Premier League predictions: Lawro vs 'The Irishman' star Stephen Graham


Premier League leaders Liverpool meet defending champions Manchester City on Sunday but who will triumph in their top-of-the-table meeting?

“I remember when Liverpool beat City 4-3 to end their unbeaten record a couple of seasons ago, they went after them from the start,” BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson said.

“I think Liverpool will try to do the same here, especially because it is against Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s side will just press the living daylights out of them, and I am not sure City will be able to hold out.”

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

This week he is up against ‘The Irishman’ star Stephen Graham, who is a fan of Liverpool… and Lawro.

“I support Liverpool because it is in my DNA,” the Merseyside-born actor told BBC Sport.

“My earliest memory is my Ma took me when we had won the European Cup. I was maybe only about five or something like that, and we had made a massive cardboard cut-out of the trophy.

“I went, and I got lost – I went missing. It was in the Liverpool Echo and on Granada Reports – my mum lost me in the crowd and the police ended up getting me back together with her.

“Thankfully it ended well but yeah that is my first memory – and there is a picture somewhere of me in the Echo – a little kid with a little cap on.

“I don’t get to many games these days but I saw Mark play a few times for Liverpool. He was absolutely brilliant – like a gazelle.

“He was one of the classic heroes, Lawro, he really was. A legend. He just glided along and him and Alan Hansen’s centre-half combination was fantastic.”

Reds fan Graham hit the red carpet for the premiere of ‘The Irishman’
Premier League predictions – week 12
Result Lawro Stephen
FRIDAY
Norwich v Watford x-x 1-1 2-0
SATURDAY
Chelsea v Crystal Palace x-x 2-0 2-1
Burnley v West Ham x-x 2-0 0-0
Newcastle v Bournemouth x-x 0-2 2-1
Southampton v Everton x-x 1-1 0-1
Tottenham v Sheff Utd x-x 2-0 1-2
Leicester v Arsenal x-x 2-1 3-1
SUNDAY
Man Utd v Brighton x-x 2-0 1-0
Wolves v Aston Villa x-x 2-0 0-1
Liverpool v Man City x-x 2-0 2-1

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

Norwich v Watford (20:00 GMT)

The top two are taking each other on later this weekend – but first the bottom two are doing the same.

Watford are still waiting for their first win but they have picked up more points in recent weeks than Norwich, who have lost five of their past six league games, and drawn the other.

They are both desperate for a victory for obvious reasons, but I have a sneaky feeling neither of them will get one.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Stephen’s prediction: 2-0

SATURDAY

Chelsea v Crystal Palace (12:30 GMT)

Crystal Palace were undone by a good Leicester performance last time out, but I actually thought the Eagles played pretty well too despite their defeat.

They will be a decent test for an in-form Chelsea team, who are going for their sixth-straight league win.

The Blues had a strange result against Ajax in midweek with their 4-4-draw in the Champions League but, although they didn’t win, their night still had plenty of positives after they came back from 4-1 down.

Frank Lampard loved spirit in Chelsea comeback against Ajax

Before the season started, I thought Frank Lampard’s side would struggle in attack, but they are exactly the opposite – they are getting goals from everywhere.

Lampard has only been a manager since the summer of 2018, while Palace boss Roy Hodgson has been one for 43 years. I don’t think all of Hodgson’s experience will help him get him a win at the Bridge, though.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Stephen’s prediction: 2-1

Burnley v West Ham

Both of these sides are in poor form – Burnley have lost their past three league games, while West Ham are on a run of five without a win.

I was surprised to see Burnley get a shellacking, by their standards, at Sheffield United last weekend – and I bet training has been fun with Clarets boss Sean Dyche since then.

The Hammers also had a bad day in their 3-2 defeat by Newcastle, and could easily have ended up on the wrong end of a far bigger scoreline.

Both teams will be looking to make a big improvement, but it is Burnley I am backing here.

They don’t normally go too long without a win because they are capable of putting in a really gritty performance, and I am expecting them to have a go at West Ham.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Stephen’s prediction: 0-0

Newcastle v Bournemouth

Bournemouth got a really good result against Manchester United last weekend, and I have them down as quite a streaky team – in that they tend to have bursts of good form.

The Cherries have also kept three clean sheets in a row now, which is important for them because I would always back them to score.

The same cannot be said for Newcastle. The Magpies played well when they beat West Ham, but I don’t see them building on that result.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Stephen’s prediction: 2-1

Southampton v Everton

Both of these sides are struggling, but they did at least get some encouragement from their performances last time out.

Southampton were unlucky to leave the Etihad Stadium empty-handed, while Everton got a really late equaliser against Tottenham.

