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EPL GW-31 Pre-Deadline and Live Chat

The Premier League returns with a mini double game-week

Mohamed Salah - Liverpool - Premier League
Mo Salah looks poised to prosper against the Hornets this weekend.
Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

After a week-long international break, the Premier League is back with a mini-double game-week for Everton and Burnley. Fantasy managers have enjoyed a well deserved two-week break after what has been a topsy turvy season. The battles at both ends of the table are positively incandescent — only a point separates Man City from Liverpool at the top, and only four points separate 17th from 19th in the relegation scrum. And the race for fourth place between Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United, and Tottenham looks like it could burn right down to the final whistle!

Our opening fixture this weekend is LIV v WAT, so we should have confirmed lineups for Fantrax managers ahead of their deadline. Be sure to tune in here in the countdown hour so that you can find out which Reds assets to pile into! [ And Hornets yeah? No? Oh bugger! ]


Saturday

Liverpool vs Watford

Watford visits Anfield with the hosts in imperious form — nine wins in their last nine matches that has seen them close the gap to just a single point behind league-leading Man City. The Reds have also refused to concede a goal in their last four matches. Watford comes into this fixture off the back of a first win in five games. Liverpool is the clear favorite to win this fixture.

Injuries and Suspensions

James Milner, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita are all major doubts for Liverpool; meanwhile Watford has no new injury problems.

Prediction: 3-0

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Brighton vs Norwich

Brighton welcome bottom club Norwich to American Express Community Stadium in a terrible form that has seen them fail to win any of their last six games and also drop to thirteenth on the log. Norwich seem to have returned to old ways after showing signs of improvement when manager Dean Smith was appointed. The Canaries have lost their last six games.

Injuries and Suspensions

Graham Potter has ruled out Alexis Mac Allister and Adam Lallana for the weekend. Similarly, Dean Smith says Brandon Williams and Maximillian Aarons will not be ready in time either.

Prediction: 1-1

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Burnley vs Man City

Burnley faces an uphill task in welcoming league leading Man City to Turf Moor this weekend. The Clarets have failed to win any of their last four games, picking up only one point. Man City faltered in recent weeks, which has allowed Liverpool to close the gap from six points (with game in hand) to a single point. Pep Guardiola’s men are eager to restore regular service after having to settle for a draw in their last match against Crystal Palace... And yet, the Champions League is the great unwon trophy beckoning in midweek (Tuesday vs Atletico Madrid). YMMV!

Injuries and Suspensions

Burnley will be without captain Ben Mee and Erik Pieters for this fixture, and Nathan Collins is suspended. Ruben Dias remains out for Man City while John Stones looks fit to return.

Prediction: 0-2

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Chelsea vs Brentford

Havertz has served as Chelsea’s go-to man in recent weeks. The German international has made light work of the goal-scoring problems faced by strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. The Blues have won their last five games, conceding just one goal. Meanwhile, Brentford’s new-boy Eriksen has improved the whole team’s form — the Bees winning both matches in which he appeared. The recent wins have seen Brentford rise to 15th.

Injuries and Suspensions

Christian Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi are major doubts for Chelsea. Reece James is fully fit, but whether Thomas Tuchel will manage his minutes remains to be seen. Brentford has no new injury problems, and the now-fit Christian Eriksen proved his fitness over the international break.

Prediction: 3-1

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Leeds vs Southampton

Leeds has struggled to tighten defense despite the appointment of new manager Jesse Marsch. However, he Peacocks have won their last two games to ease relegation fears. Southampton has followed up a four game unbeaten run by losing their last three.

Injuries and Suspensions

Leeds and Southampton have no new injury problems. Patrick Bamford is again unavailable, this time with a ruptured plantar fascia.

Prediction: 2-1

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Wolves vs Aston Villa

Wolves clash against Aston Villa in a tasty affair. Wolves are on a run that has won two of their last five while Aston Villa has won three of their last five. Philippe Coutinho has been the key player for the Villans since his arrival from Barcelona, contributing three goals plus three assists.

Injuries and Suspensions

Raul Jimenez is out of this fixture on a red card while Nelson Semedo and Pedro Neto are both injury doubts for this clash. Aston Villa has no new injury problems.

Prediction: 1-1

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Manchester United vs Leicester

Man United’s top four tilt suffered a huge blow in recent weeks, the Red Devils falling behind Arsenal and Tottenham. The Red Devils have won only one of their last three games. Leicester is lagging previous seasons. The Foxes languish in tenth place, too far from European places and with very little left to play for this season.

Injuries and Suspensions

Jamie Vardy has been ruled out of this fixture; Luke Thomas is a major doubt. Wilfred Ndidi has been ruled out for the rest of the season. For United, Cavani remains unavailable.

Prediction: 2-2


Sunday

West Ham vs Everton

David Moyes will take on his former club when West Ham welcomes Frank Lampard’s Everton to London Stadium this weekend. West Ham is eager to return to winning ways after falling behind in the top-four race. Everton is eager to make it two wins out of two after a last minute winner from Alex Iwobi secured victory over Newcastle last time out. The Toffees find themselves in an unfamiliar position of fighting for Premier League survival, just three points above 18th place Watford.

Injuries and Suspensions

Jarrod Bowen and Vladimir Coufal both face late fitness tests for West Ham; Tom Davies and Andros Townsend remain out for Everton.

Prediction: 2-0

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Tottenham vs Newcastle

Harry Kane has returned to form at the right time to help Tottenham’s top-four bid. The striker has contributed a goal or an assist in each of Spurs’ last five games. They’ve won four of their last five, the defeat at United the only blemish. Newcastle went on a strong run at the turn of the year, winning five straight. That was enough to drag them out of the relegation battle, but the Magpies have lost their last two games since.

Injuries and Suspensions

Tottenham has no new injury problems, and Ben Davies has returned to fitness. Eddie Howe has given clean bills of health to Jonjo Shelvey, Fabian Schar, and Martin Dubravka, but Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson will miss out.

Prediction: 2-1


Monday

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal

Patrick Viera welcomes back his former club Arsenal to Selhurst Park in what promises to be a tasty London derby. The London sides played out a two-all draw when they met earlier this season. This promises to be just as feisty. Arsenal comes into this fixture the slight favorite, with the Gunners winning four of their last five games.

Injuries and Suspensions

Wilfried Zaha, Micheal Olise, and James McArthur are all doubtful for Crystal Palace. Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu are set to face late fitness tests for Arsenal, but Bukayo Saka has recovered from illness.

Prediction: 1-2


Wednesday

Burnley vs Everton

Burnley welcomes Everton to the Turf Moor in what promises to be a relegation six-pointer. The clash has all the signs of a physical affair, with only four points separating both sides in 19th and 17th position. Both teams have only managed one win in their last five games.

Prediction: 1-1


Please add your thoughts and questions! How are your teams shaping up? What late news have you seen? Please join us in the comments below!