Lawro's predictions

Manchester United will hope to close the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City when they play Tottenham on Wednesday – but how will Jose Mourinho’s side fare at Wembley?

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson says: “It will be tight, just like it was at Old Trafford in October when Romelu Lukaku flicked on a long ball for Anthony Martial to score a late winner for United.

“But Tottenham are on a good run at the moment and I think they might be the ones who edge it this time.”

Lawro is going for a 2-1 Spurs win – do you agree?

You can make your 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.

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

This week, he takes on Russell Leetch and Ed Lay from rock band Editors, whose new album ‘Violence’ is out in March.

Bassist Russell is an Aston Villa fan, while drummer Ed supports Ipswich.


Russ (far left) does not make any boasts about his footballing ability while Ed (2nd right) says Justin (far right) is probably the best player in the band. “He keeps it under his hat a bit but I think he used to be a bit handy when he was at school,” Ed explains. “You can see it when we are having a kickabout because he has got some nice moves without really trying too hard – he will do that kind of Matt le Tissier thing where he just stands there and pings balls about, but he will never run.”

Editors are about to embark on a European tour and Ed says he tries to get a football fix while they are on their travels, even though it is hard for them to get to matches because of their gigs.

He said: “We went to see Inter Milan play in the San Siro once, which was pretty special because I am a sucker for a classic stadium,

“I tend to go running a lot when we are on tour and it is a nice way to see the towns or cities we are in.

“I always try to pinpoint where the football stadium is and try to run up to it and around it so I can take a look because, if I can’t make it to the game, it is the next best thing.”

Both Russ and Ed are seasoned spectators of their sides in the Championship, but only Russ is holding out much hope of a return to the Premier League anytime soon.

Championship - top six snapshot: Wolves 1st, Derby in 2nd, Cardiff 3rd, Bristol City 4th, Aston Villa 5th and Fulham 6th

Villa are fifth in the Championship, three points off an automatic promotion spot. Ipswich? They are 12th, eight points off a play-off place.

“Villa have finally found some form, and results have been going our way so it is all good at the moment,” Russ said. “Jack Grealish is starting to play well and John Terry has shown that he is total class – his positioning and his passing is brilliant.

“It is quite entertaining that he gets booed by the opposition fans in every single game, no matter who we are playing.

“But we need to keep trying to push for second place because I am desperate to avoid the play-offs.”

The play-offs are a distant dream for Ed, whose side are the longest-serving team in the Championship having played at that level since 2002.

Ed said: “We should always aim for the play-offs at the start of every season but it is going to take a massive change in our financial situation for us to make it, or we somehow go on an incredible run.

“We managed that in 2000 but hat season was quite remarkable and I can’t believe it was so long ago.

“My best day as an Ipswich fan was when we went to Wembley and beat Barnsley 4-2 in the play-off final, then I went across the way to watch Pearl Jam at Wembley Arena still wearing our orange away shirt. That was a nice little double-header for me.”

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


All kick-offs 19:45 GMT unless otherwise stated.


Swansea v Arsenal

Swansea v Arsenal

The Arsenal team could look quite different by the weekend if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Jonny Evans both arrive, but I would still expect them to win this game – even without all their potential signings in place.

The Gunners had the weekend off, while Swansea picked quite a strong team for their draw with Notts County in the FA Cup.

Media playback is not supported on this device

FA Cup: Notts County 1-1 Swansea highlights

Arsenal’s away form has not been great but they will be fresh for this one and Henrikh Mkhitaryan should give them a lift on his debut too.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Russ’ prediction: 0-2

Ed’s prediction: Arsenal are very up down away from home at the moment, so I think Swansea might edge this one. 2-1

West Ham v Crystal Palace

West Ham v Crystal Palace

West Ham were well beaten at Wigan in the FA Cup on Saturday, but their form in the Premier League remains strong.

Media playback is not supported on this device

FA Cup: Wigan 2-0 West Ham highlights

The same goes for Crystal Palace, who are also out of the FA Cup, but whose only league defeats since early November have come home and away against Arsenal.

Palace have had nine days off, while Hammers boss David Moyes is struggling a bit for players because of injuries and suspensions – but I still see this one ending up as a closely fought draw.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Russ’ prediction: I would love to see ex-Villa striker Christian Benteke score but it is more likely to be Wilfried Zaha who finds the net for Palace. 1-1

Ed’s prediction: This is quite interesting because I like the rebirth of these two managers. Palace fans were not particularly excited when Roy Hodgson was appointed and Moyes was not a popular choice either.

So I am glad they have done well although, geographically speaking, West Ham are on the cusp of being Ipswich’s rivals. I never wanted them to do well after the way they ended up with the Olympic Stadium either.

