It’s been three months and 14 gameweeks since my last round of Premier League predictions here on Overtime Online, but seeing as we’re into the final sprint of the season, I figured I should bring back my (somewhat) weekly predictions. Below are the 10 scorelines I think will occur over the 10 games from Saturday afternoon to Monday night.
|Premier League – week 31||My prediction|
|SATURDAY, 15 APRIL|
|Aston Villa v Newcastle||1-1|
|Chelsea v Brighton||0-1|
|Everton v Fulham||0-0|
|Southampton v Crystal Palace||1-3|
|Tottenham v Bournemouth||2-0|
|Wolves v Brentford||1-1|
|Man City v Leicester||4-0|
|SUNDAY, 16 APRIL|
|West Ham v Arsenal||0-2|
|Nott’m Forest v Man Utd||1-1|
|MONDAY, 17 APRIL|
|Leeds v Liverpool||1-2|
Games kick off at 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated
SATURDAY, 15 APRIL
Aston Villa v Newcastle (12:30 BST)
Both of these sides have been in red-hot form – Aston Villa have won their past four games, while Newcastle have won five in a row.
In my eyes, the obvious result is a draw, hence why I’m going to back the safe option. Despite how well Newcastle played in the second half against Brentford last week.
I do admire what Unai Emery has done so far too, and they definitely have the quality to cause the Magpies some problems but I can’t see either team getting the edge on the other.
My prediction: 1-1Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea v Brighton
The way Brighton play might suit Chelsea in some respects – the Blues had a couple of early chances against Real Madrid in midweek on the counter-attack – but I haven’t got a clue as to what system Frank Lampard might try this time around.
Lampard deployed a back four in last weekend’s defeat against Wolves in his first game in charge but then deployed a back three in the Champions League. Whichever way he has played, it hasn’t worked because they just can’t score.
Everyone saw Lampard’s appointment as a short-term one, just until the end of this season, but I am certain he’ll have dreamt of doing all he can to get it permanently – and the start he’s had has been horrendous.
He needs a few big results, and he needs them quickly, if he is going to help turn things around but this game is going to be a difficult one for Chelsea to get anything from.
Brighton will be smarting from the manner of their defeat to Tottenham last week and the poor decisions that went against them.
The Seagulls have one way of playing, and they are a brilliant team to watch. They deserved so much more against Spurs, but I expect them to get a reward this week.
My prediction: 0-1
Everton v Fulham
Fulham look as if they have been on holiday as of late, and have now lost their last four games on the spin. Their manager Marco Silva will have a point to prove at Goodison Park after how his time there unfolded, but whether his players will turn up is a different question.
But this is such a big game for Everton.
I thought their performance in their loss to Manchester United last time out was quite poor but home is where it has to happen for Sean Dyche but I don’t think they’ll come away with all three points.
My prediction: 0-0Embed from Getty Images
Southampton v Crystal Palace
This is a hard one to predict, because it is a must-win game for Southampton – now is the time where they will be getting desperate.
Crystal Palace, however, have turned a corner with two wins in two games under Roy Hodgson and have put some distance between them and the relegation places.
I won’t take anything away from Hodgson, who I believe is quite an underappreciated coach and has made an instant impact, but I firmly believe they would have stayed up if Patrick Vieira was still in charge.
They beat Leicester late on and ended up dismantling Leeds in the second half last week. That was a weird game because Leeds had began the game so well and Palace never score five goals in a month – but they managed that in just over 45 minutes at Elland Road.
Three wins from three would be the perfect start for Hodgson but because Saints are so desperate for a victory they could make life hard for Palace. But I still think it will be nervy at St. Mary’s Stadium and Palace will capitalise.
My prediction: 1-3
Tottenham v Bournemouth
I know I always predict Bournemouth to lose but they have impressed me with some of their performances this season.
The Cherries fully deserved their 1-0 win at Leicester and they could have easily won by a bigger margin.
The Foxes may well be in a mess right now but the Cherries are well organised and they are scrapping for anything. They have something about them as well – Philip Billing is playing out of his skin, and has scored some big goals.
But, I have no clue what to make of Tottenham. I thought they would lose to Brighton last week, and they really should have done – but they got away with it.
My gut is telling me Bournemouth are capable of getting something, but Spurs have Harry Kane and they’re in the hunt for a Champions League place too. They will probably find a way of winning, even if they don’t deserve it whatsoever.
