Gameweek 31 see’s a full set of Premier League games, which sets us up for a brilliant weekend of football. Although there were only 5 ties last week, we did have the enjoyment of the FA Cup and Watford’s arguably shock win against Arsenal. This week we have some mouthwatering fixtures, so without further ado, here is the gameweek 31 preview and star men picks for the weekend:
Everton vs Arsenal
Everton have been experiencing a patchy run of form of late in the Premier League, with Romelu Lukaku leading from the front with 3 in his last 4 PL games. Arsenal have been experiencing a similar situation with only 3 wins in their last 10 PL games (exactly the same as Everton), only to be compiled with a FA cup defeat to Watford and an almost impossible task of overturning a deficit against Barcelona in the Champions League in the space of 3 days! Arsenal will be looking to turn things around this weekend, but will be up against a strong Toffees side.
Star Man – Romelu Lukaku (8.7m)
The big Belgian just can’t stop scoring of late. Can the Arsenal defence keep him at bay?…
Prediction – Everton 2-1 Arsenal
Chelsea vs West Ham
Our second fixture of the week see’s two in form sides come up against each other. Chelsea are unbeaten in the Premier League under Guus Hiddink whilst West Ham have lost only twice in their last 10 PL games. Chelsea look a completely different team under Guus Hiddink, as they are starting to see some points come in as they work their way back up the table. The Hammers on the other hand currently sit 5th and could even challenge for a Champions League spot!
Star Man – Dimitri Payet (8.2m)
Payet doesn’t seem phased by any occasion as he once again found the back of the net against Manchester United in the FA Cup. If West Ham are going to come away with a win, it will no doubt have something to do with the performance of this lad!
Prediction – Chelsea 1-1 West Ham
Crystal Palace vs Leicester
Still 5 points clear! It was this time last season that Leicester started their resurgence and everyone was sure that they would be playing football in the Championship. One year later they are top of the Premier League and they have the chance to keep this fantastic run going against an out of form Crystal Palace team. Pardew’s Palace will certainly want to start picking up some points to avoid any chance of them being dragged into a relegation scrap as they currently sit just 8 points clear of the relegation zone and are on a rotten run of form with 8 losses from their last 10 PL games.
Star Man – Jamie Vardy (7.9m)
Vardy’s goals have somewhat dried up although his FPL point returns continue with assists. He will be due a goal and what better chance than against an out of form Crystal Palace team.
Prediction – Crystal Palace 0-2 Leicester
Watford vs Stoke
Both are seemingly safe (with Watford looking over their shoulder more so than Stoke) and will be looking to push onto higher league places. Although it could be argued both teams don’t have much to play for, Watford will want to try and finish in the top half of the table and Stoke do have a somewhat outside chance of a spot in Europe, therefore it could be a surprisingly open affair with a goal or two.
Star man – Marko Arnautovic (6.5m)
The Stoke midfielder, who is currently playing up top, is chipping in with a goal or two of late and I wouldn’t bet against him this week either.
Prediction – Watford 0-2 Stoke
West Brom vs Norwich
West Brom could be seen as having nothing to play for as they are currently sitting mid table and are out of the relegation scraps. They do seem to struggle for a goal or two at times and this could be a brilliant opportunity for Norwich who are currently sitting in 19th, to pick up a win and climb out of the relegation zone!
Star Man – Nathan Redmond (5.0m)
If anyone is going to be able to find the back of the net, Redmond is the man for Norwich.
Prediction – West Brom 1-2 Norwich
Swansea vs Aston Villa
Swansea’s form of late has seen them push away from the relegation zone and they are now 8 points clear. Aston Villa on the other hand seem to have resigned themselves to the Championship and really don’t look like they are able to pick up any points to even muster a survival push. Therefore it will be a brilliant opportunity for the Swans to increase the gap!
Star Man – Gylfi Sigurdsson (7.3m)
The Icelandic playmaker has really come into his own of late and will likely have a field day against Villa.
Prediction – Swansea 3-0 Aston Villa
Newcastle vs Sunderland
The Tyne and Wear derby is always a cracker and usually involves a lot of bookings! In the reverse fixture we saw Defoe score an absolute belter, but with Newcastle under the ownership of Benitez, it could be a different story this time around. However Big Sam’s men will look to come away with the points come Sunday lunchtime.
Star Man – Jermain Defoe (5.1m)
Can he repeat what he did in the reverse fixture?…
Prediction – Newcastle 2-2 Sunderland
Southampton vs Liverpool
Southampton have had a bit of an inconsistent season, but currently sit not too far away from a Europa League position, so a win this weekend could see them on the hunt for West Ham and Manchester United who look favourite to take the spot. Liverpool will also be looking to push for that spot and if not then they will want to find a spot in the top 4! This could be quite a cagey affair as both teams look to get the win!
Star Man – Roberto Firmino (8.2m)
This man just can’t stop scoring in 2016, will it continue?
Prediction – Southampton 1-2 Liverpool
Manchester City vs Manchester United
The Manchester derby takes place this weekend and it will undoubtedly be a brilliant game, as most derbies are. This will be Pellegrini’s last and he will want to get the win as Manchester City look to keep up their challenge for the title. United will want to take something away from this fixture as if they don’t, they could find themselves without European football come the end of the season.
Star Man – Sergio Aguero (13.6m)
No doubt this Argentinian will have something to say about the result of the tie.
Prediction – Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United
Tottenham vs Bournemouth
Sitting second, Tottenham could find themselves 8 points behind Leicester when they come to play Bournemouth this weekend. If they are wanting to keep up the chase they will have to break down a stubborn Bournemouth team, who showed the class and determination they have last week, as they had to go in the lead 3 times before they were able to come away with a victory against Swansea.
Star Man – Harry Kane (10.2m)
The Englishman has proven he was not just a one season wonder as many thought and he will be vital in Spurs’ push for the title.
Prediction – Tottenham 2-0 Bournemouth
Written by Marz