So good luck to Moyes, but I would like to think Palace will win it. 0-2

Huddersfield v Liverpool

Huddersfield v Liverpool (20:00 GMT)

It has not been a good week for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, so at least he gets to see a friendly face in Huddersfield boss David Wagner, who is his best mate.

After their defeat by Swansea in the league last week, Liverpool were so porous at the back in the FA Cup against West Brom on Saturday and their defending must be a real worry for their manager.

Media playback is not supported on this device

FA Cup: Liverpool 2-3 West Brom highlights

There have been fingers pointed at their players at the back but, watching the Reds, their midfield offers absolutely no protection whatsoever.

Whoever plays in the middle, no-one seems to want to do the dirty work – sit in front of the defence and close the gaps to make things difficult for the opposition – and that is becoming a serious problem for Klopp.

Huddersfield have not won in the Premier League since 16 December, and have taken only three points from six games since then.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Huddersfield boss David Wagner

Klopp and Wagner were team-mates and room-mates at Mainz in the early 1990s. Wagner was Klopp’s best man and Klopp is godfather to one of Wagner’s two daughters. Klopp appointed Wagner as coach of Borussia Dortmund’s second team in 2011 before both men took jobs in England in 2015. Their only competitive meeting as managers came in October when Liverpool beat Huddersfield 3-0 at Anfield

I don’t see the Terriers ending their wait for a victory here, but if Swansea and West Brom can cause Liverpool problems, I think they can too.

We know Liverpool can beat the top teams under Klopp, but they continue to struggle against the bottom teams – and that situation is not going away.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Russ’ prediction: Huddersfield were the best team I saw last season in the Championship when they came to Villa Park. They looked really tidy and I just liked the look of Aaron Mooy.

But I am going to back Liverpool, even if they do struggle against these sort of teams sometimes. 1-2

Ed’s prediction: Liverpool will not keep a clean sheet but I think they will score a few. If Mohamed Salah is playing, he will get a couple. 2-5


Chelsea v Bournemouth

Chelsea v Bournemouth

Chelsea had a routine win over Newcastle in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, while Bournemouth were among the teams to have a rest following their defeat by Wigan in the third round.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle

I don’t think those days off will help the Cherries too much at Stamford Bridge, though.

Eddie Howe’s side are on a five-game unbeaten run in the league that includes their victory over Arsenal, but this is the most difficult game of that stretch of fixtures.

I am not sure what is happening at Chelsea and what it means for the long-term job prospects of manager Antonio Conte, but it does not seem to be affecting their form too much.

Media playback is not supported on this device

How happy is Chelsea boss Antonio Conte?

Conte is sending out some mixed messages about Chelsea’s transfer policy, though, and he also seems to like poking the people above him at the club to complain about it, so that situation might change soon. It is certainly not going to go away.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Russ’ prediction: Chelsea want that kind of striker that they can stick on for the last 10 minutes if they need a goal. It looks like Edin Dzeko is the man they will get but he is playing and scoring regularly for Roma so I don’t know why he would want to be a bit-part player for the Blues. Maybe the wages they are offering him will persuade him a bit. 3-0

Ed’s prediction: 0-0

Everton v Leicester

Everton v Leicester

Everton went out of the FA Cup in the third round and have gone six games without a win in the league.

Leicester, in contrast, have been in great form since the start of the year and have won four out of their six matches, while staying undefeated.

Media playback is not supported on this device

FA Cup: Peterborough United 1-5 Leicester City highlights

The Foxes look like they are in form and playing well, and I think they are in a good place to keep that run going. They are starting to look like the seventh-best team in the league for me.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Russ’ prediction: I am not a fan of the way Sam Allardyce’s teams play football – I can’t stand it. I know you roll the dice when you appoint a manager who tries to play football but the biggest advert for it working at the moment is Wolves and what they are doing at the top of the Championship under Nuno Espirito Santo. 1-2

Ed’s prediction: Everton have made a few signings but they are still bedding in.

Theo Walcott could be good but he just looks so unhappy all the time. It is as if he has lost his love for football. Hopefully going to a club who really want him will be the spark to kick him on again but he just seems to be that player who unfortunately is never going to fulfil his potential. 1-2

Newcastle v Burnley

Newcastle v Burnley

Burnley have gone seven Premier League games without a win and Newcastle, who have won twice in the same period, look like an in-form side in comparison.

It is very hard to pick either side to go and win, although Burnley will undoubtedly return to form at some point.

I am still concerned about Newcastle, because they are being distracted by talk of a takeover and, by the looks of things, that is going to last longer than Brexit.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Russ’ prediction: 1-1

Ed’s prediction: Daryl Murphy was mega for Ipswich and I don’t know why Newcastle did not keep hold of him after he helped them win promotion to the Premier League last season. He would have been good coming off the bench for them and I feel sorry for him that he did not get a chance, so I hope they get their comeuppance for that. 0-1

Southampton v Brighton

Southampton v Brighton

Both these sides were in the top 12 the last time this south coast derby took place, in October, but they are both in a relegation battle now.

