Find the back of the net with tips for all 10 matches of Week 31 of the EPL season as the races for the title, the top four and to avoid relegation heat up.
22:30 (AEDT), Sat 2nd Apr @ Anfield, Liverpool
History: Played 35: Liverpool 25 V Watford 6 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: October 16, 2021 (EPL): Liverpool 5 d Watford 0 at Vicarage Road
Final Thoughts: The Premier League title race is set for its most thrilling conclusion in years, with Liverpool pulling to within one point or leaders Man City courtesy of a 2-0 victory at Arsenal – their ninth in succession. The Reds have conceded just two goals on their current winning streak and have kept a clean sheet in their last four games.
At the other end of the table, Watford climbed to 18th with a 2-1 upset win at Southampton in Week 30, Cucho Hernandez scoring a first-half brace. But the Hornets remain three points from safety.
A Roberto Firmino hat-trick spearheaded Liverpool 5-0 rout at Watford earlier this season. Both teams scoring has not hit in the teams’ last six encounters.
Liverpool may have one eye on their Champions League quarter-final leg at Benfica a few days later, but expect them to take care of business comfortably here with any missed points potentially fatal for their title bid.
Best Bet: Liverpool To Win To Nil @ $1.76
Same Game Multi: Handicap – Liverpool -2; Liverpool Clean Sheet; Anytime Goalscorer – Mo Salah; Anytime Goalscorer – Diogo Jota @ $5.27
00:00 (AEDT), Sun 3rd Apr @ Amex Stadium, Brighton
History: Played 91: Norwich 34 V Brighton 32 (25 Draws)
Last meeting: October 16, 2021 (EPL): 0-0 draw at Carrow Road
Final Thoughts: Brighton get a chance to snap their sorry slide, while Norwich City need a win here to keep the faintest hope of near-certain relegation alive.
After losing just four of their first 23 games and occupying a spot in the top half all season, Brighton have lost their last six straight by a combined 13-1 and now sit 13th. They lost their last two to Liverpool and Spurs by 2-0 scorelines.
Norwich, meanwhile, are eight points behind 17th in last place and are also on a six-match losing streak. The Canaries went down 2-1 at Leeds in Week 30.
The teams played out a scoreless draw at Norwich in Week 8. Norwich are $8 longshots for the win but have scored a goal in their last three games – I’ll back them with the start given Brighton’s goal-drought-driven slump.
Best Bet: Handicap – Norwich +1 @ $2.63
Same Game Multi: Handicap – Norwich +1; Total – Under 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Danny Welbeck @ $12.27
00:00 (AEDT), Sun 3rd Apr @ Turf Moor, Burnley
History: Played 108: Man City 53 V Burnley 30 (25 Draws)
Last meeting: October 16, 2021 (EPL): Man City 2 d Burnley 0 at Etihad Stadium
Final Thoughts: Manchester City’s lead at the top of the EPL ladder has been slashed to one point with nine matches left after playing out a scoreless draw at Crystal Palace. They also have a midweek Champions League showdown with Atletico Madrid to prepare for.
Burnley are second-last and coming off three convincing losses to Leicester (2-0), Chelsea (4-0) and Brentford (2-0). They have a couple of games in hand but the Clarets’ big fixtures are their next two against fellow battlers Everton and Norwich.
A solitary draw in 2018 is the best Burnley have managed in their last 14 clashes with Man City, while the Clarets have lost their last five to the Citizens without scoring – including a 2-0 defeat at the Etihad in Week 8.
City have not been at the dominant best consistently over the past couple of months, but I can’t seeing them slipping up against a team that averages just 0.8 goals per game.
Best Bet: Man City To Win To Nil @ $1.80
Same Game Multi: Handicap – Man City -1; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Kevin De Bruyne @ $4.15
00:00 (AEDT), Sun 3rd Apr @ Stamford Bridge, London
History: Played 16: Chelsea 10 V Brentford 4 (2 Draws)
Last meeting: December 22, 2021 (EFL Cup): Chelsea 2 d Brentford 0 at Brentford Community Stadium
Final Thoughts: Chelsea are 11 points off Man City’s table-topping pace but are inching closer to locking up a top-four finish, sitting five points clear of the field after five straight wins. The Blues’ trademark defensive steel under Thomas Tuchel has returned with four clean sheets during their current streak, including a 1-0 defeat of Newcastle in Week 30.
