Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City may have taken an unassailable lead in the Premier League, but the season is far from over with both the UEFA Champions League as well as the Europa League slots yet to be finalized.
The likes of Fulham and Wolves have already inaugurated the matchweek 31, with winger Adama Traore slotting in a 92nd-minute winner for the latter. Up next is Manchester City’s home game against Leeds United followed by Liverpool hosting Aston Villa, Chelsea making a trip to Crystal Palace before the headline fixture takes place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where the home team squares off against Manchester United.
That said, let’s dive into the statistics to see what the matchweek 31 of the English Premier League has to offer.
Manchester City vs Leeds United
Manchester City’s last meeting with Leeds United may have ended in a 1-1 draw, but a lot has changed since. Between late December (2020) and early March, Guardiola’s men have won 21 games on the trot in all competitions and that duly affirmed their place at the top of the table.
|Manchester City vs Leeds United head-to-head|
|Manchester City||Metrics||Leeds United|
Leeds United’s rich history puts them in the favour as far as their head-to-head record against the Cityzens is concerned. The teams have played a total of 15 games in the competition, with Leeds winning six and City winning four. The current form, however, is what matters and City have the momentum on their side, winning four of their last five league games.
Meanwhile, Leeds’ poor track record in defence this season is a further indication of why City are the firm favourites. Marcelo Bielsa’s men have conceded a whopping 48 goals this season, with 35 of them conceded away from home. City, on the other hand, have been a scoring machine, notching 66 goals in 31 games, which translates to more than two goals per game.
Liverpool vs Aston Villa
A sense of retribution will be on the cards when Liverpool host Aston Villa at Anfield on April 10. The Reds’ last meeting against the Villans was a historic affair, with the latter putting past seven goals in a 7-2 victory at the Villa Park in October 2020. Be that as it may, Liverpool enter the round as favourites considering their superior form compared to Villa.
|Liverpool vs Aston Villa record in last five games|
|Liverpool (Home)||Metrics||Aston Villa (Away)|
Liverpool’s home record this season has been underwhelming at its very best, losing all of their last five home games. However, they have indeed won 28 of their 51 meetings with Aston Villa. The Reds tend to concede goals early in the game and that sure remains a worry for Jurgen Klopp. The positive, however, for them is Villa’s current form which has seen them win just one of their last five games in the Premier League. In these five games, the Villans have scored just two goals.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
Chelsea have always dominated their London rivals Crystal Palace in the Premier League, with their last defeat against the Eagles coming back in 2017. Since then, the Blues have won six games on the trot, scoring two or more goals in five of those outings.
As one can expect, Chelsea vs Crystal Palace head-to-head record is outrightly dominated by the former, who have won 17 of the 23 meetings between the two teams. Chelsea tend to score more goals in the second half and one can expect them to do the same on Saturday. Even in their last meeting, which ended in a 4-0 win for Chelsea, all of their goals came in the second half itself.
|Crystal Palace vs Chelsea current form|
Chelsea have kept 10 clean sheets against Crystal Palace in the Premier League, and despite missing Thiago Silva due to suspension, one can put their money on another clean sheet for the Blues considering the fact that Palace have scored a mere three goals in their last five league games this season.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United
Like Liverpool, Manchester United too have a point to prove against a struggling Tottenham Hotspur team which humiliated the Red Devils the last time these two teams met. United’s last league fixture against Tottenham ended in a 6-1 win for the latter at Old Trafford.
Manchester United endured mixed results against Tottenham of late, winning two and losing two of their last five meetings. During the course though, United have shown a sheer lack of goal scoring prowess while Tottenham have been completely contrary. In these last five games, Tottenham have scored 11 while United scored a mere four.
|Tottenham vs Manchester United comparison of last five games|
|Tottenham Hotspur||Metrics||Manchester United|
|5||Goal scoring matches||3|
But what makes United favourites here is their away record in the Premier League. Not only have they been unbeaten for long in the league, but they have also always managed to salvage points more often than not.
Sheffield United vs Arsenal
A struggling Sheffield United team has been a lost cause this season, but they have indeed managed to surprise once in a blue. Now, their head-to-head record against Arsenal sure goes to the Gunners’ way, but the fact remains that Mikel Arteta’s men are coming at the back of just two wins from their last five league games. Sheffield, on the other hand, only have a solitary win to show for during the course.
|Sheffield United vs Arsenal head-to-head|
The Gunners undoubtedly remain the outright favourites considering the fact that Sheffield have conceded the third most number of goals (52) this season while scoring a mere 17 goals in 30 games.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Alex Livesey