Game week 31 Fixture Preview

By PaulT

Hello everyone and welcome to the preview.

This week is a blank game week with only half of the usual 10 fixtures taking place, and the casual FPL players will be wondering why their scores are so low. Hopefully you have not used your Free Hit chip and can transform your team with players that are actually involved in games this weekend. So with that in mind, let’s look at what we have in store

AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle United

Down on the south coast, the Cherries welcome Rafa’s Magpies to the Vitality for a match between 2 sides who won last weekend. Howe’s men picked up their first away league win since October last weekend at Huddersfield, while Newcastle were thrilling their fans in coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Everton. Only 3 point separate the sides in the table, but Newcastle have the better form this calendar year.

For the home side, Wilson and Solanke both recovered from injury to feature last weekend, the latter coming ff the bench in the 2nd half. Expect the side that takes the field this week to be much the same given last weeks performance, but Clyne and Gosling are back in contention.

The visitors have to contend with the absence of Longstaff, the youngster now rued out for the foreseeable future through injury. Diame, Shelvey and Ki will be the main contenders to take that midfield spot. Lascelles was forced off in the win vs Everton, but should recover to feature here. A close match with 2 good sides.

Prediction BOU 1-1 NEW

Burnley v Leicester City

Turf Moor is the next stop and the Clarets welcome a Leicester side who have looked better since the arrival of Rodgers to the hotseat. The visitors won last weekend at home to lowly Fulham, giving the new manager his 1st 3 points.

Burnley were outplayed and outclassed at Anfield, but did take the lead in that game. That defeat did mean that they have lost three league matches in a row and are now only two points above the bottom three. However, the form book suggests that their fortunes may turn here . Leicester are winless in their last four away league matches, while Burnley have only lost one of their last five at home.

Dyche will continue to be without Lennon, Walters and Defour for Saturday’s match and, with that in mind, expect to little in way of changes here. One change may see Gudmundsson push for a place on the right wing.

A similar story in the away dressing room sees it likely that the Foxes will name an unchanged side, with Vardy having recovered to start last weekend. Rodgers did play a back 3 in his previous away game at Watford, and if he reverts to that formation Morgan should return.

Prediction BUR 1-2 LEI

West Ham United v Huddersfield Town

The London Stadium lays host to the remaining Saturday match, as the Hammers welcome Huddersfield to the capital, with time running out quickly for the visitors life in the PL. Pellegrini’s men slipped to a surprise 2-0 defeat to relegation strugglers Cardiff last weekend, but have good home form. They are unbeaten in their last six home matches, a run that has seen Arsenal and Liverpool come to town. Meanwhile, The Terriers come into this one winless in their last nine away matches in all competitions and haven’t scored in their last six on the road.

West Ham are waiting on results on Carroll’s latest injury set-back, this time an ankle problem, and will miss out here. Nasri, Arnautovic and Antonio will also push for starts here after all coming off the bench last time out.

For the visitors, Smith has served his two-match ban and should return at right-back here. Zanka will continue in defence unless Kongolo recovers from a hip injury in time. Grant and Kachunga are both in competition for a starting berth up front.

Prediction WHU 2-0 HUD

Fulham v Liverpool

Sunday’s games begin at Craven Cottage as struggling Fulham welcome Klopp’s resurgent Red’s to West London, as the visitors look to go back to the top of the table with City otherwise engaged.

Parker has lost his first two matches in charge of Fulham, and they have lost six league games in a row. That leaves them 13 points from safety with 24 left to play for this season. Liverpool will be high on confidence after eliminating Bayern Munich from the Champions League on Wednesday, and winning well at home to Burnley last time out.

The home side look likely to be without Schurrle, Mawson and Bettinelli again, and could mean we see a similar lineup to the one against Chelsea in Parker’s 1st game. Seri hasn’t started yet under the new manager and may miss out again here.

After the midweek exertions in Munich, Klopp is expected to change the side here. Henderson was injured in that match, whilst Keita missed out altogether so expect Lallana to get a 2nd consecutive league start. Lovren has only been deemed fit enough for the bench in Liverpool’s last two matches and could rotate into the starting XI here. The last five Premier League meetings between the two sides have averaged nearly four goals a game and everything points towards a big Liverpool victory on Sunday.

Prediction FUL 1-4 LIV

Everton v Chelsea

We round things off at Goodison, as Silva and his men welcome the Blues to Merseyside. Everton will be looking to get their frustrations out of their system as they let a 2 goal lead slip to lose 3-2 at Newcastle last weekend. The Toffees have only won one of their last six in the Premier League and only one of their last eight at home. S

arri saw his men drop 2 points at home to Wolves last weekend, but they were impressive winners away in Kiev in the Europa League. Chelsea have a great chance to solidify their claim for a top four finish this weekend with neither Arsenal, Tottenham nor Manchester United in league action this weekend. This represents their game in hand on those rivals for the to 4 and they cannot afford to miss this opportunity.

The home side will be without Zouma as he cannot face his parent club so Mina is expected to deputise in his absence. Schneiderlin and Gomes are in competition for a starting berth this weekend. The latter got the nod last time out.

For Chelsea, they will need to look at how the squad looks after their European game. Higuain missed Thursday through illness and remains a doubt here. Giroud came into the side and scored a Hattrick, so would be favoured to slot in for this one if needed. Hazard, Jorginho and David Luiz were all rested and should see all return to the starting XI for this trip.

Prediction EVE 1-2 CHE

So that was short and sweet, but the games have many talking points and as I said earlier points are to be had if you can use that Free Hit chip.

SO until next time……


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