Premier League - bottom six snapshot: Newcastle 19th, Brighton in 16th, Stoke in 17th, Southampton 18th, West Brom in 19th and Swansea 20th

It ended all-square at the Amex Stadium but I fancy Saints to take the points this time.

They are on an 11-game winless run in the Premier League but have been winning games in the FA Cup – including against Watford on Saturday – and I think this is the moment they return to form in the league too.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Russ’ prediction: 1-0

Ed’s prediction: 0-0

Man City v West Brom

Man City v West Brom (20:00 GMT)

Manchester City had Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Cardiff sewn up by half-time so they were able to take their foot off the pedal.

The only negative for Pep Guardiola’s side was the tackle by Cardiff’s Joe Bennett on Leroy Sane that has left Sane sidelined for a few weeks.

I was at the game co-commentating and, the first time we saw it, I don’t think anyone in the ground realised how bad a challenge it was.

To be fair to the referee, he clearly didn’t see how bad it was either. If he had then Bennett would have been sent off, no doubt about it.

Media playback is not supported on this device

FA Cup: Referees have to protect the players – Pep Guardiola

I am not sure who will be fit to play for West Brom, because Kieran Gibbs and Hal-Robson Kanu were forced off during Saturday’s win over Liverpool, and Jonny Evans was injured too.

City will be without Sane, but I still think they will run out comfortable winners and they are in a fantastic position in terms of their bid to win all four major trophies.

I don’t think there is any stopping them in the Premier League and the pressure is off in games like this.

The only thing that stops them winning all four trophies could be themselves – if they have an off day in one of the cups – because if they play like we know they can, it is hard to see them being beaten.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Russ’ prediction: 3-0

Ed’s prediction: I like City’s players because they don’t have humongous egos. Their players just seem to get on with it when things go wrong. They play as a proper team and they have got something really special there. 4-0

Stoke v Watford

Stoke City v Watford (20:00 GMT)

This is the second game in charge for Stoke manager Paul Lambert and Watford boss Javi Gracia – Lambert has got a 100% record to defend, while Gracia is after his first win.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Watford feels like home – Gracia

Of the two teams, I’m probably more worried about Watford going down than Stoke, but that would change if the Hornets won this game.

I do not see that happening, though. I think Lambert has been working on fixing things in the dressing room and, if he can get that right and get his players at it, then the Potters will be fine.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Russ’s prediction: Lambert started with a win against Huddersfield and I think he will win this one as well. I am not sure Gracia will get that bounce, and Watford look like they are in a bit of trouble. 2-0

Ed’s prediction: 1-2

Tottenham v Man Utd

Tottenham v Man Utd (20:00 GMT)

I don’t think a draw is much good for both teams – United are looking to cement their place in the top three and Tottenham are trying to break into it.

Premier League - top six snapshot: Man City 1st, Man Utd in 2nd, Chelsea 3rd, Liverpool 4th, Tottenham in 5th and Arsenal 6th

But I don’t think United boss Jose Mourinho will be thinking what damage can his players do to Spurs – he will be thinking what damage can Spurs do to us and will alter his line-up accordingly.

United will still try to nick a goal, of course, but there is no way they will go there and look to completely dominate the game or even to try to open Spurs up.

They did the latter against Arsenal at the Emirates in December, and were able to hurt them on the break, but this Spurs team is set up very differently, and I think the home side will win it.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Russ’ prediction: I think having United’s style of play compared to City’s is what is really upsetting Mourinho because City are showing you can win games in style by being really entertaining and scoring loads of goals.

It is weird because United started the season by scoring loads of goals but he has kind of shut up shop a little bit recently. Still, at least Jose is always entertaining even if his team isn’t. 1-1

Ed’s prediction: I think United will be under the cosh but Spurs will not be able to score. 0-0

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

On FA Cup fourth-round weekend, Lawro got 10 correct results, including four perfect scores, from the 16 ties for a total of 220 points.

He was up against Poet and Vuj, presenters on YouTube football channel Copa90.

Poet got six correct results, with no perfect scores, for a total of 60 points, while Vuj got seven correct results, with two perfect scores. That gave him a tally of 130 points.

Those scores do not count towards Lawro’s total for the season from Premier League fixtures or appear on the guest leaderboard.

Lawro's League Table


* Shows weeks where Lawro had more than one guest, and only the highest score contributed to the guest total.

Lawro’s best score: 150 points (week eight v Wretch 32 and week 24 v Pete Wentz)

Lawro’s worst score: 40 points (week four v Umenyiora and Bell, week five v Non Stanford, week 21 v Darren Campbell and week 23 v Saric and Baynes)

News Reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.