Lawro's predictions

It has taken until the end of December, but Mark Lawrenson has finally predicted Huddersfield to win a Premier League game.

In reality, the Terriers are ticking along nicely in mid-table – but in Lawro’s table (see bottom of this page), they took only six points from their first 20 games, all from draws.

Lawro thinks that will change in Saturday’s game against Burnley and told BBC Sport: “Huddersfield are doing better than I expected and I have been getting a bit of stick about it for a few weeks now.

“But I was not just going to say they would win for the sake of it, and I do not pay any attention to my table when I make my predictions each week anyway.

“I am trying to get each score right, not balancing things out by picking results so teams are closer to their real position.”

Lawro is going for a 1-0 Huddersfield win – do you agree? You can make your own predictions now, take on Lawro and other fans, create your own league and try to make it to the top of the table by playing the new-look BBC Sport Predictor game.

Table showing the overall leaderboard of the BBC predictions game, and Lawro's position in it, after week 19

Lawro scored 120 points in week 20, which leaves him in 2,082nd place out of more than 340,000 users.

He will be making a prediction for all 380 top-flight games this season, against a variety of guests.

This week, Lawro takes on ex-Olympic sprint champion and BBC athletics commentator Darren Campbell.

Mark Lewis Francis, Marlon Devonish, Darrem Campbell and Jason Gardener won 4x100m relay gold at the Athens Olympics

Darren Campbell (third from left) sheds a tear on the podium after the British team wins 4x100m relay gold at the Athens Olympics.

Campbell, who won 4x100m gold at Athens 2004 and took 200m silver at the 2000 Games in Sydney, was a talented footballer in his youth.

He told BBC Sport: “I was at the same school of excellence as Ryan Giggs, so I think that was when I realised I was not going to be a footballer.

“I kind of got into athletics more and focused on that, but then went back to football aged 21 and went on trial with Derby and Millwall, and I nearly signed for Plymouth under Neil Warnock.

“By then I had already started playing in Non-league with Weymouth, and I spent a year playing for them before going back to athletics and making it to the 1996 Olympics.

“I have no regrets – the reality is I was always going to be a better athlete than I was a footballer. Sometimes your path is already defined, you just need to get on it.”

Campbell is a Manchester United, fan explaining: “I am a Manchester lad – so the choice was red or blue.

“My favourite colour was red as a kid so there was never much doubt there. My mum is a City fan, though.”

*Tottenham’s home game against West Ham has been rearranged for Thursday, 4 January, but will still count towards this week’s scores once the fixture has been played.

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 otherwise stated.

SATURDAY

Bournemouth v Everton

Bournemouth v Everton

I can understand why there was some controversy over Bournemouth’s last-gasp equaliser against West Ham on Boxing Day – it was another strange refereeing decision.

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Bournemouth 3-3 West Ham: David Moyes bemoans Callum Wilson equaliser

But a draw was still a good result for the Cherries, no matter how they got it, and Everton also picked up another point when they went to West Brom – their 12th from six league games under Sam Allardyce.

The Baggies had a couple of decent chances to win that game, though, and I don’t think Allardyce’s seven-game unbeaten run will last too much longer.

In contrast, Bournemouth have not won any of their past eight league games, but they are at home and I just think this might be the moment where they turn the corner.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Darren’s prediction: In my job as a sprint coach, I have been working with Everton winger Yannick Bolasie after the serious knee injury he had.

We have worked hard on his movement and stuff like that, and seeing him back at the club, back in training and back in the first team [against West Brom on Boxing Day] has given me a lot of pleasure. It has been a long journey but he is someone who deserves every last bit of success because he has never stopped fighting.

As for the game, Allardyce has galvanised Everton and they are in great form – it’s got to be an away win. 0-1

Chelsea v Stoke

Chelsea v Stoke

Stoke have picked up four points from their festive games so far, but I don’t think they will get much out of this one.

The Potters are short at the back – Ryan Shawcross picked up a calf injury against Huddersfield on 26 December, Bruno Martins Indi is still out and Kurt Zouma is ineligible against his former club.

Chelsea’s home record is very good other than their opening-day defeat by Burnley and their loss to Manchester City in September.

