Premier League Predictions – Gameweek 31

There’s hardly time for players or managers to catch a breath this week as the relentless race to wrap up the 2019/20 campaign this summer continues. Here are our Premier League predictions for Gameweek 31...

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Southampton vs Arsenal

There’s hardly time for players or managers to catch a breath this week as the relentless race to wrap up the 2019/20 campaign this summer continues in the Premier League.

Here are our predictions for a bumper crop of midweek games…


Premier League Predictions – Full Preview

Tuesday 23rd June

LEICESTER CITY VS BRIGHTON

Brendan Rodgers was put through the wringer in Saturday’s early game, as an overhead kick from the unlikeliest of sources in Craig Dawson somehow salvaged a point for Watford just as it looked as if Leicester were set for a precious three points.

That 1-1 draw could ultimately prove a useful point when Rodgers looks back at the end of the campaign, helping the Foxes maintain their eight-point advantage on fifth-place Man Utd in the race for Champions League football.

Leicester vs Brighton

However, the Northern Irishman will be wary of any more slip-ups and faces a rejuvenated Brighton in Tuesday’s early game.

The Seagulls were the big winners this weekend as the only team in the bottom five to win, and a five-point gap to Bournemouth suggests their tough run-in has suddenly become a little less daunting.

Graham Potter would surely happily bank a point here, but a Seagulls side moulded in his philosophy will never park the bus, and that could allow the Foxes to pounce. Brighton still haven’t beaten Leicester since their return to this level.

Verdict: Home win ❌


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR VS WEST HAM UTD

It was an improved display from pre-lockdown, but there was yet more frustration for Jose Mourinho on Wednesday night as Spurs wasted a good start to settle for a point with Man Utd.

Fortunately for the Portuguese, this looks an ideal fixture to apply some pressure on his immediate rivals against a West Ham side that looked out of fresh ideas against Wolves.

It’s not all bad news for the Hammers, who actually boast a credible recent record in this fixture, including the distinction of being the first side to consign Spurs to defeat at their state-of-the-art new stadium.

That win was a rare highlight towards the end of Manuel Pellegrini’s ill-fated reign, but his unpopular replacement David Moyes needs to pull a rabbit from somewhere with West Ham only out the relegation zone on goal difference.

Verdict: Home win ✅


Wednesday 24th June

MANCHESTER UNITED VS SHEFFIELD UNITED

It’s an unlikely top five clash at Old Trafford, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likely to be banking on the Blades’ sluggish restart continuing in midweek.

Manchester United vs Sheffield Utd

Chris Wilder will be hoping his side’s poor performance against Newcastle was simply a case of tired legs after two games in a matter of days, but any repeat of their defensive lapses in the game here will surely go punished by a Man Utd side that look revived in the final third.

With Chelsea rallying to beat Aston Villa, one thing’s for sure. Utd can’t afford to drop points here if the Champions League remains a realistic target, given the Blues are only likely to get stronger with several stars back from injury.

Verdict: Home win ✅


NEWCASTLE UNITED VS ASTON VILLA

He’s never going to be the most popular man on Tyneside. However, Steve Bruce can probably pat himself on the back amid the chaos at St James’ Park. The 3-0 win over Sheffield Utd moved the Magpies onto 38 points to virtually end any remaining talk of relegation.

Another win for Newcastle in midweek might be sweet Schadenfreude for the 59-year-old after infamously leaving Aston Villa shortly after a cabbage was hurled at him by a frustrated fan.

There’ll be no chance of any wayward veg being cast in his direction this week, but things are looking decidedly rotten for his opposite number Dean Smith, who is struggling to turn the tide at his hometown club even after an extended break to re-tool his fragile first XI. Any defeat here for Villa could see all confidence ebb away, with Wolves, Man Utd and Liverpool all on the horizon.

Verdict: Draw ✅


NORWICH CITY VS EVERTON

This is surely Norwich’s last stand. Daniel Farke’s side served up a horror-show in their first game back as a second half collapse saw them downed 3-0 on their own patch by Southampton. They return to Carrow Road probably thankful to be behind closed doors again as they host mid-table Everton, but with a likely seven points to make up on 17th place West Ham due to a their inferior goal difference, time looks to be running out.

