Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Premier League Preview: Match Week 31

Premier League clubs barely take a breath after this past weekend’s action before embarking on Week 31 which will be conducted midweek. Five Tuesday matches includes a London derby with West Ham visiting Tottenham Hotspur for a match which could impact European qualification. Spurs are battling for a Champions League berth. The seventh place Hammers are trying to secure a European place in the table even as they remain alive in this year’s Europa League competition.

Burnley, Nottingham Forest and Everton will all be in action against better sides on Tuesday as the three relegation battlers continue their quest for survival.

Manchester City will host Aston Villa in the most enticing of three Wednesday matches. The Citizens are locked in a three-way battle to secure their fourth consecutive Premier League title and sixth in seven seasons. Aston Villa is battling with Tottenham Hotspur over the fourth and traditionally last Champions League berth. A fifth slot could still be awarded to the Premier League for next season, but a top four finish is still the objective for both clubs, despite Spurs Manger Ange Postecoglou saying he only cares about titles. Aston Villa could be missing Ollie Watkins for Wednesday’s key clash. The striker was removed from Villa’s match on Saturday with a hamstring problem.

Luton Town, currently in the relegation zone based upon a poorer goal differential than Nottingham Forest, will face tough duty on Wednesday when the Hatters must visit Arsenal at the Emirates. It is unlikely that Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta will allow his side to let up in the midst of its red-hot title chase, despite the inferiority of Wednesday’s opponent.

Thursday’s schedule will feature a match between two struggling giants when Manchester United visits Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea was embarrassingly poor in sharing points with relegation bound Burnley on Saturday despite the Clarets playing more than half the game with 10 men. Manchester United damaged its Champions League hopes by allowing a 99th equalizer to Brentford that same day. Both United Manager Eric ten Hag and Chelsea Manager Mauricio Pochettino are rumored to be on the hot seat, ten Hag’s chair being perhaps a bit warmer due to recent ownership changes at the club.

Earlier on Thursday, Liverpool will be home to Sheffield United, a victory keeping them top of the table with seven matches to go. 

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