Antonio Conte’s side have won their past six league games at Stamford Bridge – and I am expecting them to make it seven wins in a row on Saturday.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Darren’s prediction: It’s a game that Stoke would love to get something out of, but I think Chelsea are going to be a little bit too strong. 2-0

Huddersfield v Burnley

Huddersfield v Burnley

Hold on to your hats, because I am going to tip Huddersfield to win.

There should be a great atmosphere at the John Smith’s Stadium because it is only 25 miles away from Turf Moor and there is a bit of cross-Pennines rivalry between the two sides.

It will be a tight game because both teams play that way, and I just think the Terriers will edge it.

What Burnley have done since they were promoted to the Premier League under Sean Dyche in 2014 is what Huddersfield should be looking to replicate.

If you said to Huddersfield that in three years they could be where Burnley are now, then that would be absolutely fantastic.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-0

Darren’s prediction: Two hard-working northern clubs who have both had fantastic seasons up until now – I am going to go for a draw. 2-2

Liverpool v Leicester

Liverpool v Leicester

There will be increased optimism from the Liverpool fans following the announcement that Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk is joining in January. There will be an awful lot of pressure on him because of the £75m fee but that is not his fault.

Yes, it is far too much money, but unfortunately it is the going rate for a good player – it was a big deal when clubs spent £30m on a player two or three years ago, but now you have to pay that for even an average to decent Premier League player.

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Liverpool 5-0 Swansea: Jurgen Klopp praises Reds’ ‘fantastic football’

The Reds easily saw off Swansea on Boxing Day, helped by a top-class Philippe Coutinho goal in the first few minutes, and I think home advantage will be massive for them in this game – although Leicester are far more dangerous opponents.

I was surprised to see them slip to defeat against Watford after taking the lead and the Foxes have only picked up one point in their past three matches, although that was against Manchester United.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Darren’s prediction: Liverpool winger Sadio Mane is up there with Manchester City’s Leroy Sane as one of the quickest players in the Premier League. Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck is fast too. When I was an athlete I would have taken them on but I definitely wouldn’t want to race them now.

The game is getting quicker and quicker and there is genuine pace in most teams now.

Liverpool have been playing extremely well. As a United fan, this kind of hurts – but I have got to go with them to win. 2-1

Newcastle v Brighton

Newcastle v Brighton

Newcastle were very defensive against Manchester City on Wednesday night, even when they went 1-0 down, but Rafael Benitez’s aim was for his team to try to stay in the game until the end – and it almost worked because they nearly nicked a point.

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Benitez pleased Newcastle stayed in the game

There will be a very different feeling about this game, against another promoted club – the Magpies have to try to win this one.

Brighton lost at Chelsea on Boxing Day but they had taken four points from their previous two matches, and this will be another fixture that their boss Chris Hughton will have earmarked as one to get something out of.

The Seagulls are only three points above Newcastle in the table but I just don’t see Hughton’s side getting relegated – I never really have.

It is different with Newcastle, and I am little bit worried for them. The takeover of the club is turning into a long-running saga and they need to bring in new players in January.

They have Benitez as manager, which is a huge positive, but who is he talking to about potential signings? Is it the current regime or the new people? It is a very difficult situation for them.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Darren’s prediction: Both teams have had their ups and downs since they were promoted but I am going for Brighton to win this one. 0-1

Watford v Swansea

Watford v Swansea

I was at Anfield on Boxing Day to see Liverpool win 5-0. Don’t get me wrong, the Reds played well – but Swansea were abysmal.

The scoreline could have been even bigger and, for a team that had lined up 4-5-1, they were the easiest team in the world to beat.

What I found really interesting was before the game, when the home fans sing You’ll Never Walk Alone and the Liverpool players jog into position.

At the same time the Swansea team were in a kind of huddle near the centre-circle and, honestly, it looked like they had just met each other.

Their body language was terrible and they looked like they were feeling the cold. They played that way too.

So new manager Carlos Carvalhal has got a lot of work to do and it is vital he has some money to spend in January – otherwise they have no chance of staying up.

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Liverpool 5-0 Swansea: Leon Britton expects fresh faces in January

Carvalhal is a surprise choice but Swansea have been relatively successful with European managers before – look at Roberto Martinez, Michael Laudrup and, to an extent, Paulo Sousa.

He is going to need new faces, though, because at the moment Swansea do not even look like a decent Championship team, let alone a Premier League one.

