Premier League Table 2014 Week 31: Latest Standings, Predictions for Matchday 31

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2014

Arsenal's Bacary Sagna, left holds off the challenge of Chelsea's Andre Schuerrle during their English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates stadium in London, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

With table leaders Chelsea succumbing to Aston Villa in Week 30, the title race heading into Week 31 is even more jumbled.    

Manchester City now have the edge in that race. The Citizens have played three fewer matches on the league season, but they trail Chelsea by just six points after downing Hull this previous matchday. 

Meanwhile, with both Liverpool and Arsenal picking up wins, they now trail Chelsea by just four points and have played one less game. 

We are set for a wild finish to the season. Have a look at the table following Matchday 30 and then we'll get into the upcoming action. 

Week 31 Premier League Table
RankClubGPWDLGDPTS
1Chelsea3020643366
2Liverpool2919554162
3Arsenal2919552562
4Manchester City2719354460
5Tottenham301659-153
6Everton2814951251
7Manchester United2914691248
8Southampton301299645
9Newcastle2913412-343
10Aston Villa299713-634
11Stoke3081012-1234
12West Ham298714-631
13Hull298615-730
14Swansea297814-529
15Norwich307815-2429
16West Brom2951311-1028
17Crystal Palace298417-1928
18Sunderland276714-1625
19Cardiff306717-2925
20Fulham307320-3524
Source: ESPNFC.com
EPL Fixtures and Predictions for Week 31
DateHome TeamPredictonAway Team
March 22Chelsea1-1Arsenal
March 22Manchester City4-0Fulham
March 22Norwich City1-2Sunderland
March 22Newcastle2-1Crystal Palace
March 22Everton2-1Swansea City
March 22Hull City1-1West Brom
March 22Cardiff City0-3Liverpool
March 22West Ham2-2Manchester United
March 23Tottenham1-0Southampton
March 23Aston Villa1-0Stoke City

 

Predictions

Chelsea vs. Arsenal 

All eyes will be on this match next week. With two of the top four battling head to head, there is obviously lots of room for table jumbling. Gunners head man Arsene Wenger knows the match must take center stage. Arsenal Info helps highlight that with this quote: 

Chelsea will be looking to atone for their failure against Aston Villa, but they will be doing so at less than full strength. The tweet by 101GreatGoals helps explain: 

The Brazilian duo of Willian and Ramires were sent off in their match against Aston Villa. It created for an odd and questionable end to the contest, which BBC presenter Gary Lineker helps highlight: 

While it is fair to debate whether Arsenal should have these players available, there is no debating the fact that the Blues won't be as dangerous without them. 

This is going to weaken Chelsea's three-man attacking midfield system and leave the Blues struggling to find consistency. Still, Chelsea will be strong in defense, and Arsenal have been performing better in defense than on the attack.

All of this will set up for a match that is eerily reminiscent of last time these two met in league play and battled to a 0-0 tie.  

Prediction: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal 

 

Tottenham vs. Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: Emmanuel Adebayor of Spurs is tackled by Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Southampton, En
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Fifth-place Tottenham continue to sit just outside the top four of the EPL table, and there is little reason to believe that they can close the gap to join the upper four. 

Struggling to score, Tottenham are in serious danger of plummeting down the table.

Meanwhile, eighth-place Southampton continue to exceed expectations, but they've struggled to pick up points against other top-half sides. 

Both of these teams play sound defense and aren't typically looking to light up the scoreboard. In the first meeting of the two, however, Tottenham prevailed 3-2. 

I expect Tottenham to emerge victorious by the same margin this time around, but with far less scoring. 

Both of these teams are far more comfortable playing a 1-0 match than a 3-2 affair. 

Tottenham will find a way to score in the first half and then focus on the back to keep Southampton out of the net.

Prediction: Tottenham 1-0 Southampton