City recently looks to have dampened their spirits, and they will be looking to avoid a run of successive defeats that would leave their European hopes in tatters.

Liverpool have an outstanding record against Southampton, and it will be hard to bet against the current champions claiming another three points against the Saints in the new year.

Real Betis vs Sevilla

There will be excellent LaLiga action in early January, as the Seville derby takes place at the Benito Villamarin. Real Betis have been unable to build on the strong form that they showed in the opening weeks of the season, and have been dropping down the league standings at an alarming rate.

It would be slightly concerning for Betis fans that no other side in LaLiga have lost more games than them so far this season. The eight defeats that they have suffered is only matched by Osasuna, who currently occupy a relegation spot. However, due to the competitive nature of the Spanish top-flight this season, Betis could put themselves back in contention of a European fight with a run of victories, starting with success against their local rivals.

Sevilla have been dominant in this fixture in LaLiga, as they have won six of the previous seven against their local rivals. They will be hoping for another win in this fixture in 2021, as it will increase their chance of finishing in the top four. Sevilla are just three points away from Villarreal at present but have two games in hand over most of the teams above them. Sevilla are renowned for being a difficult team to beat, and have lost the third-lowest number of games in the top-flight this season.

Sevilla’s excellent record in this fixture means that it is increasingly difficult to see past them getting the three points from this fixture.

Borussia Dortmund vs Wolfsburg

Borussia Dortmund will have a massive challenge on their hands to get back in contention for the Bundesliga title this season. Their problems have been highlighted by the sacking of Lucien Farve, who was dismissed following a poor run of form before Christmas.

The minimum objective for the club in the second half of the season will be to finish in the top-four, but that could be a huge challenge if they aren’t able to recover their solid form. Dortmund have been too easy to beat so far this season, as they have lost five of their seven fixtures in the Bundesliga. Only the teams in the bottom eight places have lost more games than Dortmund to this point. It had been a miserable December for the club, as they had won just once in five league games.

Wolfsburg appear to be one of the teams that are best placed to take Dortmund’s place in the top four this season, as they have lost just once. That means that they have lost the joint-fewest games in the league so far this season. They also have the third-best defensive record in the division and have lost just once in their last six league games.

It would be hard to predict Dortmund suffering as much as they have in the first half of the season when the Bundesliga resumes in 2021. However, this will be a tough game to restart the season, and a draw could be the most likely result.

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