Premier League Week 31 Predictions: Full Picks Based on Head-to-Head Records

Dan Brett@@DanBrett90Contributor IIIMarch 17, 2014

Aston Villa's  Fabian Delph, right, celebrates after scoring against Chelsea during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park, Birmingham, England, Saturday, March 15, 2014.  (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Chelsea host Arsenal in Week 31's table-topper clash, with Jose Mourinho's men looking to get back to winning ways after 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.

Meanwhile, Norwich take on Sunderland in one of the weekend's relegation clashes, with another six-pointer set to take place between Hull and West Brom.

It's not just statistics of the league table that can often tell how a match will fare, as head-to-head analysis comes into play when picking between two sides.

So let's take a look at this week's Premier League offerings, with statistics provided by

EPL Week 31: Fixtures, TV Info, Live Stream and Predictions
DateTimeFixtureTV InfoLive StreamPrediction
March 2212.45 p.m. GMT, 8.45 a.m. ETChelsea vs. ArsenalBT SportBT Sport app2-1
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETCardiff vs. LiverpoolNBC Sport Live ExtraNBC Sport Live Extra app1-3
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETEverton vs. SwanseaNBC Sport Live ExtraNBC Sport Live Extra app2-0
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETHull vs. West BromNBC Sport Live ExtraNBC Sport Live Extra app1-2
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETMan City vs. FulhamNBC Sport Live ExtraNBC Sport Live Extra app4-1
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETNewcastle vs. Crystal PalaceNBC Sport Live ExtraNBC Sport Live Extra app1-1
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETNorwich vs. SunderlandNBC Sport Live ExtraNBC Sport Live Extra app0-2
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETWest Ham vs. Man UtdSky SportsSky Sports app1-0
March 231.30 p.m. GMT, 9.30 a.m. ETTottenham vs. SouthamptonNBC Sport Live ExtraNBC Sport Live Extra app3-1
March 234 p.m. GMT, 12 p.m. ETAston Villa vs. StokeNBC Sport Live ExtraNBC Sport Live Extra app2-2
BBC Sport


Chelsea vs. Arsenal

Rui Vieira/Associated Press

This London clash has been steeped with goals over the years, and of the 153 times these two sides of met, Arsenal have been the more profitable.

With 61 wins over Mourinho's men, including 46 victories for the Blues and just as many draws, history would dictate an away win in this one.

However, in recent times, Chelsea have dominated the Gunners at Stamford Bridge, winning three of their last four fixtures.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

The solitary Arsenal win in that pack was the 5-3 victory that saw Robin van Persie seal a hat-trick to down the Blues on home turf.

OptaJoe tweeted of Chelsea's long-standing run of not conceding a penalty. Will that end against the Gunners?

In the last two meetings between the sides at the Bridge, Lampard has scored in both matches, so he would be a favourite to net on this occasion too, given suspensions to Willian and Ramires.

With the Blues reigning supreme at the Bridge, it'll be their home form that sees them to victory against the Gunners', despite their excellent work on the road of late.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal


Norwich vs. Sunderland

Sang Tan/Associated Press

There have been far fewer matches between these two, and on record, the Canaries have reigned supreme over the Black Cats.

Harbouring 19 wins in 43 matches, with 12 draws and an equal number of Sunderland wins, makes the hosts hot favourites to win.

Also, Chris Hughton's side are unbeaten at home in the league against Sunderland since March 1985—when the North-East side picked up a 3-1 win.

That will all change this time around, though, with Sunderland still buoyed from their Wembley appearance and knowledge that they have the more comfortable chance of survival.

Prediction: Norwich 0-2 Sunderland


Manchester City vs. Fulham

Jon Super/Associated Press

Manuel Pellegrini's side need to pick up three points against Fulham if they are to maintain their charge to top spot.

The Citizens hold 27 wins over the Cottagers—almost double of the visitors' 15 wins—with 15 draws also in tow for good measure.

The last five fixtures at the Etihad Stadium have culminated with three home victories, two draws and one away win.

With City in fine form and in real chance of regaining the title, it'll be up to their attacking outlets to muster the goals against Fulham that will consign the Cottagers to another defeat.

Prediction: Manchester City 4-1 Fulham


Newcastle vs. Crystal Palace

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

The Toon Army have also been comfortable against their top-flight opponents, with 16 wins over the Eagles in the league.

Palace have picked up seven wins, though, with just four draws, and if Newcastle's 3-0 win at Selhurst Park in the reverse fixture is anything to go by, there will be plenty of goals again.

Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa bagged the goals for the Toon Army on that day, with Danny Gabbidon's own goal adding a glossy finish to a classy performance.

However, with Palace fighting for their lives at the bottom, you would think that it won't be such a landslide this time around.

