Goal.com’s editors predict Arsenal – Manchester United & Lazio – Juventus

April 29, 2011 | In: Articles

Another packed weekend is on the agenda with plenty to play for in Europe’s top five leagues. Our betting editors in England, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain give their predictions on the tastiest ties to be played.

In England Manchester United will be able to smell the title if they can maintain their recent winning record over Arsenal on Sunday. The Red Devils are looking to make it five wins in a row against their London rivals.

Across the channel Ligue 1 holders Marseille are looking for their first win at home over Auxerre in three years as the French title race heats up. Les Phoceens are just a single point clear of Lille. In Germany last season’s top two meet as Schalke aim to restore some pride against Bayern Munich who still have aspirations of the Champions League.

Spain’s La Liga looks all but over as Barcelona travel to play Real Sociedad. You need to go back to 2003 to find the last time Sociedad even scored a goal against the Blaugrana but the San Sebastian side aren’t out of the drop zone yet and need every point they can get.

On Italy’s peninsula Lazio are edging closer to a Champions League return as they welcome Juventus to the capital on Monday night. Meanwhile in Holland Eredivisie league champions Twente play Willem II in a top versus bottom encounter.

Goal.com’s resident betting editors around Europe offer their expertise on the big games.

Dennis Weinacht, Goal.com Germany Betting Editor
Match Odds: Bayern Munich 1.36, Draw 4.50, Schalke 9.0

Schalke aren’t in a good situation right now following the defeat last week to Kaiserslautern and the demolition by Manchester United in midweek.

Bayern Munich are still fighting for third spot but aren’t playing particularly well. This will be a close game with no clear winner. I’d fancy Schalke to score in the first half with Bayern leaving it late to nick an equaliser. Not a spectacular result and pressure will still remain on the Bavarians afterwards.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 1–1 Schalke

Floris Koekenbier, Goal.com Netherlands Betting Editor
Match Odds: Twente 1.06, Draw 9.50, Willem II 23.0.

Willem II don’t stand a chance against league champions Twente. The squad of manager Michel Preud’homme are now leaders in the Eredivisie and are facing the basement side in a home match at the Grolsch Veste.

FC Twente have an advantage of just one point over Ajax. Goal difference could ultimately decide the destiny of the title so I’m expecting a big scoreline in favour of the hosts.

Prediction: FC Twente 5-0 Willem II

Ivar Matusevich, Goal.com Spain Betting Editor
Match Odds: Real Sociedad 7.0, Draw 4.33, Barcelona 1.44

Barcelona’s energy reserves will be depleted after the latest Clasico where they emerged victorious. Pep Guardiola may make some changes to save the legs for the next match with Real Madrid and although they can afford to lose I doubt they will. A narrow win for the Blaugrana.

Prediction: Real Sociedad 0-1 Barcelona

Marco Avena, Goal.com Italy Betting Editor
Match Odds: Lazio 2.15, Draw 3.10, Juventus 3.60

Had the Bianconeri beaten Catania we’d be talking about a play-off for a Champions League spot. Instead this Monday contest is likely to determine Lazio’s return to the biggest European stage.

A difference of seven points is too much for Juventus, with only four games before end of championship, and the goal for Juve is finish sixth place for the Europa League.

Lazio must defend fourth place from the chasing Udinese and Roma. Both teams have injuries and suspensions to contend with so I’m forecasting a narrow win for the home side.

Prediction: Lazio 2-1 Juventus

Patrick Bonneil, Goal.com France Betting Editor
Match Odds: Marseille 1.44, Draw 4.0, Auxerre 8.0

Having resumed first place in Ligue 1 in midweek, Marseille will want to confirm their status against a side who often excel at the Velodrome.

OM have won five of the last six games but haven’t beaten Auxerre at home since 2008. The visitors have a W1 D2 L1 recent record against Les Phoceens but it’s Jean Fernandez’s team who have lost four of their last six away games.

Marseille are peaking at the right time and if they win all their remaining will retain the title.

Prediction: Marseille 2-1 Auxerre

Patrick Reilly, Goal.com International Betting Editor
Match Odds: Arsenal 2.62, Draw 3.0, Man Utd 2.90

Arsenal have routinely upset punters with their erratic displays this season. Don’t be too shocked if they do a Bolton and play their cup final a week late against this season’s likely champions.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been riled by suggestions that the Red Devils could lose to both Arsenal & Chelsea and blow the title race wide open. Buoyed by their performance against Schalke they should get a point at least at the Emirates. United have won eight of the past ten meetings but this looks like being a score draw.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United

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