My prediction: 2-0
Wolves v Brentford
Brentford are four games without a win but I don’t feel like they have lost any of their focus or suddenly become soft – they actually were superb in the first half of their loss to Newcastle last week.
It’s important that this blip doesn’t last much longer. I think Bees manager Thomas Frank will be determined that they finish strongly because if they ease up then it could take away a lot of hard work in a wonderful season.
I wasn’t sure on if they could repeat last season’s heroics – especially without Christian Eriksen who was so influential to them in the latter stages – but they have been a breath of fresh air. They’ve not once looked in danger of going down.
Wolves have had a much more difficult campaign, although they have a bit of distance between them and the bottom three.Embed from Getty Images
They scored a brilliant goal to beat Chelsea last time out but they are still not free-flowing when they go forward. I don’t see it changing, and I think they’ll do just enough to avoid defeat.
My prediction: 1-1
Man City v Leicester City (17:30)
Norwich City were fifth in the Championship when they sacked Dean Smith at Christmas. He got a hard time from the fans but I believe it was fair and deserved (says the Norwich fan…)
His first task at Leicester is to somehow make them more resilient but they are going to have to wait at least a week for that to happen – yes, they have talent but I can’t see them surviving against Manchester City.
The title is in the Citizens hands now – well, as much as it is in Arsenal’s hands too – but the defending champions can’t afford to slip up.
It will be interesting to see what team Pep Guardiola goes for, with the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final to come on Wednesday, but they have a decent cushion from Tuesday and that takes the pressure off.
I don’t think they have much reason to worry on Saturday. With the way Guardiola has them playing, I can only see one outcome, and that is a near demolition.
My prediction: 4-0
SUNDAY, 16 APRIL
West Ham v ArsenalEmbed from Getty Images
Arsenal need to bounce back after the draw at Anfield.
I can understand why some view it as a point well gained, especially because of Aaron Ramsdale’s brillant saves to deny Liverpool at the end – but it could have been so much worse.
That Granit Xhaka moment, where he clashed with Trent Alexander-Arnold at the end of the first half and got the home support going, turned out to be costly. I do feel for Xhaka but, at the end of the season, when people start looking at pivotal moments that shaped the title race, that could well be one of them.
So, the leaders need to react in a stunning way. The wheels could have come off when they lost to Manchester City back in February but their response was seven successive wins.
Nothing less than a win will do, and I expect them to get it.
West Ham got a huge win over Fulham last week and they are still desperate for points so they will give it everything – but the Gunners should be too hot to handle.
My prediction: 0-2
Nottingham Forest v Man Utd (16:30)Embed from Getty Images
This feels like a huge game for Nottingham Forest, who have not won in nine games and are in the bottom three.
A lot of punters keep saying it but Forest’s dreadful away form means they heavily rely on picking up points at the City Ground and they are running out of time to keep doing that, regardless of who they play there.
That makes this game an interesting one, because Manchester United have just as much of a reason to win it and their away form isn’t exactly good either.
The return of Casemiro will be huge for Erik ten Hag but they are going to miss Marcus Rashford while he is out injured and the injuries sustained by Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane in the Europa League doesn’t help them. Because of that, I’m settling for a draw.Embed from Getty Images
My prediction: 1-1
MONDAY, 17 APRIL
Leeds v Liverpool (20:00)
This one is incredibly difficult to call. Which Leeds side will show up, and for how long… and what kind of performance will Liverpool provide?
Leeds were brilliant in the first half against Crystal Palace last week but they fell apart at the break. Liverpool did the opposite against Arsenal. I really don’t understand why it took that Xhaka incident to get them going and playing with intensity.
Jurgen Klopp’s side has struggled away from home, particularly against teams in the bottom half of the table but you have to consider what damage that Palace defeat has done to Leeds’ confidence at home. They need to show they’re not as fragile as they seem.
Liverpool’s defence and midfield has been a long way below their best, but their attack has still been a handful – so I’m not expecting Leeds to keep them out.
Equally, you never know what the Reds will conjur up defensively – I don’t see them keeping a clean sheet either, even against a team who like to waste so many chances.Embed from Getty Images
My prediction: 1-2
So there you have it – my 10 predictions for the Premier League’s fixtures this game week.
Do you agree with me? Or have I got it all wrong? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our Twitter page, @OverTime_Online, and let’s wait and see what happened come Monday night.