Brentford are 15th but look assured of avoiding the drop, eight points clear of the bottom-three at present. The Bees banked crucial back-to-back wins over Norwich (3-1) and Burnley (2-0) – with Ivan Toney scoring all five goals – before going down 2-1 at Leicester in Week 30.
Chelsea have chalked up a pair of wins at Brentford this season – a 1-0 result in EPL action and a 2-0 League Cup victory.
Chelsea have a huge UCL quarter-final to negotiate next week but should have little trouble accounting for Brentford.
Best Bet: Handicap – Chelsea -1 @ $2.00
Same Game Multi: Chelsea To Win To Nil; Total – Over 1.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Romelu Lukaku @ $4.39
00:00 (AEDT), Sun 3rd Apr @ Elland Road, Leeds
History: Played 95: Leeds 47 V Southampton 28 (20 Draws)
Last meeting: October 16, 2021 (EPL): Southampton 1 d Leeds 0 at St Mary’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: Leeds have taken some big steps towards avoiding relegation in recent weeks, winning their last two against Norwich (2-1) and Wolves (3-2) after losing their previous six by a combined 21-2. They fought back from a two-goal deficit at Molineux Stadium with Luke Ayling scoring the stoppage-time winner. Leeds are now seven points clear of the bottom-three.
Southampton have slipped out of the top half after a tough March, losing three straight to Aston Villa (4-0), Newcastle (2-1) and battling Watford (2-1) – the latter two at home – after losing just one of their previous 10.
Both teams scoring has hit just once in the teams’ last 10 encounters. Southampton outlasted Leeds 1-0 at home in Week 8 after losing both clashes to nil last season.
Anything involving Leeds this season has been a lottery, but I’m leaning their way with Southampton dropping off significantly this month.
00:00 (AEDT), Sun 3rd Apr @ Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton
History: Played 131: Aston Villa 56 V Wolverhampton 42 (33 Draws)
Last meeting: October 16, 2021 (EPL): Wolverhampton 3 d Aston Villa 2 at Villa Park
Final Thoughts: Wolverhampton’s tenuous hopes of a top-four finish received a mortal wound in Week 30, bottling a 2-0 lead to go down at home to struggling Leeds. It was the first time this season Wolves have conceded more than two goals in a game.
Aston Villa are only one spot behind eighth-placed Wolves but are 10 points adrift, heading a five-team logjam of also-rans separated by just three points. They lost their last two to West Ham (2-1) and Arsenal (1-0).
Wolverhampton pulled off a stunning comeback at Villa Park in Week 8, recovering from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 with three goals from the 80-minute mark.
Despite Wanderers’ collapse against Leeds, it’s hard to reconcile them as a home underdog in this one.
Best Bet: Result – Wolverhampton @ $2.88
Same Game Multi: Result – Wolverhampton; Both Teams To Score; Anytime Goalscorer – Hwang Hee-chan @ $11.90
01:30 (AEDT), Sun 3rd Apr @ Old Trafford, Manchester
History: Played 134: Man United 68 V Leicester 36 (30 Draws)
Last meeting: October 16, 2021 (EPL): Leicester 4 d Man United 2 at King Power Stadium
Final Thoughts: Every match from here on out is absolutely vital to Manchester United’s top-four ambitions, sitting four points adrift in sixth with nine matches to play. United bounced back from a scoreless draw against Watford and a 4-1 thrashing from Man City with a 3-2 victory over Tottenham in Week 29, Cristiano Ronaldo bagging a hat-trick.
Leicester have inched back into the top half courtesy of their best run of form this season, winning three of their last four. The Foxes put away Brentford 2-1 in Week 30. Jonny Evans is expected back on deck for this clash.
After winning just one of the teams’ last 25 clashes, Leicester are unbeaten in the last four. The Foxes won 2-1 at Old Trafford late last season and powered to a surprise 4-2 home win in Week 8 this season.
United look a bit short here as a $1.50 favourite – but with much more at stake and a confidence-boosting win over Spurs behind them, they should find a way at home.
