The first Premier League winter break is upon us, with 10 games staggered over the next two weeks.
There are only four matches this weekend, but they could prove pivotal in the race to avoid relegation, with four of the bottom six involved before they head to the beach, or a warm-weather training camp.
BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson said: “For all the struggling teams, winning this weekend and heading off on holiday on the back of a positive result would make a massive difference.
“It would be a big boost of confidence for the fans, players and the manager – everyone at the club.”
Lawro is making predictions for all 380 top-flight matches this season, against a variety of guests.
This week he is up against British snowboarder Katie Ormerod.
Katie’s younger brother Harvey is an apprentice at League Two side Bradford City.
“I’ve always had an interest in football because of Harvey,” she told BBC Sport. “I’ve been following his journey and learning little things through what he does so, yeah, it’s really cool.
“If I played myself, I’d probably play in the middle. Just because I only ever played one team sport at school, which was netball, and I was always a centre – so I was always running around doing different bits, and I’d probably end up doing something similar.
“From the British team, Billy Morgan is probably the snowboarder who would be best at football. He is such an amazing all-round athlete.
“A lot of footballers would do well at snowboarding too, though. It would be cool to see some of them have a go, and I definitely see [Liverpool’s] Trent Alexander-Arnold being pretty good.”
|Premier League predictions – week 26 (part one)|
|Everton v Crystal Palace||x-x||2-0||3-2|
|Brighton v Watford||x-x||1-2||2-1|
|Sheff Utd v Bournemouth||x-x||1-2||1-0|
|Man City v West Ham||x-x||3-0||4-3|
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
Katie will also predict the scores for the other six fixtures, which will be played between Friday, 14 February and Monday, 17 February. Any points she gains from those games will be added to her total.
Everton v Crystal Palace (12:30 GMT)
Everton’s comeback from 2-0 down to beat Watford 3-2 last week was more than just a good result; it put everyone at the club in great spirits.
It was the first time the Toffees had won a league game after going behind since December 2017, and it just adds to Carlo Ancelotti’s impressive start as manager.
The Toffees look like a more refined team now too – they were a bit wishy-washy under their previous manager Marco Silva but there is a lot more substance to their performances now, and it appears they have a plan.
Palace worry me, though. They are just starting to sink and, although they were unbeaten around the turn of the year, a lot of those games ended up in draws.
While Everton are looking up the table, Palace are peering over their shoulders. They still have a cushion at the moment, but they need a win soon.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Katie’s prediction: 3-2
Brighton v Watford (17:30 GMT)
Brighton got a really good point at West Ham last weekend.
The Seagulls still haven’t won in the league this season, but fighting back for a draw from 3-1 down is a big positive for Graham Potter and his players – it will feel like a win.
Watford, however, were on the wrong end of a comeback, against Everton, and to lose after being 2-0 up at home was a big blow for them.
But one thing is for certain, Hornets boss Nigel Pearson will have been at his side all week to get a reaction from them this weekend. I think we will see one, but if it is tight towards the end, I think it will be a nervous ending for everyone after what we saw last week.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-2
Katie’s prediction: 2-1
Sheff Utd v Bournemouth (14:00 GMT)
Bournemouth have now won two games in a row, and against the teams around them in the table too – Aston Villa and Brighton.
We have seen them do something similar before, where they end a bad spell by going on a great run, and I can see it continuing here.
Sheffield United are still ticking along nicely of course, but I always feel they are better on the road and their record backs that up – the Blades have picked up more points away from Bramall Lane this season.
The goals have started to flow a little bit for the Cherries, so I am going to go for a bit of a surprise here, and back Bournemouth for the win.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-2
Katie’s prediction: 1-0
Man City v West Ham (16:30 GMT)
Manchester City’s defeat by Tottenham on Sunday summed up their season.
They should have been in front and out of sight long before they were reduced to 10 men and fell behind soon afterwards.
Again, City conceded with the first shot they faced in the game, this time in the 63rd minute.
Sometimes, when you are on a run where that keeps happening, as a player you sometimes expect it – you are in control of the game but you haven’t taken your chances and you start thinking “when is the crazy moment coming?”
It has just been one of those seasons for City, but I would still be very surprised if they don’t finish second.
I would also be shocked if they don’t beat West Ham on Sunday.
This Hammers team cannot defend at the moment, as we saw against Brighton last weekend, so City are going to get plenty of chances to find the net this time.
West Ham know they are in a relegation dogfight now, but the problem is they knew that last Saturday too, and it did not seem to help them.
They were great when they were 3-1 up against the Seagulls, but the way they are conceding goals and dropping points from winning positions – 19 this season, a Premier League high – is a massive worry.
That is an issue for their players too, because it will affect their mindset.
Even when they go a goal in front, everyone kind of takes a step back because they know what is coming, and it is very difficult to change that mentality.
Lawro’s prediction: 3-0
Katie’s prediction: 4-3
Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
How did Lawro do last week?
Last weekend, Lawro got one correct result, with no exact scores, from 10 games for a total score of 10 points – his lowest tally of the season so far.
He was beaten by synth-pop singer-songwriter Georgia, who got six correct results, with no exact scores, for a total score of 60 points.
|+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION|
GUEST LEADERBOARD 2019-20
|90||Avelino, Helen Housby, Jo Harten, Bobby Seagull, Geraint Thomas|
|80||Tom Davis, Andy Murray, Stephen Graham|
|76||Lawro (average after 25 weeks)|
|70||David Baddiel, Richard Hawley, Kojo, Michael Johnson, Craig Mitch, Alex Scott|
|60||Sonny Bill Williams, Georgia, Serge from Kasabian, Stefan Ratchford|
|50||Chelcee Grimes, Reece Parkinson, Sam Warburton|
|40||Stephen Fry, Hugh Grant, Neil Jones, Tommy O’Dell, Steve Queralt|
|30||Matthew McConaughey, Seth Rollins|
|Total scores after week 25|