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Premier League Matchday: Week 31 Sunday

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Our weekend of derbies continue with the highly anticipated showdown between Manchester City and bitter rivals Manchester United. A win for either side will have huge implications for the race to finish in the CL spots. At the other end of the table, Rafa Bentitez will be looking to win his first Tyne-Wear derby, as Newcastle and rivals Sunderland both look to avoid relegation. Don't miss any of the action! Let's chat!

Still a soft spot for many Liverpool fans, but can Benitez save Newcastle from relegation?
Still a soft spot for many Liverpool fans, but can Benitez save Newcastle from relegation?
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Most of you are aware by now (hopefully) that we have had some major issues regarding our Fantrax league. We are just as desperately disappointed to have lost our league through deletion and are working hard to try and get it recovered. We all feel the pain and hopefully we can get this resolved! We will keep everyone updated when we know more about what happened and how we can fix it.

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Sunday kicks off with our main derby event(s) of Week 31 as Rafa Benitez will be looking to summon Newcastle's inner warrior to avoid yet another humiliating relegation from the top flight like the 2008-2009 season. Their opponents couldn't be less forgiving however, as Sunderland have been dominant in this fixture as of late, even completing the double over their regional rivals in the 2013-2014 and the 2014-2015 seasons. Add to this the fact both teams are in the relegation battle, the bad blood between Allardyce/Benitez and you have the making for a monumental clash. Newcastle look the more desperate side going into this one, but I suspect Rafa Benitez will have his team functioning at high gear and should produce a cracker of a match.

In our second derby on offer for Sunday, bitter Manchester rivals City and United go head to head in a crucial contest in the race for CL qualification. Both Manchester teams have had an odd season of sorts, with City not sticking to their task of dominant former champions and United sliding well down the pecking order of "Top 4" quality under Louie van Gaal. 3pts in this match is essential for each side, with a draw acting more like a loss, something fellow CL hopefuls West Ham will surely be happy with. Van Gaal will have a lot to answer for then and losing this match will surely seal his reign of mediocrity, if it wasn't already.

Liverpool will be keeping one eye on their Europa League fixtures against Borussia Dortmund (realistically their best chance at CL qualification) but will have to contend with a plucky Southampton side for Week 31. Ronald Koeman's men have clawed their way back up to the upper reaches of the table and look a formidable opponent when in form. Klopp will know the EL is crucial, but if some results can fall the Red's way, the slight chance of CL qualification through the league may still be achievable. Taking Southampton lightly will be a huge mistake and anything less than 3pts a disappointment.

With Pochettino's Spurs side knocked out of the Europa League (by previously mentioned Dortmund), the North London club can fully focus on their task at hand - catching Leicester City for an unprecedented title. Honestly, exiting the EL should be seen as a good thing, with CL qualification all but assured, Spurs should be aiming as high as they can (especially to the detriment of bitter rivals Arsenal). It is amazing that we are taking about a likely Leicester City title with Spurs their closest competitors. They will have the chance to cut the Foxes 8pt lead back down to 5pts with a win against Bournemouth. Expect the shackles to come off and the Cherries to be in for a long afternoon.

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My Official team: Schmeichel, Alderweild, Clyne, Azpiliqueta, Alli, Mahrez, Ozil, Firmino, Vardy, Aguero, Kane (c)

Bench: Cech, Smith, O'Shea, Coquelin

Cheers!

Kellz