Plenty of end-to-end action in this one and, with plenty at stake, that's why it'll end up as honours even.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Crystal Palace


Everton vs. Swansea

Jon Super/Associated Press

Swansea have never beaten Everton in the league—that's something that Gary Monk will want to put right at Goodison Park.

The Toffees have picked up 12 wins and five draws against their Welsh opponents, with the Blues' 3-1 win in the FA Cup earlier this season failing to arrest that run of form.

A tough place to go, and with statistics like that, you'd fancy the Merseysiders to maintain that run this time around.

Everton will need Lukaku to get back on the score-sheet after missing out last weekend, and with European football in their sights, they should make the Swans pay once again.

Prediction: Everton 2-0 Swansea


Hull vs. West Brom

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - MARCH 08:  Pepe Mel manager of West Bromwich Albion reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United at The Hawthorns on March 8, 2014 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Richard
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

If there's one thing that Pepe Mel will want to take from his side's 2-1 win at Swansea last time out, it'll be the confidence of bagging back-to-back wins at the KC Stadium.

The Baggies have recorded three wins in their last five matches on Hull's turf, with two draws culminating in a poor run for the Tigers.

Goalkeeper Ben Foster has heaped support on Mel, speaking with the Mirror's James Nursey, stating that the club cannot afford to sack their boss:

That is probably the last thing we need, to be honest with you. Everybody really respects him and how he is as a person. We just needed to get that first win for him. To come out in the second half and do what we did shows what fight we have got in that dressing room.

Pepe is absolutely buzzing. You can see it on his face. He has a smile from ear to ear. It is brilliant. You can see the passion in him. We are very happy that he has got that smile. It means a lot to him, it really does. We have nine games left and it is a big result to take into those games. It is a real sweet one.

Previous form has been close between these two sides, with West Brom edging the win counts with 16, Hull recording 14 wins with 14 draws for good measure.

But with Mel's men up for the fight, you wouldn't fancy tipping Hull to draw level on total wins.

Prediction: Hull 1-2 West Brom


Cardiff vs. Liverpool

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates scoring the first goal with his team-mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014 in Manchester, England.
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Believe it or not, Cardiff have actually been the more successful of these two sides in head-to-head bouts, with the Bluebirds picking up 16 wins.

The Reds have recorded nine victories of their own with two draws to share the spoils along the way, with Cardiff recording the last meeting at their home ground with a 3-2 win—in 1959.

Quite a while back, and truth be told, Liverpool are a much more rampant side now, with title dreams in their eyes.

It's for that reason by the Reds will prove too much for their bottom-three opponents, easing to victory while maintaining their title charge.

Prediction: Cardiff 1-3 Liverpool


West Ham vs. Manchester United

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Sam Allardyce manager of West Ham United looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and West Ham United at Britannia Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Jan Krug
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

After a poor performance resulted in a 3-0 win for Liverpool last time out, David Moyes will be hoping to get his side back on track with a win at West Ham.

Picking up 54 wins across 115 matches, with 37 Hammers wins, the Red Devils are clearly in the ascendancy when it comes to the history books.

However, with United looking a much changed side following Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, the side will have to muster a similar performance to the 3-1 win earlier this season, receiving goals from Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young on that occasion.

However, with Andy Carroll back on the score-sheet against Stoke and eyeing his place at the World Cup, it'll be his input that will be the difference on the day.

Prediction: West Ham 1-0 Manchester United


Tottenham vs. Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Luke Shaw of Southampton clears the ball from Ricky van Wolfswinkel of Norwich during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Norwich City at St Mary's Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Southampton, England.
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Spurs' top-four dreams may be looking more scarce with each fixture, but the side will be looking to maintain European football through the Europa League.

The side take on Southampton in Week 31 on the back of 44 league wins against the Saints, with 25 draws and, of course, 32 wins for the visitors.

But recent history may be more justified in this bout, with Tim Sherwood's men picking up four wins of their last five against Mauricio Pochettino's outfit.

Spurs have scored more than double than they have conceded against Southampton, too, scoring 11 and failing to shut out the Saints on five occasions.

Tottenham need a win to not only keep pressure on the top four, in case of a slip up, but also restore faith in the club's European charge.

They will prove too hot to handle for the Saints and will use their anger of Arsenal defeat to make Pochettino's men suffer.

Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Southampton


Aston Villa vs. Stoke

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Stoke City celebrate after the third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and West Ham United at the Britannia Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Both sides will be buoyed with wins last time out as they prepare to go to war at Villa Park.

Villa's excellent 1-0 win over Chelsea highlighted the team's ability to turn up when it counts, while Stoke managed a 3-1 win over West Ham—despite Andy Carroll's early header—to record a win.

Between these sides, 99 matches have been played with 46 wins for Villa, 27 wins for Mark Hughes' side and 26 draws.

It'll certainly be a picture-book moment for whoever bags match No. 100, but with plenty at stake for both sides, there will be a share of the spoils at Villa Park.

Prediction: Aston Villa 2-2 Stoke


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