Both managers have been under pressure recently too, especially Everton manager Marco Silva, but if his side avoid defeat on Saturday then I don’t think his future will be an issue.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Stephen’s prediction: 0-1

Tottenham v Sheff Utd

Sheffield United continue to impress me but I am going for a Tottenham win here.

I am just a little loath to do so because, away from home, the Blades are still unbeaten and always seem to play well too.

But that run has to end somewhere and the signs are that Spurs are getting back to their usual selves.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Stephen’s prediction: 1-2

Leicester v Arsenal (17:30 GMT)

Arsenal have been pegged back for draws after leading in their past four games in all competitions, which is another sign that they cannot defend.

Leicester are good enough to take advantage of that, and the Foxes are starting to look like a really good side.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Stephen’s prediction: 3-1

SUNDAY

Man Utd v Brighton (14:00 GMT)

With Manchester United at the moment, just when you think they have sorted out some of their problems and turned a corner, they chuck in a poor performance like they one they put in against Bournemouth, and the revival comes to an abrupt halt.

They are up against another south coast club here and, like the Cherries, Brighton play some nice football and are going well, but United are at home and they surely won’t slip up this time.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Stephen’s prediction: 1-0

Wolves v Aston Villa (14:00 GMT)

Aston Villa will be stung after letting another lead slip so late on against Liverpool and ending up with nothing. At some stage they will put in a good performance, and see it through to collect the points, but I am not sure it will happen at Molineux.

Wolves have played an awful lot of games because of their involvement in the Europa League from an early stage, but they have got a good squad and a big squad and they should have too much for a Villa side who are still learning about life at this level.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Stephen’s prediction: 0-1

Liverpool v Man City (16:30 GMT)

I think Liverpool will win the league this year and they have shown us why in the past few weeks.

If anyone gives them a problem they just seem to know how to solve it.

I just don’t think City are at the same high level as last season. Part of that is down to injuries but, even with largely the same players, there does not quite seem to be the same feel about the team.

The little things are going against Pep Guardiola’s side, and some very small cracks are starting to appear, while Liverpool just seem to get stronger and stronger.

City did a good job of stopping Liverpool playing the last time they came to Anfield, a 0-0 draw in October 2018, and I cannot see them coming out and playing really open this time either.

Liverpool go nine points clear if they win, which is a lot. That is what I think will happen too.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Stephen’s prediction: This is the fixture I looked out for straight away at the start of the season. Hopefully it is a brilliant game. We are at home so I have got to back us to beat City. 2-1

Will Liverpool win the Premier League? I think it will be extremely close again. We have started off brilliantly, but there is a long way to go.

What do you think of Jurgen Klopp? He is absolutely wonderful. He is a genius. He is like Willy Wonka isn’t he? He is just lovely.

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan

How did Lawro do last week?

Last weekend, Lawro got four correct results, including one exact score, out of 10 matches for a total of 70 points.

He beat DMA’S frontman Tommy O’Dell, who also got four correct results but with no exact scores, for a total of 40 points.

+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
TEAM P W D L PTS +/-
1 Man City 11 11 33 +1
2 Liverpool 11 9 2 29 -1
3 Chelsea 11 8 2 1 26 +1
=4 Arsenal 11 7 3 1 24 +1
=4 Tottenham 11 7 3 1 24 +7
6 Leicester 11 5 3 3 18 -3
7 Man Utd 11 4 5 2 17 +3
8 West Ham 11 5 1 5 16 +5
=9 Aston Villa 11 4 3 4 15 +7
=9 Burnley 11 4 3 4 15 +5
11 Everton 11 4 2 5 14 +6
=12 Newcastle 11 4 1 6 13 +3
=12 Watford 11 4 1 6 13 +8
=14 Bournemouth 11 3 1 7 10 -7
=14 Wolves 11 3 1 7 10 -2
16 Crystal Palace 11 2 3 6 9 -7
17 Brighton 11 2 2 7 8 -9
=18 Sheff Utd 11 2 1 8 7 -12
=18 Southampton 11 2 1 8 7
20 Norwich 11 2 9 2 -1

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2019-20

Score Guest leaderboard
160 Gabriel Luna
140 Arnold Schwarzenegger
100 Adam Peaty
90 Helen Housby, Jo Harten, Geraint Thomas
88 Lawro (average after 11 weeks)
70 Michael Johnson, Craig Mitch, Alex Scott
60 Stefan Ratchford
50 Chelcee Grimes, Reece Parkinson, Sam Warburton
40 Stephen Fry, Neil Jones, Tommy O’Dell
Total scores after week 11
Lawro 970
Guests 840



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