Premier League Week 31 Fixtures: Full Picks and Predictions for Matchday 31

Dan BrettContributor IIIMarch 20, 2014

Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky, right, celebrates scoring with teammate Olivier Giroud 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

It's first against third this weekend as Chelsea take on Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, with the hosts looking to react in the title race after their 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.

The Gunners will be looking to build from their 1-0 win at fierce rivals Tottenham, while second-placed Liverpool are also buzzing after a big win as they travel to struggling Cardiff.

Norwich face Sunderland in a scrap of the bottom six, with both needing a win to aid their chances of escaping the drop zone.

Here are predictions for all of Week 31's games, which also include a bunch of midweek fixtures:

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 Extra (US Only)NBC Sport Live Extra app1-3
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETEverton vs. SwanseaNBC Sport Live Extra (US Only)NBC Sport Live Extra app2-0
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETHull vs. West BromNBC Sport Live Extra (US Only)NBC Sport Live Extra app1-2
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETMan City vs. FulhamNBC Sport Live Extra (US Only)NBC Sport Live Extra app4-1
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETNewcastle vs. Crystal PalaceNBC Sport Live Extra (US Only)NBC Sport Live Extra app1-1
March 223 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. ETNorwich vs. SunderlandNBC Sport Live Extra (US Only)NBC 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 Extra (US Only)NBC Sport Live Extra app3-1
March 234 p.m. GMT, 12 p.m. ETAston Villa vs. StokeNBC Sport Live Extra (US Only)NBC Sport Live Extra app2-2
March 257.45 p.m. GMT, 3.45 p.m. ETArsenal vs. SwanseaTBCTBC2-0
March 257.45 p.m. GMT, 3.45 p.m. ETMan Utd vs. Man CitySky SportsSky Sports app2-2
March 257.45 p.m. GMT, 3.45 p.m. ETNewcastle vs. EvertonTBCTBC1-3
March 267.45 p.m. GMT, 3.45 p.m. ETWest Ham vs. HullTBCTBC2-0
March 268 p.m. GMT, 4 p.m. ETLiverpool vs. SunderlandSky SportsSky Sports app4-2


Chelsea vs. Arsenal

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal battles with Ashley Cole (2R) and Frank Lampard of Chelsea (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on January 20, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho's men go into their bout with Arsenal on the back of a 2-0 win against Galatasaray in the Champions League.

Sitting four points behind the Blues with a game in hand, Arsenal know their hopes of clinching their first title in 10 years would receive a huge boost with victory at the Bridge.

But to do that, they will have to beat a Chelsea side who are unbeaten in 75 home league matches under Mourinho, as tweeted by FootballFanCast:

The Blues' performance against Villa highlighted the side's vulnerability when put under serious pressure, which saw them buckle in the Midlands.

Ramires and Willian were both sent off for the visitors, so they will be unavailable for the visit of Arsene Wenger's men.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 18:  Chelsea fans welcome their team prior to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Chelsea and Galatasaray AS at Stamford Bridge on March 18, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

This will force a reshuffle and may see a return for David Luiz in the Blues' customary midfield five.

Meanwhile, the Gunners might be boosted by the return of Aaron Ramsey, who has signed a new long-term deal along with Santi Cazorla, per Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel.

It'll be the high tempo executed by Villa that Arsenal will have to replicate if they are to end Mourinho's excellent home record.

Frank Lampard has scored in each of Chelsea's two last meetings with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, per SoccerBase, and he could prove the difference again this time around.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal


Cardiff vs. Liverpool

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex L
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

These two sides meet at the Cardiff City Stadium chasing survival and the title, respectively.

Liverpool's 3-0 win at Manchester United last time out showed that Brendan Rodgers' men are up for the challenge of winning their first Premier League trophy.

But they come up against a Welsh outfit looking for revenge against Merseyside opposition, after succumbing to a last-minute defeat at Everton in Week 30.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Gareth Barry of Everton in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Cardiff City at Goodison Park on March 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Cardiff went into their match with the Toffees looking to make it two wins in a row, and after Juan Torres Ruiz cancelled out Gerard Deulofeu's opener, a share of the spoils looked likely.

However, Seamus Coleman had other ideas as he netted with minutes to go to condemn Cardiff to their 17th defeat of the season.

Speaking after his team's win, Roberto Martinez told BBC Sport of his belief that Cardiff will survive the drop this season:

Looking at [the] performance I think Cardiff will have enough points to achieve their aim. It's fair to say that Cardiff were magnificent in what they did. think they were very aggressive in the right manner. There was a real good intensity with what they were doing.

They were flexible tactically. They started with a back three. They swapped it around and they adapted really well. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has brought a different approach in the way they play. I think they've got something really strong going.

Cardiff are capable of giant-killing acts. Their 3-2 home victory against Manchester City and 2-2 draw with Manchester United should serve as a warning to Liverpool.

The Bluebirds also managed a goal at Anfield, although Liverpool won the reverse fixture 3-1. Luis Suarez—who netted a brace and created Raheem Sterling's strike—proved too hot to handle on the day.

It'll be up to the Reds' attacking trio of Suarez, Sterling and Daniel Sturridge to bag the goals once again, with a combined 49 league strikes between them this season, per

Going into the game on the back of an Old Trafford win will boost the title chasers, and with 52 goals conceded already this season, it could be damage limitation in Wales.

Prediction: Cardiff 1-3 Liverpool


Norwich vs. Sunderland

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Dejected Ricky van Wolfswinkel of Norwich City and Johan Elmander of Norwich City after Southampton's fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Norwich City at St Mary's Stadium on March
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Sunderland go into their second bottom-six clash in as many weeks as they travel to Carrow Road to face Norwich.

The hosts sit in 15th place and hold a five-point lead over 18th-placed Black Cats, with Gus Poyet's men holding three games in hand.

Chris Hughton's outfit fell to a 4-2 defeat at Southampton last time out, despite pulling two late goals back to give themselves a chance at 3-2.

Johan Elmander's strike from the bench presented an interesting statistic, as tweeted by OptaJoe:

SUNDERLAND, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 15: Jozy Altidore of Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light on March 15, 2014 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images)
Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Sunderland's performance in the recent 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace will provide some confidence as they travel to East Anglia.

Per BBC Sport, the hosts held 65 percent of possession against Tony Pulis' outfit and had five shots on target, compared to Palace's two.

Poyet will have to make sure his side can make their chances count at Carrow Road, while Norwich look for their fourth home league shut-out in their last five matches, per WhoScored.

Prediction: Norwich 0-2 Sunderland


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