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Premier League Round 31 Preview

Football in England is well and truly underway, with games being played everyday!

Leicester City v Brighton

After coming off the back of their first win in 2020, Brighton are full of confidence. However, head to head wise, Leicester City dominate, beating them in 4 out of the last 5 meetings. In fact, the last time Brighton beat Leicester City, was all the way back in 2014. Brighton remain 5 points behind Southampton in 15th place, and Leicester City 9 points behind Manchester City in 3rd place. A win for either side will bolster their chances to remain in the positions in which they currently sit. A win for Leicester City can push them further away from lurking Chelsea.

Tottenham v West Ham

A classic London derby as Spurs face West Ham. Spurs are looking to avoid losing 3 straight games for the first time this season, whilst West Ham look to lure themselves out of the relegation zone. The last 7 meetings have ended in 6 losses and 1 draw for the home side. West Ham are yet to win a game away this year, and Spurs have had a disappointing season. Head to head wise it remains even, with both sides winning two games a piece with one draw. Expect a quality game with high intensity and goals. Both sides are looking to capitalise on each others weak form.

Manchester United v Sheffield United

A battle of the United’s and a massive game for each club respectively. Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 6 games, and are only 5 points behind the fourth spot. After Sheffield United’s thumping to Newcastle, they have only scored 1 goal in their last 3 matches. A one sided affair in terms of head to head, although the last result was a draw, the last time Sheffield United beat Manchester United dates back to 1992. Manchester United still haven’t lost since January in the Premier League and look to continue their stellar run of form. Both these sides sit two points from each other, will it be a game of attack? Or a simple game of defence?

Newcastle v Aston Villa

This game is the battle of contrasting forms. Aston Villa have not won since the 29th of January, whilst Newcastle have won 3 out of their last 3 games. Newcastle have established a fortress at home, with their last home loss coming on the 2nd of January. The day before, on the 1st, Aston Villa won their last away game. A 15 year drought of wins for Aston Villa has emerged, with their last win against this side coming in 2005. With Newcastle excelling and Aston Villa struggling, all signs point towards another Newcastle win, and extending that unbeaten run.

Norwich City v Everton

Norwich City are on the glimpses of hope, only picking up 1 win in their last 7 games as they gasp the last sights of air in the Premier League. Everton are also struggling, winless in their last 4 games, their last win comes on the 8th of February this year. The last meeting between these two sides ended in a 2-0 win to Norwich City, and Everton concede more than two goals in 60% of their away games. Norwich have won 2 of their last 5 home games, and Everton have only won 1 of their last 5 away games. Once again a fixture of struggling sides, who will end up victorious in the battle of lacklustre form?

Wolves v Bournemouth

Wolves are on a roll! They are unbeaten in 6, and have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 5 games. Bournemouth however, have not kept a clean sheet in 13 games, and are still fighting for relegation. The last Bournemouth win against Wolves fell in 2015, when both sides were in the Championship. The Cherries have yet to beat this team in the Premier League. Wolves’ last loss in the Premier League was on the 2nd of January, with Bournemouth’s last win falling a month later from that date. Bournemouth need 3 points to crawl out of the relegation zone, whilst Wolves need the 3 points to catch up to Manchester United and battle for an almost certain European spot.

Liverpool v Crystal Palace

Liverpool fans are on the verge of celebrating their teams first league title in 30 years, but they must beat Crystal Palace in order to be that inch closer. Liverpool have not lost at home this season in the Premier League at Anfield. Liverpool have won the last 5 fixtures, but is always a challenge, as 4 out of those 5 victories had a one goal margin. Crystal Palace are on a run of 4 consecutive wins in the Premier League. However, their last win at Anfield was in 2015, and Liverpool do not look like slowing down just yet. A win for Crystal Palace can put them right into that top 8, and already sitting on top of fellow London side Arsenal, they could sit on top of another London side in Tottenham. A must win for Liverpool, who could win the league against Manchester City, and a must win for Crystal Palace if they want to contend for a European spot.

Burnley v Watford

Coming off a 5-0 thumping to Manchester City, Burnley will look to get their winning spirit back, when they face Watford at Turf Moor. Burnley are unbeaten in their last 4 PL home games against Watford, with Watford not winning this matchup since 2018. Watford away, has not win since January, with Burnley at home, not losing since January. Both sides are mid-table, however Burnley is only a point behind Arsenal. Watford are 4 points behind 15th place Brighton, so a win is essential, as they are only 1 point ahead of the drop. Burnley will look to capitalise on the fact that Deulofeu is out. Overall, a crucial game for both sides.

Southampton v Arsenal

Two words to describe Arsenal since the break, utter disaster. Losing to both Manchester City and Brighton, as well as losing key goalkeeper Leno, the return to football has not been kind to Arsenal. Southampton have the league’s worst home record, winning only 4. The last time Arsenal suffered back to back PL defeats was in April 2019, and have had a man sent off in 3 out of their last 5 away games. A draw was the result in the last match, with the Saints’ last win in this fixture coming in 2018. A win for Southampton puts them level on points with Arsenal, whilst a win for Arsenal puts them ahead of bitter rivals Spurs depending on their result.

Chelsea v Manchester City

The match of the round sees Chelsea looking to cement that top 4, and City looking to grab as many points as possible. A major blow for City, who could have Aguero out for the rest of the season, after getting an injury in their game to Burnley. Chelsea are on a 4 game winning streak, with Manchester City on a 2 game winning streak, which both sides do not want to lose coming into this match. The last fixture ended in favour to Manchester City. This could be the same outcome, as Manchester City have won 60% of their away games this season. However, Olivier Giroud has 3 goals in his last 4 games. This game will surely provide high attacking football and plenty of goals.

Photo Source: Premier League.

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