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Premier League predictions: Lawro v

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Tottenham are the latest team to try to end Liverpool’s long Premier League unbeaten run when they host the Reds on Saturday evening.

But with Moussa Sissoko joining Harry Kane on the sidelines, will Spurs’ injury problems scupper manager Jose Mourinho’s plans?

“Spurs have given Liverpool problems and even dominated them in recent meetings, without taking anything from the game,” BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson said. “But they are not the same team without Harry.”

Lawro is making predictions for all 380 top-flight matches this season, against a variety of guests.

This week he is up against Hugh Grant and Matthew McConaughey, stars of Guy Ritchie’s new gangster film ‘The Gentlemen’.

The film includes some scenes shot at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, although Fulham fan Grant thinks another London ground should have been used instead.

“It should obviously have been at the Cottage,” Grant told BBC Sport. “But I don’t think it was actually filmed at the Emirates. I think we faked it – movie magic.”

Grant sat next to then England manager Fabio Capello when Fulham played Manchester United in 2010. His best moment as a Fulham fan came when they beat Juventus 4-1 in the Europa League in 2008. “I still relive that moment when I can’t sleep,” he said.

Grant used to be a regular at Craven Cottage but admits he does not follow Fulham’s fortunes now as closely as he used to.

“I’m a foul-weather supporter,” he explained. “When they are really bad, I go. When they are in the Premier League, I don’t go.

“Right now I am sort of sniffing about. If they go down a bit more then I will start going again.”

Back in the United States, McConaughey is part-owner of Texan side Austin FC, who will join Major League Soccer in 2021.

McConaughey, pictured here with his wife Camila Alves, is a part-owner of Austin FC. His favourite Premier League team is Liverpool because “that is where the McConaughey clan rested on their way through”

He went to see Chelsea play Lille in the Champions League while he was in London in December and says he makes regular scouting trips while he is on his travels.

McConaughey said: “Since starting with the club, anywhere in the world I can see a match I go to see how the stadium and team is run, and talk to people to pick up some tips.”

Premier League predictions – week 22
ResultLawroHughMatthew
FRIDAY
Sheff Utd v West Hamx-x1-14-03-1
SATURDAY
Crystal Palace v Arsenalx-x0-23-11-2
Chelsea v Burnleyx-x2-01-323-2
Everton v Brightonx-x2-02-01-1
Leicester v Southamptonx-x2-12-22-0
Man Utd v Norwichx-x2-00-80-8
Wolves v Newcastlex-x2-02-02-1
Tottenham v Liverpoolx-x1-20-01-4
SUNDAY
Bournemouth v Watfordx-x2-12-22-1
Aston Villa v Man Cityx-x0-30-61-4

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless stated.

FRIDAY

Sheff Utd v West Ham (20:00 GMT)

New West Ham boss David Moyes has two wins out of two so far, but after beating Bournemouth and Gillingham, this is a much bigger test.

Sheffield United beat AFC Fylde in the FA Cup last time out but they have lost their past two Premier League games, although they did face Manchester City and Liverpool and were very competitive in both.

I am going to go for a draw here, and I actually think it would be a decent result for both teams.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Hugh’s prediction: 4-0

Matthew’s prediction: 3-1

SATURDAY

Crystal Palace v Arsenal (12:30 GMT)

I was very impressed by the way Leeds started against Arsenal in their FA Cup tie on Monday but the Gunners did well in the second half and ended up getting a good win.

Mikel Arteta’s side also beat Manchester United on New Year’s Day, and are looking to put a little run of wins together. Although they clearly still have some issues at the back, I have a feeling they might just kick on.

FA Cup: Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United highlights

These two teams have had some real ding-dong battles in recent seasons so this will be a good yardstick to measure Arsenal’s progress under Arteta.

It is this type of fixture which shows how competitive you are. I don’t mean playing well and winning, I am talking about how you react when you have to battle a bit.

Palace will compete in every area of the pitch and, if Arsenal are going to win again, they will have to earn it.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Hugh’s prediction: 3-1

Matthew’s prediction: 1-2

Chelsea v Burnley

Burnley are safely into the fourth round of the FA Cup but they have lost their past three Premier League games.

I don’t see that run of defeats ending here, either. I know Chelsea’s home form has been a bit iffy but if the Blues play the way we know they can, they will win.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Hugh’s prediction: 1-32

Matthew’s prediction: 3-2

Everton v Brighton

I was at Anfield for Everton’s FA Cup defeat by Liverpool last weekend and I think it has been overlooked a bit that Reds keeper Adrian made some really good saves in the first half when the score was 0-0.

The Toffees were poor in the second half, though. I looked at them and across midfield Morgan Schneiderlin and Gylfi Sigurdsson looked pedestrian, which is a worry.

FA Cup: Liverpool 1-0 Everton highlights

Brighton were also beaten in the FA Cup third round, by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, but their manager Graham Potter had made seven changes for that tie.

It is not the Seagulls’ first season in the top flight, but it is Potter’s – so I can understand why he wants to concentrate on the Premier League.

FA Cup: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday highlights

Potter needs to improve Brighton’s away form – they have only won once on the road in the league since the opening day – but this is a bad time to play Everton.

The Toffees fans were furious with the outcome of the derby and although they will be fully behind the team on Saturday, they will insist on a better performance.

So, I am sure we will see a reaction from the Everton players here, especially because they are at home.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Hugh’s prediction: 2-0

Matthew’s prediction: 1-1

Leicester v Southampton

Southampton are going extremely well at the moment but I just feel Leicester will have a little bit of a point to prove.