The Blues will be reasonably buoyant after battling to a credible 0-0 draw with rivals Liverpool, with Carlo Ancelotti successful in his mission to make the Reds sweat just a game or two longer. The reverse fixture produced one of Norwich’s best results of the season, as the Canaries launched a smash-and-grab to win 2-0 at Goodison Park . That game that would be the beginning of the end for the hapless Marco Silva, but with Ancelotti now in the Toffees hotseat, a repeat of that scoreline looks a long shot for the nervy Canaries.

Verdict: Draw ❌


WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS VS AFC BOURNEMOUTH

A shaky defence devoid of all confidence probably won’t want to see Adama Traore lining up for the opposition, but that’s the headache Eddie Howe faces as strugglers Bournemouth head to a Wolves side that continue to prove devastating on the counter.

The Cherries mustered little response to Crystal Palace’s sparky opening at the Vitality on Saturday night, and will need to be more disciplined from the off at Molineux to avoid a second damaging defeat in as many days. It’s worth noting that Wolves are capable of a slip-up against inferior opposition, however – as the 0-0 draw with Brighton at Molineux before the break testifies. An off-day for the home side might be Bournemouth’s best hope but they’ll need to keep things compact to pull off a shock.

Verdict: Home win ✅


LIVERPOOL VS CRYSTAL PALACE

Given Man City’s resounding 5-0 win over Burnley, the champagne will remain on ice for Liverpool until at least their trip to the Etihad on 2nd July, but it’s still surely only a matter of time before Liverpool scoop up the five points they need to make certain of a first Premier League title.

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

The Reds looked decidedly rusty on their return to action, albeit a derby game in unusual circumstances was never likely to be the ideal launchpad for a swift conclusion to the title race.

Now it’s the turn of Roy Hodgson’s assured Eagles to add some jitters into proceedings as the former Reds boss returns to one of his more unhappy hunting grounds in a distinguished career. The Reds will need to be on guard, as Palace consigned Jurgen Klopp to his first defeat as Liverpool manager with a 2-1 win at Anfield back in 2017 and boast a respectable return from their recent travels to Merseyside.

Verdict: Home win ✅


Thursday 25th June

BURNLEY VS WATFORD

Whisper it quietly, but is the love affair between Sean Dyche and Burnley heading towards a long goodbye? The Clarets boss hasn’t been bashful in voicing his frustrations over the current contract situations surrounding several of his players, and his mood won’t have been lightened by yet another 5-0 thumping by Man City– their second in a row at the Etihad.

That said, Burnley were the last team to return to action and were perhaps a touch unfortunate to take on a City side sharpened up from their game-in-hand against Arsenal, and there’s no reason to suggest Dyche’s side won’t return to their best habits even against a Watford side that showed fighting spirit to snatch a late draw with Leicester. Dyche will be out to prove a point to his employers that they owe him one given their drama-free end to another Premier League campaign.

Verdict: Home win ✅


SOUTHAMPTON VS ARSENAL

The word ‘crisis’ is never far away from Arsenal, who seem to have reverted to the bad old days of the Wenger and Emery reigns under Mikel Arteta after two disappointing performances in a week that have probably ensured a campaign without European football next year for the first time since the 1995/96 season.

Arteta will be expecting a response – and improved concentration – from his players as they head to a Saints side still on a high after effectively securing their own status for next season after an emphatic 3-0 win at Norwich City.  Saints will be hoping to continue their good record against Arsenal, losing just four of their last 10 league meetings.

Verdict: Draw ❌


CHELSEA VS MANCHESTER CITY

The midweek action rounds off with a cracker as two of the top four meet at Stamford Bridge, with Man City hitting their stride instantly since the restart, and Pep Guardiola bolstered by the impressive form of Phil Foden, who looks to be relishing the increased game time handed to him.

Chelsea vs Man City

Chelsea dominated for long stages against Aston Villa but still looked vulnerable in patches before eventually recovering to win 2-1. Frank Lampard can ill-afford any lapses in concentration against a City side that look rejuvenated by the break, with Man Utd still within touching distance to fourth.

Verdict: Away win ❌


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