Premier League Week 31 Predictions: Projecting Outcomes of Week's Crucial Games

Dan Brett@@DanBrett90Contributor IIIMarch 17, 2014

Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky, right, scores past Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane stadium in London, Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Big matches at either end of the Premier League table present themselves in Week 31, as table-toppers Chelsea host Arsenal and two relegation scraps get under way.

Norwich host Sunderland while Hull take on West Brom, with six-pointers galore among the bottom sides.

With the race for European football heating up, there are also crunch matches, with Spurs facing Southampton and Everton looking to overcome Swansea.

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 v Arsenal

Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Jose Mourinho's men will be without Willian and Ramires for Arsenal's visit after both were sent off in Chelsea's 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.

However, Chelsea will be looking to make home advantage count, as they remain unbeaten at Stamford Bridge this season.

It won't be that straightforward, though, as the Gunners look to make it back-to-back top-five wins after victory over Tottenham last time out in a confidence-boosting North London derby haul.

As Tweeted by OptaJoe, the Blues haven't conceded a penalty in a long time—could that run end against Arsenal?

Olivier Giroud has bagged 12 league goals this season—just four ahead of midfielder Aaron Ramsey, per WhoScored, and will once again look to lead the line for the Gunners.

Such responsibility didn't confront the Frenchman at White Hart Lane, with Tomas Rosicky playing just behind the striker as part of an attacking trio with Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski.

Rosicky's fine 72-second strike gave Arsenal the win then, and Arsene Wenger will be hoping that his side can muster up a similar level of play against Chelsea.

It has been 10 years since Arsenal won the title—can they move one step closer with a win at the Bridge?

Well, all of the time there's an equal share of the goals, you'd back them to cause an upset.

 

Tottenham v Southampton

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Tim Sherwood's side take on a Southampton that sit on a very different end of the Europa League qualification spectrum.

Spurs, in fifth place, are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City but with the Citizens retaining three games in hand.

Therefore, Spurs' hopes of reaching the Champions League rely on overtaking Arsenal, who are nine points ahead of their London rivals.

Left-back Danny Rose was left furious after the defeat by Arsenal, and expected much better of his co-workers, according to London Evening Standard's Tom Collomosse:

Some of the games we’ve lost and drawn at home have been unacceptable. Have we played below our potential? Of course.

Most members of our regular starting XI are full internationals, so we’re all disappointed. Individually, we might not have done so well this season and, as a team, we definitely haven’t. If we look at the situation and we’re brutally honest, it will be hard to break in. Manchester City have games in hand and Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are all playing well.

Finishing fifth is not a certainty, either, as Everton are playing well, too. We’ve had a bad week in which we’ve become detached from the top four and it’s hard to take. We might have to look to next season now, regroup and see what happens. 

Another year in the Europa League looks set for Spurs now, as the sixth spot means a play-off spot since City won the Capital One Cup but look set to qualify for the upper-tier Champions League.

But Southampton know that sixth is just six points away for them, and anything can happen in football.

 

Hull v West Brom

Jon Super/Associated Press

West Brom travel to the KC Stadium looking to build on the 2-1 win at Swansea, knowing that they can move further away from the mire with a win.

Sitting 16th-placed, the Baggies linger dangerously close to the drop zone with just a three-point gap between them and Sunderland.

However, victory against Hull could see Pepe Mel's men move into 12th and sit two places above Steve Bruce's Hull.

The Tigers suffered defeat last time out and at home at the KC Stadium, so they will be looking to get back to winning ways and ease their own relegation fears.

A win for Bruce's boys could only lift them two places, but an eight-point gap from the bottom three would present a welcome relief to Mel and his squad.