The Foxes lost to both of their nearest rivals, Liverpool and Manchester City, over Christmas but since then they have won at West Ham and Newcastle in the Premier League.

That showed where they are at. They are the third-best team in the Premier League and are above Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal for a reason – consistency.

That’s why I think they will win on Saturday, although Saints will not make it easy for them,

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Hugh’s prediction: 2-2

Matthew’s prediction: 2-0

Man Utd v Norwich

Manchester United are lacking a lot at the moment, including intensity, invention and quality.

You look at their midfield, and they do not frighten anyone.

I know they are without Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay because of injury, but where is the drive going to come from? Where is the guile?

Highlights: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Manchester United

United are too easy to play against. They have got some talented players up front but they cannot do anything if they are starved of service – you could have Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law up there, but they cannot play without the ball.

Defensively they are poor, and overall they look like a bang-average football team.

Their problem is they will always be compared to the great United teams of the past, so they appear even worse.

They should still have enough to beat the Premier League’s bottom side at Old Trafford, though, especially because Norwich striker Teemu Pukki is an injury doubt.

With him in the side, if Norwich can create chances then I would back him to score. Without him, I am not sure where the Canaries’ goals are going to come from.

So I am going with a United win. If they lose or draw this game, then I am not really sure where they would go next, or what the thinking would be behind the scenes.

At the moment, I don’t see them finishing in the top four and they would be relying on attracting players by big wages, not Champions League football.

Right now, if you gave any player a choice between United, City and Liverpool, it would be a straight choice between the Premier League’s top two for anyone who is ambitious and wants to win the big prizes.

If you decide to go to United, you have gone for the money. You sometimes get a certain type of player and personality who will base their decision on that, and they are not the ones who will take your club back to the top.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Hugh’s prediction: 0-8

Matthew’s prediction: 0-8

Wolves v Newcastle

Newcastle are on a poor run of form, and have got lots of injury problems to contend with.

It felt like Magpies boss Steve Bruce was making progress with his results before Christmas, but now it feels like this is a period he just needs to get through, until his better players are fit again.

Wolves also suffered a couple of defeats over Christmas but I don’t see any cause for concern – they have got so much quality in their squad.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Hugh’s prediction: 2-0

Matthew’s prediction: 2-1

Tottenham v Liverpool (17:30 GMT)

When I think of this fixture, I think of Dejan Lovren’s terrible day at Wembley in 2017 when Harry Kane took him apart. in a 4-1 defeat.

The Reds are a much better team now, though, and Spurs are not quite the same either – although for a different reason.

Without Kane, I don’t know how Spurs will hurt Liverpool.

Yes, Christian Eriksen can play but he is a free agent in the summer and able to talk to other clubs – is he really going to pull his finger out and run around with the possibility of getting injured? I am not sure about that.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Hugh’s prediction: 0-0

Matthew’s prediction: 1-4

SUNDAY

Bournemouth v Watford (14:00 GMT)

Bournemouth’s performance in their last Premier League game, a 4-0 defeat by West Ham on New Year’s Day, was probably their worst since they were promoted to the top flight in 2015.

Watford being held by Tranmere after going 3-0 up was probably the strangest result of the FA Cup third round – and good luck to them in the replay because have you seen the pitch at Prenton Park?

League One Tranmere come back from 3-0 down at Watford to earn replay

Look at league form, and there is only one winner – the resurgent Hornets – but I still think the Cherries are capable of springing a surprise.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Hugh’s prediction: 2-2

Matthew’s prediction: 2-1

Aston Villa v Man City (16:30 GMT)

I said a little while back that I thought Manchester City have got their mojo back, and they showed it with their Carabao Cup win over Manchester United.

Probably because of how good Liverpool have been, Kevin de Bruyne has not really had the acclaim that he should have. He has been absolutely fabulous in the City midfield.

Aston Villa got a big win at Burnley last time out in the Premier League but this is a completely different task for them.

Danny Drinkwater will boost Villa’s midfield after joining from Chelsea on loan, but I still cannot see any further than a City win.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-3

Hugh’s prediction: 0-6

Matthew’s prediction: 1-4

How did Lawro do last week?

In the FA Cup third round, Lawro got 20 correct results out of the 32 ties, including six exact scores.

+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
TEAMPWDLPTS+/-
1Man City21200160+2
2Liverpool20182056-1
3Tottenham21164152+3
4Chelsea211443460
5Arsenal21107437+5
6Man Utd21106536-1
7Leicester2195732-5
8Watford2193930+11
=9Burnley21831027+6
=9West Ham2083927+7
11Aston Villa217410250
12Everton2166924-1
=13Bournemouth21721223+5
=13Newcastle217212230
=13Wolves21721223-6
16Southampton21531318-4
17Brighton21521417-3
=18Crystal Palace21351314-9
=18Sheff Utd21421514-10
20Norwich211713100

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2019-20

ScoreGuest leaderboard
160Gabriel Luna
140Arnold Schwarzenegger
100Adam Peaty
90Avelino, Helen Housby, Jo Harten, Bobby Seagull, Geraint Thomas
80Andy Murray, Stephen Graham
77Lawro (average after 21 weeks)
70David Baddiel, Richard Hawley, Kojo, Michael Johnson, Craig Mitch, Alex Scott
60Sonny Bill Williams, Serge from Kasabian, Stefan Ratchford
50Chelcee Grimes, Reece Parkinson, Sam Warburton
40Stephen Fry, Neil Jones, Tommy O’Dell
30Seth Rollins
Total scores after week 21
Lawro1,610
Guests1,480

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