Lawro's Premier League predictions v comedian Nish Kumar

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Lawro's predictions

Sam Allardyce will begin his stint as Everton manager against Huddersfield on Sunday – but how will he get on at Goodison Park?

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson says: “The Toffees have conceded plenty of goals recently but, if Allardyce can stop that, then they should have enough firepower to pick up some points even before the transfer window opens in January.

“My worry for Huddersfield is that when they concede the first goal they struggle. It can blow their gameplan wide open.”

Lawro is going for a 2-0 Everton 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.[1]

Lawro week 14

Lawro scored 60 points in week 14, which meant he slipped to 2,760th place out of more than 280,000 users.

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

Lawro takes on comedian Nish Kumar for this weekend’s fixtures.

Kumar – who appears in the new series of ‘Live at the Apollo’[2] – is a Manchester United fan.

Nish Kumar

He told BBC Sport: “I became a United fan because I grew up in the tradition Mancunian suburb of Croydon.

“My best memories of United growing up are the Treble in 1999, Eric Cantona for both his goals and his martial art skills, and Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole tearing it up in the Nou Camp.

“In terms of my footballing skills they often say the most limited players become the best managers – so I think I would be an unbelievable manager.”

Premier League predictions – week 15
ResultLawroNish
SATURDAY
Chelsea v Newcastlex-x2-02-1
Brighton v Liverpoolx-x0-20-2
Everton v Huddersfieldx-x2-00-3
Leicester v Burnleyx-x1-11-1
Stoke v Swanseax-x2-01-0
Watford v Tottenhamx-x1-20-0
West Brom v Crystal Palacex-x2-12-1
Arsenal v Man Utdx-x1-10-0
SUNDAY
Bournemouth v Southamptonx-x0-22-2
Man City v West Hamx-x3-05-1

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 otherwise stated.

SATURDAY

Chelsea v Newcastle

Chelsea v Newcastle (12:30 GMT)

I was impressed by the way Newcastle came from 2-0 down to get a point against West Brom[3] on Tuesday – especially because the Magpies had lost their previous four games.

Rafa Benitez’s side will feel like they won that game, but following that by getting something at Stamford Bridge will be a huge ask.

Chelsea did not play well against Swansea on Wednesday[4] but they still got the win in the end, against a side who defend in numbers.

I think they will do the same on Saturday too.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Nish’s prediction: Having watched Newcastle against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend, I think they will give a good account of themselves and it will be tight, but I still think Chelsea are going to have too much. 2-1

Brighton v Liverpool

Brighton v Liverpool

Liverpool were slightly fortunate with their 3-0 win at Stoke[5] in midweek because Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet could easily have been sent off with the score at 1-0.

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But Jurgen Klopp’s side made sure of victory late on when Mohamed Salah came off the bench to score twice.

That kind of strength in depth they have in their squad will be very useful in the coming weeks when the games come thick and fast.

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Brighton are another of my old teams and it is great to see them taking on Liverpool in the top flight again for the first time since 1983.

The Seagulls will sit in even though they are at home, which will make things difficult for the Reds, but I am still expecting them to come out on top.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Nish’s prediction: 0-2

Everton v Huddersfield

Everton v Huddersfield

I am expecting Sam Allardyce to make a good start as Everton manager.[6]

Toffees caretaker manager David Unsworth finished off with a really good win over West Ham[7] on Wednesday, with Wayne Rooney taking the headlines with his hat-trick.

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And you just know Sam will do absolutely fine there. His way of looking at it will be ‘right, we start from the back’ and he will make sure he improves his defence first.

Huddersfield were beaten heavily by Arsenal[8] on Wednesday but the good thing about them is they will not dwell on that.

In a very Allardyce kind of way, Terriers manager David Wagner will identify the fixtures where they have to pick up points.

I am talking about games like this one, not against Manchester City or the Gunners.

Huddersfield will be tough to break down, but I think Allardyce will find a way.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Nish’s prediction: 0-3

Leicester v Burnley

Leicester v Burnley

Leicester manager Claude Puel continues to impress, and the Foxes’ win over Tottenham[9] means he has now taken eight points from his first five games in charge.

The Clarets just keep rolling on, though.

They are a team with a lot of talent and, at the very least, they give you everything – which is so important because it means they can play poorly, and still nick a result.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Nish’s prediction: 1-1

Stoke v Swansea

Stoke v Swansea

Stoke are still hovering above the relegation zone after their defeat by Liverpool,[10] but Swansea are in much deeper trouble.

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Swans boss Paul Clement must decide whether to stick with his usual defensive approach away from home – look to limit Stoke and play for a draw.

Or does he go for it a bit more because the Potters are in a sticky patch and confidence is low?

I think we will see a bit of a reaction from Stoke, though, which is why I am backing them to win.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Nish’s prediction: I am not banking on this being the game of the season, but I think Stoke will shade it. 1-0

Watford v Tottenham

Watford v Tottenham

Tottenham have thrown in a couple of iffy performances recently, with the latest coming in the first half of their defeat by Leicester[11] on Tuesday.

Some of Spurs’ stars have not hit the heights of last season, but at least they have good memories of Vicarage Road – when they took the Hornets apart here on New Year’s Day.[12]

It could be an open game which would suit Tottenham, although I think it will be a lot closer than their last visit.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Nish’s prediction: This is exactly the sort of game Spurs will slip up in. 0-0

West Brom v Crystal Palace

West Brom v Crystal Palace

Wherever he has gone, new West Brom manager Alan Pardew[13] has generally done a good job.