Watford ended a run of four successive defeats when they came from a goal down to beat Leicester and I think Hornets boss Marco Silva will have another victory to celebrate here now they have got that bad spell out of their system.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Darren’s prediction: 0-1

Man Utd v Southampton

Man Utd v Southampton (17:30 GMT)

Getting £75m in through the door for Virgil van Dijk is good business for Southampton but, when they have sold players before, they have always had replacements ready, if not already at the club.

The problem with this sale coming now is that it ratchets up the expectation that they will spend heavily in January, especially because they are in such poor form.

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Spurs 5-2 Southampton: Mauricio Pellegrino believes Southampton were unlucky

Mauricio Pellegrino’s side have won only one of their past 11 league games, and have scored only 12 goals in that spell, so the pressure is on him to improve things quickly too.

This is not the game for that to happen, though.

You just know Saints are going to go to Old Trafford and camp in their own half, because they did it against Manchester City last month – and almost got a point. Almost.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Darren’s prediction: This is an easy one isn’t it? 2-0

This season is going to be tough for United fans, though. I think the title will come back to Manchester, but right now City are playing a different type of football to what the Premier League has seen for a long, long time. I don’t think many people thought Pep Guardiola would get that style of football right but, this season, he has. He has got a fantastic squad but I think the most important thing is that he seems to have a really good team spirit.

I hope City cannot dominate the Premier League in the way United have done before, but sometimes when a situation like this occurs where one team is so dominant it does mean the other contenders need to have a look at themselves.

For me, it can only bring more excitement in the future.

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Man Utd deserved more than two miserable goals – Mourinho

SUNDAY

Crystal Palace v Man City

Crystal Palace v Man City (12:00 GMT)

It was telling that Pep Guardiola brought on Gabriel Jesus instead of another centre-half when Vincent Kompany limped off 11 minutes into their win over Newcastle.

He had already sussed out that it was going to be one of those games where his side would be camped in the opposition half, so thought let’s get another attacker on – which I thought was quite cute.

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Newcastle didn’t want to play – Guardiola

I think this game will follow a similar pattern, and I don’t think Palace will be able to stop City either.

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson will try to deny them space but City have so many different avenues to score goals that it is very hard to do.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-3

Darren’s prediction: A player I have seen who has improved his control of his speed is Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha. Things did not work out for him when he went to United, but he was a young man and it was a big club to go to.

What we are seeing now is a level of maturity and also an understanding of the best way for him to play the game.

He has still got his pace, but there is a lot more control and calm to his game than there was when he was younger.

Palace have surprised everyone with the way they have stepped up following their terrible start to the season – and Zaha has been playing out of his skin.

So I am going to go for a draw… please! 1-1

West Brom v Arsenal

West Brom v Arsenal (16:30 GMT)

West Brom have gone 18 league games without a win but they had chances to beat Everton on Boxing Day and I think results will turn around for them soon.

I think the Baggies fans can see what their new manager Pardew is trying to do, but there is no doubt they are another team who need to go into the market when the transfer window opens in January.

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West Brom 0-0 Everton: West Brom did everything but score – Pardew

Pardew has picked up three points from three draws out of his six games in charge and, as I have said before, you can see how he is trying to change things.

I fancy them to cause a bit of an upset here, actually, because Arsenal are so inconsistent away from home and I am never sure what kind of performance to expect from them.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Darren’s prediction: West Brom need a win, but I don’t think it is going to happen in this game. 0-1

How did Lawro do last time?

In the last round of Premier League games, Lawro got six correct results, including two perfect scores, from 10 matches, for a total of 120 points.

He lost out to The Darkness singer Justin Hawkins, who got seven correct results, including three perfect scores, giving him a total of 160 points and putting him joint top of the guests leaderboard.

*Foster and Cram both provided predictions on week one, but only Foster’s score contributes to the guest total.

**Anderson and Moeen both provided predictions on week nine, but only Anderson’s score contributes to the guest total.

***Witter and Johnson both provided predictions on week 17, but only Johnson’s score contributes to the guest total.

Lawro’s best score: 150 points (week eight v Wretch 32)

Lawro’s worst score: 40 points (week four v Umenyiora and Bell, and week five v Non Stanford)

Lawro's League Table

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