Same Game Multi: Result – Man United; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Cristiano Ronaldo; Anytime Goalscorer – Jamie Vardy @ $7.34
23:00 (AEST), Sun 3rd Apr @ London Stadium, London
History: Played 146: Everton 76 V West Ham 42 (31 Draws)
Last meeting: October 17, 2021 (EPL): West Ham 1 d Everton 0 at Goodison Park
Final Thoughts: High stakes for both teams here with West Ham striving to stay in the race for a Champions League (or at least a Europa League) spot and Everton still right amongst the relegation battle.
Seventh-placed West Ham bookended their 2-1 defeat of Villa in Week 29 with losses to heavyweights Liverpool (1-0) and Tottenham (3-1). They are six points off the top-four pace.
Everton are mired in 17th just three points from the danger zone but snapped a four-match winless, goal-less run with a 1-0 defeat of in-form Newcastle in their last EPL outing, before crashing out of the FA Cup 4-0 to Palace.
The clubs’ last three matches have finished 1-0 in favour of the away team, West Ham getting the win at Goodison Park in Week 8. Everton have managed just two draws on the road since Week 3 and are set to struggle to take any points away from this trip.
Best Bet: Result – West Ham @ $1.80
Same Game Multi: Handicap – West Ham -1; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Michail Antonio @ $9.20
01:30 (AEST), Mon 4th Apr @ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
History: Played 165: Tottenham 72 V Newcastle 59 (34 Draws)
Last meeting: October 17, 2021 (EPL): Tottenham 3 d Newcastle 2 at St James’ Park
Final Thoughts: Tottenham Hotspur are fifth – three points behind Arsenal with one less game in hand – but bring some decent form into Week 31. They have won four of their last five, including victories at Brighton (2-0) and over West Ham at home (3-1). Harry Kane has scored six goals in Spurs’ last seven games, while Son Heung-min bagged a brace against Hammers.
Newcastle sit 14th but have a handy nine point buffer to the bottom-three. After a spectacular, nine-match unbeaten run turnaround, the Magpies lost their last two to Chelsea and Everton by 1-0 scorelines.
Newcastle have won just one of their last nine against Tottenham. Both games last season finished in a draw, but Spurs got up 3-2 on the road in Week 8.
The Magpies’ momentum has been well and truly halted, while Spurs – who have scored 16 goals in their last five games – have everything to play for and should have too much firepower for the visitors.
Best Bet: Handicap – Tottenham -1 @ $2.38
Same Game Multi: Result – Tottenham; 1st Half Result – Tottenham; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Harry Kane @ $4.46
05:00 (AEST), Tue 5th Apr @ Selhurst Park, London
History: Played 50: Arsenal 29 V Crystal Palace 5 (16 Draws)
Last meeting: October 18, 2021 (EPL): 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium
Final Thoughts: Fourth-placed Arsenal have opened up a three-point lead on the chasing pack with a game in hand, but any slip-up could prove costly. The Gunners have won six of their last seven, responding to a 2-0 home loss to Liverpool with a 1-0 victory at Villa Park via Bukayo Saka’s ninth goal of the campaign.
Crystal Palace sit 12th and are looking to climb into the top half after going unbeaten in their last four – including a scoreless draw with Manchester City in Week 30.
Crystal Palace have picked up just two wins from their last 24 matches against Arsenal. But the last seven clashes have been split – one win apiece with five draws. A 90th-minute strike from Alexandre Lacazette salvaged a 2-all result for Arsenal at home in Week 8.
But Arsenal have generally been adept at disposing of anyone other than their fellow big guns this season and look good value after winning their last five on the road by a combined 14-2.
Best Bet: Result – Arsenal @ $1.91
Same Game Multi: Handicap – Arsenal -1; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Alexandre Lacazette @ $3.20
04:30 (AEST), Thu 7th Apr @ Turf Moor, Burnley
History: Played 119: Everton 52 V Burnley 37 (30 Draws)
Last meeting: September 13, 2021 (EPL): Everton 3 d Everton 1 at Goodison Park
Final Thoughts: A massive clash in the relegation battle context.
Both teams are on a short turnaround from their Week 31 fixtures for this Week 19 catch-up. Burnley get an every day after their home clash with Man City, while Everton will back up three days after their trip to London to take on West Ham.
Everton came from behind to beat Burnley 3-1 at home in Week 4, producing a three-goal flurry in six minutes midway through the second half.
The teams are hard to split in the head-to-head market at this stage and given the desperation of both clubs’ situations, I’ll be backing the draw.