Premier League matchday 31 features a massive top-six clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. The fixture will have direct implications on the league title.
Manchester United are chasing rivals Manchester City and currently sit 14 points back of first place. Manchester City need a mere 11 points to seal the Premier League title. If Manchester United slip up, while Manchester City continue to win, then Pep Guardiola’s Cityzens will need fewer points to clinch another league trophy.
With just eight games to go in the Premier League, there is everything to play for. Let’s look at this week’s picks for Premier League matchday 31.
Manchester City vs. Leeds United
Manchester City are on a good run of form having won three straight league games. Pep Guardiola’s team are preparing for next week’s Champions League quarterfinal second leg match versus Borussia Dortmund. They are 2-1 up on aggregate score going into game two.
Leeds United are an enjoyable team to watch. The score goals and concede them, which makes their games entertaining to say the least. Leeds United snatched a 1-1 draw against Manchester City the last time they played in October. At the time of their previous game, Manchester City were struggling. Now, they are playing great football and should claim a win versus Leeds United at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola could rotate his team to rest key players for the Champions League quarterfinal second leg next Wednesday night.
Result: Manchester City to win
Liverpool vs. Aston Villa
You may remember Aston Villa’s epic and shocking 7-2 win against Liverpool at Villa Park in October. It set the tone for Liverpool’s blah season. The Reds are coming off of back-to-back wins to nil in the league over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal — outscoring the pair 4-0.
The Reds were beaten in midweek Champions League quarterfinal first leg play by Real Madrid, 3-1. They play the return leg next week, but mustn’t overlook Aston Villa this weekend. Liverpool are on the outside looking in at the Champions League and Europa League qualification places. A victory and results going their way could see them move into the top four.
Aston Villa are coming off of a 3-1 win against Fulham last weekend. It was their first win in five games. Captain and top player Jack Grealish is still not cleared to play. He could return to the team this weekend against Liverpool, however. Grealish scored twice and assisted three of the seven goals against Liverpool in their previous match.
Saturday’s game should be close between the rivals. Liverpool are struggling to score and Aston Villa could be without Grealish, causing issues in the final third. Although Aston Villa won their last league game versus Liverpool, the Reds should make amends with a low-scoring victory.
Result: Liverpool to win
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United
The match of the round in the Premier League takes place on Sunday in London as Tottenham Hotspur welcome Manchester United. Spurs are sixth in the league and chasing West Ham for the fourth and final Champions League qualification place. They are just three points off of the position with eight games to go. Manchester United are second in the league and trying to keep Manchester City from winning the title.
When these teams player earlier this season, the game ended 6-1 in favor of Spurs. The result showcased two teams that are very different to the ones that will play on Sunday. Spurs were early title contenders, but have since fallen off the pace. Manchester United struggled early on in the league, yet manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has righted the ship.
Don’t expect another lopsided scoreline when the teams play. Spurs have won just two of their last five league games versus Manchester United. Manager Jose Mourinho is likely to park the bus versus Manchester United. It is a tactic that has worked only on a few occasions against the big sides. Still, Spurs have plenty of talent and on paper, could win this game. Although Soccer Buddy likes Manchester United to win, I prefer Spurs to get a narrow, low-scoring victory at home. Manchester United will be coming off of a Thursday night Europa League game, while Spurs will be rested.
Result: Tottenham Hotspur to win
P.S. Upgrade to Zcode VIP Club and Unlock All Winning Picks. Instant Access.