He is a good coach and a good appointment, and I am expecting him to steer the Baggies out of trouble.

Premier League - bottom six snapshot: Bournemouth in 15th, Stoke in 16th, West Brom in 17th, West Ham in 18th, Swansea in 19th and Crystal Palace in 20th

Pardew is up against his old club on Saturday, and so is Palace boss Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson just keeps on picking up points here and there and it will not be long until the Eagles are off the bottom of the table – but I think Pardew will come out on top in his first game in charge.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Nish’s prediction: I have been very bullish saying Hodgson is going to turn it around for Palace, so I have to back them. 2-1

Arsenal v Man Utd

Arsenal v Man Utd (17:30 GMT)

This is a huge game, between two sides in the top six who are in good form, so you know what I am going for here – a 1-1 draw.

The Gunners, in particular, are flying but I am still waiting for the moment where they slip up.

United are on a good run too of course, but it is the sort of fixture where you look at the way Arsenal are playing and think Jose Mourinho would take a point.

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

That is what I think he will play for and I don’t think Mourinho will care if a draw means Manchester City extend their lead at the top of the table.

He will look at this game in isolation, and see a point as a good result.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Nish’s prediction: I would love to say this is going to be a really open, blockbuster of a game – but Mourinho is going to park the bus, and park a couple of tanks in front of it. 0-0

SUNDAY

Bournemouth v Southampton

Bournemouth v Southampton (13:30 GMT)

Southampton did well against Manchester City in midweek, and it took Raheem Sterling’s 96th-minute winner to beat them.[14]

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But Saints just sat in at Etihad Stadium and did not really have to worry about trying to get forward, other than at set-pieces where they were a threat.

This game is very different for Mauricio Pellegrino’s side – I think we will see them with a more attacking mindset, and I am backing them to leave with the points.

Bournemouth have been on a good run but their defeat by Burnley[15] on Wednesday showed that well-organised teams can turn them over.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Nish’s prediction: 2-2

Man City v West Ham

Man City v West Ham (16:00 GMT)

West Ham collapsed against Everton in midweek,[16] and they are another team that needs to see December as a kind of damage-limitation period, and then try to solve their problems in the January transfer window.

Their forthcoming fixtures are not exactly helpful from that point of view, though, starting at Etihad Stadium and then with home games against Chelsea and Arsenal.

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Southampton and Huddersfield have shown in the past week how teams can make it difficult for Manchester City, even if Pep Guardiola’s side still beat them both in the end.

I don’t think the Hammers have got the personnel to do that, though.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Nish’s prediction: The phrase ‘cricket score’ springs to mind. 5-1

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan

How did Lawro do last time?

From the last round of games, Lawro got four correct results, with one perfect score, from 10 matches, for a total of 70 points.

He beat Tailenders host Felix White, who got three correct results, but with no perfect scores, giving him 30 points.[17]

Total scores after week 14
Lawro1,220
Guests1,030
Lawro v Guests
P14W8D1L5
SCOREGUEST LEADERBOARD
160Chris Shiflett
130James Anderson**
120Will Poulter, Moeen Ali
100Cesaro & Seamus, Wretch 32
87Lawro (average after 14 weeks)
70Brendan Foster*, Mark Strong
60Will Ferrell, Non Stanford
50Steve Cram, Michael Dapaah, Channing Tatum, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell, Joe Root
30Felix White

*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.

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
+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
POSTEAMPWDLPTS+/-
1Man City141220380
2Man Utd141130360
3Tottenham14104034+4
4Liverpool1495032+1
5Arsenal1484228-1
6Chelsea1484228-3
7Southampton1472423+4
8Bournemouth1464422+7
9West Ham1447319+9
10Leicester1443715-1
11Stoke1436515+5
12Swansea1450915+7
13Burnley1434713-7
14West Brom1441913+3
15Everton1433812-2
16Crystal Palace1433812+4
17Newcastle1425711-5
18Watford141497-10
19Brighton141497-9
20Huddersfield1403113-6

References

  1. ^ the new-look BBC Sport Predictor game. (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ ‘Live at the Apollo’ (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ to get a point against West Brom (www.bbc.co.uk)
  4. ^ against Swansea on Wednesday (www.bbc.co.uk)
  5. ^ 3-0 win at Stoke (www.bbc.co.uk)
  6. ^ Everton manager. (www.bbc.co.uk)
  7. ^ a really good win over West Ham (www.bbc.co.uk)
  8. ^ beaten heavily by Arsenal (www.bbc.co.uk)
  9. ^ win over Tottenham (www.bbc.co.uk)
  10. ^ their defeat by Liverpool, (www.bbc.co.uk)
  11. ^ their defeat by Leicester (www.bbc.co.uk)
  12. ^ on New Year’s Day. (www.bbc.co.uk)
  13. ^ new West Brom manager Alan Pardew (www.bbc.co.uk)
  14. ^ to beat them. (www.bbc.co.uk)
  15. ^ their defeat by Burnley (www.bbc.co.uk)
  16. ^ against Everton in midweek, (www.bbc.co.uk)
  17. ^ Tailenders host Felix White, (www.bbc.co.uk)

BBC Sport – Football