Premier League Week 31 Picks: Latest Predictions and Form Guide for EPL Clubs

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, right, fails to score his third penalty against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Liverpool stormed clear in the Premier League form guide after dismantling Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday. The win sees them maintain second spot in the title race.

Leaders Chelsea slipped to third in the form table after a narrow defeat away to Aston Villa, and they know they cannot continue to allow Liverpool to set the standard as Jose Mourinho's men host Arsenal in their next outing.

Southampton climb to fifth position after back-to-back wins over Crystal Palace and Norwich. Stoke also climb to eighth after losing only one of their last six matches.

Here is a list of the coming fixtures for Week 31 with scoreline predictions and the current form guide, as well as a focus on three of the schedule's intriguing matchups:

Premier League Week 31 Fixtures and Predictions
FixtureDateTime (GMT)Prediction
Chelsea v ArsenalMarch 2212:45 p.m.2-1
Cardiff v LiverpoolMarch 223 p.m.0-4
Everton v SwanseaMarch 223 p.m.2-0
Hull v West BromMarch 223 p.m.1-1
Man City v FulhamMarch 223 p.m.4-0
Newcastle v Crystal PalaceMarch 223 p.m.2-0
Norwich v SunderlandMarch 223 p.m.1-1
West Ham v Manchester UnitedMarch 225:30 p.m.2-2
Tottenham v SouthamptonMarch 231:30 p.m.2-1
Aston Villa v StokeMarch 234 p.m.0-0
Arsenal v SwanseaMarch 257:45 p.m.3-1
Manchester United v Manchester CityMarch 257:45 p.m.1-3
Newcastle v EvertonMarch 257:45 p.m.2-2
West Ham v HullMarch 267:45 p.m.2-1
Liverpool v SunderlandMarch 268 p.m.5-1
Current Club Form Guide
PositionTeamForm (last 6 games)Points
2Manchester CityWWLDWW13
4West HamWWWWLL12
11Manchester UnitedLDDWWL8
12Aston VillaLLDLWW7
14West BromDLDDLW6
17Crystal PalaceLWLDLD5

Manchester City vs. Fulham

HULL, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Edin Dzeko of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Manchester City at the KC Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Hull, England. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Manchester City have one big advantage over Liverpool and Arsenal as they all race to catch Chelsea at the top of the division: They have been here in recent memory and know what is expected of them to win the title. 

Week 31 sees bottom-of-the-table Fulham visit the Etihad, and City will prepare to fill their boots.

Goal difference is likely to split the positions somewhere in the top four, and City know all about this, having won their solitary Premier League crown by this method, per BBC Sport.

City now have games in hand on all of their rivals and need to start putting pressure on them by eating up the points as quickly as possible.

HULL, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Edin Dzeko (R) of Manchester City celebrates his goal with team mates Jesus Navas (L) and David Silva during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Manchester City at the KC Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Hull, Eng
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Both Brendan Rodgers and Jose Mourinho believe the Manchester club are the title favourites, per ESPN.

Rodgers commented to Alex Varney of talkSPORT (h/t ESPN):

Jose is right. City have the power in terms of their squad. 

If they win their three games in hand they will go to the top and you would expect them to win those. 

I have never made a big push publicly about us winning the title. For me it's not about playing down expectations or mind games, it's really about taking a humble approach to the season.

On the other hand, Fulham are desperate for a shock win to fire them toward possible safety. The Craven Cottage club are lodged at the bottom of the table but have climbed the form guide to 16th position.

However, with City on the charge, there is little chance that this incarnation of Fulham can do the Sky Blues any damage on their own patch. 

Prediction: 4-0 win to Manchester City

West Ham vs. Manchester United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21:  Danny Welbeck of Manchester United scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on December 21, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by S
Stu Forster/Getty Images

West Ham have shocked everyone with their brilliant recent form. They sit fourth in the current form guide but have lost their last two matches, to Everton and Stoke.

Manchester United are in free fall and are now outside the top 10 in regards to form. They have only achieved eight points from their last six matches and will struggle to take anything away from this match at Upton Park.

But United have seemed more comfortable away from Old Trafford, recently defeating Crystal Palace and West Brom with clean sheets.

However, a physically aggressive Hammers side may be too much for David Moyes' team, who currently have no confidence in their game.

It should be a tight encounter with the spoils being shared, but only if United can produce some quality. 

Prediction: 2-2 draw

Tottenham vs. Southampton

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Tim Sherwood manager of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on March 16, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The defeat to Arsenal at White Hart Lane was a crushing blow for Tim Sherwood and his squad as they attempted to hold on to the slim chance of Champions League qualification. 

Tottenham's form has crashed in recent weeks, seeing them lose three from their last six games. This leaves them ninth in the form guide, behind Stoke City and West Ham. 

Southampton have impressed all season with their brand of continental passing football. They are up to fifth place in the form table after an impressive run of results.

A win at Spurs would see the Saints put pressure on Manchester United, who are just three points above them in the Premier League.

However, Spurs are desperate to hold on to the fifth spot, and after the unlucky loss to their local rivals Arsenal, they will feel they have the beating of the South Coast side. 

Tottenham should buck the trend and beat the St Mary's club, but only by a whisker. 

Prediction: 2-1 win to Tottenham


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