Lawro's Premier League predictions – crucial midweek games
Stoke were the first team to be relegated from the Premier League this season, but who will join them out of West Brom, Swansea, Southampton and Huddersfield?
We might have a better idea after the upcoming midweek fixtures that could see the Terries secure survival, the Swans or Saints take a big step towards staying up – and the Baggies go down without kicking a ball.
Two of those teams meet each other at Liberty Stadium on Tuesday, where Swansea host Southampton, but who will come out on top?
BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson said: “Both teams will be so desperate to win it, I just have a feeling that it will end in a draw.
“I am not sure who it will suit the most if the points do end up being shared – apart from West Brom.
“It would just be amazing if the Baggies were still alive going into the final day of the season, but let’s deal with that scenario later if it transpires.”
Lawro is making predictions for all 380 top-flight games this season, against a variety of guests.
This week’s rearranged games from FA Cup quarter-final and semi-final weekends see him up against comedian John Bishop and BBC Asian Network DJ Noreen Khan.
Bishop has 70 points from the five fixtures he has predicted so far, while Khan has 100 from nine. Can they add to their respective totals?
|Premier League predictions – midweek games|
|Swansea v Southampton||0-1||1-1||1-0|
|Chelsea v Huddersfield||x-x||2-0||2-0*|
|Leicester v Arsenal||x-x||1-1||1-1|
|Man City v Brighton||x-x||3-0||3-0|
|Tottenham v Newcastle||x-x||3-0||2-0|
|West Ham v Man Utd||x-x||1-1||0-3|
* Khan’s prediction
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
All kick-offs 19:45 BST unless otherwise stated.
Swansea 0-1 Southampton
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Bishop’s prediction: 1-0
Chelsea v Huddersfield
What a fabulous result Huddersfield’s draw at Manchester City on Sunday was for them.
I looked at the Terriers’ final three games, against City (away), Chelsea (away) and Arsenal (home) and thought that last one was their best chance of getting something because of the Gunners’ poor away form and the fact Arsene Wenger has already had his send-off.
But for them to hold City and keep a clean sheet was totally unexpected and could be so crucial for them.
It does not get any easier for Huddersfield now, though, because they have to go to a Chelsea side who have won four league games in a row.
Antonio Conte’s side have given themselves a chance of finishing fourth because the teams above them, Liverpool and Tottenham, have faltered, and I think the Blues will win again on Wednesday.
I don’t think Chelsea will make the top four, though, even if they win both their remaining games.
It is too little, too late because Liverpool and Spurs will get over the line somehow.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Khan’s prediction: 2-0
Leicester v Arsenal
The rumours about Claude Puel’s future as Leicester manager are not going away.
I am seriously worried about his prospects because it is almost as if some of the Foxes players have downed tools a little bit.
Other than being down to player power, Leicester’s poor form – they have taken only one point from their past five games and have not won any of their past six home matches – is very hard to explain and what has happened to them probably epitomises modern-day football.
They won the Premier League in 2016 which was a fabulous achievement, and many of them were rewarded with massive new contracts.
Now, if the stories coming out of the club are correct, they seem to think they know more than the manager.
As for the game, well it was typical Arsenal for them to turn it on in Arsene Wenger’s last home game after 22 years in charge, and smash Burnley 5-0.
Their away form has been very poor, though, and it would not surprise me if they drop more points here – whatever kind of performance we see from Leicester.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Bishop’s prediction: 1-1
Man City v Brighton (20:00 BST)
Brighton know they are staying up, which is a great achievement.
Manchester City were unexpectedly held by Huddersfield at the weekend but they can still break the Premier League points and goals record for a season – and reach 100 points in total.
So City have got plenty to play for and, because the pressure is off the Seagulls now, I don’t think they will play with the kind of intensity that saw the Terriers hold out for 90 minutes at Etihad Stadium.
It will also be Yaya Toure’s farewell game for City after eight fantastic years at the club. I hope there will be a cake for him this time.
Lawro’s prediction: 3-0
Bishop’s prediction: 3-0
Tottenham v Newcastle (20:00 BST)
West Brom were really cute with their approach in their win over Tottenham on Saturday.
The Baggies played as if they were the away team and gave Spurs no space whatsoever, either to run in behind or in midfield.
As much as Newcastle will want to do the same, I don’t think they will have the mind-set to pull it off.
They were pretty insipid in the first half of their defeat by Watford at the weekend and Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez does not have enough players to seriously change his team, and their attitude.
The Magpies’ target was safety this season. They have achieved what they needed to do and they are almost in holiday mode now.
Lawro’s prediction: 3-0
Bishop’s prediction: 2-0
West Ham v Man Utd
West Ham are safe now too after their win at Leicester on Saturday, which was a massive result for them and means the pressure is off in this game.
Manchester United were ordinary in their defeat by Brighton on Friday, which is why I felt a bit sorry for Marcus Rashford when Jose Mourinho criticised him afterwards.
If Rashford does not get many passes or chances then what can he really do?
Defensively, United were not great either but Mourinho did not want to make a point about that. Sometimes I don’t know why he says what he does, other than to grab the headlines.
What happened to the performance we saw from United in the second half against Manchester City at the start of April?
That is the question I am asking, because we have not seen too much like it from them since.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Bishop’s prediction: 0-3
Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
How did Lawro do last week?
From last week’s Premier League games, Lawro got four correct results, including one perfect score, from 10 matches for a total of 70 points.
He beat singer James Bay, who got four correct results, with no perfect scores, for a total of 40 points.
|Total scores after week 36|
|Lawro v Guests|
|+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION|
|160||Justin Hawkins, Chris Shiflett|
|130||James Anderson*, Joe Johnson*|
|120||Russel Leetch*, Will Poulter, Moeen Ali|
|100||Noreen Khan**, Cesaro & Seamus, Wretch 32|
|90||Lawro (average after 37 weeks), Arni and Justin from The Vaccines, Pete Wentz|
|80||John Cena, Darren Campbell|
|70||Plan B, John Bishop** Brendan Foster*, Mark Strong|
|60||Jimmy from Django Django, Will Ferrell, Nish Kumar, Non Stanford, Rick Witter|
|50||Steve Cram, Michael Dapaah, Russell Howard, Channing Tatum, Joe Root, Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, Dario Saric, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell,|
|40||James Bay, Craig David, Ed Lay|
|30||Elis James, Rhys James, Felix White|
|20||Charlie Cooper, Richard Osman, Emmanuel Sanders and Josh Norman|
* Shows weeks where Lawro had more than one guest, and only the highest score contributed to the guest total.
** Shows weeks where guest total does not include all rearranged games.
Lawro’s best score: 170 points (week 30 v Arni and Justin from The Vaccines)
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)