Premier League predictions: Lawro resumes winter-break battle with snowboarder Katie Ormerod
Chelsea’s bid to secure a top-four place has wobbled in recent weeks but they have the chance to get back on track on Monday when they host Manchester United.
“The Blues are still favourites for fourth,” said BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson said: “They just need to improve their focus in matches.
“They have dropped points by taking their eye off the ball a little bit when you least expect it, which has seen them let some points slip away.”
Lawro is making predictions for all 380 top-flight matches this season, against a variety of guests.
This week he resumes his winter-break battle with British snowboarder Katie Ormerod, who was his opponent last week too when this set of fixtures started.
Storm Ciara scuppered Manchester City’s game with West Ham on Sunday, so only three Premier League games were played last weekend in the first part of the staggered break.
So far, Katie leads Lawro by 20 points to 10 but, with the remaining seven fixtures taking place over the next six days – including the rearranged City versus Hammers game – there is still all to play for.
|Premier League predictions – week 26 (part two)|
|Wolves v Leicester||x-x||2-1||1-2|
|Southampton v Burnley||x-x||2-0||1-0|
|Norwich v Liverpool||x-x||0-2||0-2|
|Aston Villa v Tottenham||x-x||0-2||3-2|
|Arsenal v Newcastle||x-x||2-0||2-0|
|Chelsea v Man Utd||x-x||2-1||3-4|
|Man City v West Ham||x-x||3-0||4-3|
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
Wolves v Leicester (20:00 GMT)
These teams have got top-four ambitions and this is a big game for both of them.
It should be an entertaining one too, because they are both really good going forward and always create a lot of chances.
There were lots of goals in this fixture last season, with Diego Jota completing his hat-trick in injury time to nick a 4-3 win for Wolves.
I can see a similar outcome this time around too, with the home side edging it.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-1
Katie’s prediction: 1-2
Southampton v Burnley (12:30 GMT)
Southampton ended up on the wrong end of a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool in their last league game, but they had played very well at Anfield.
Burnley also deserved more from their home game against Arsenal. They drew 0-0 but had enough chances to win it.
Saints still have the worst home record in the Premier League this season, with 11 points from 12 games, but they have actually picked up a lot recently after taking only one point from their first six matches at St Mary’s.
Plus Southampton striker Danny Ings is still in a purple patch, and you have to fancy him to score against the Clarets, who are one of his former teams.
So there are plenty of reasons to back Saints here, although I am slightly reluctant because of how well Burnley are playing.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Katie’s prediction: 1-0
Norwich v Liverpool (17:30 GMT)
At the start of the season it looked like Norwich’s home form would give them a platform for staying up, but it has not really worked out like that.
And while Manchester City were undone at Carrow Road in September when Norwich went at them, I just don’t see the Canaries causing Liverpool the same sort of problems.
Liverpool’s first-team players will be refreshed after their break and I think they will pick up where they left off – with another win.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-2
Katie’s prediction: 0-2
Aston Villa v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)
Tottenham have not always been that convincing in the past few weeks but they have still put together a decent little unbeaten run in the Premier League and FA Cup.
I can see Spurs continuing that form here, too.
It is great for Aston Villa that they are heading for Wembley soon for the Carabao Cup final, but they seem to save their better performances for that competition rather than the league, which is far more important.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-2
Katie’s prediction: 3-2
Arsenal v Newcastle (16:30 GMT)
Arsenal are the draw specialists in the Premier League with 13 out of a possible 25 so far, and Newcastle have shared the points in three of their past five league matches.
So, I suppose the most sensible prediction here would be a draw, but I am actually going to go with a Gunners victory.
Arsenal’s results under Mikel Arteta have not been great, but I still think things are improving as the players get used to Arteta’s methods and his demands.
Arteta needs a win soon, of course, but it is not as if he is under any great pressure because he has only been in charge for a few weeks.
I think the fact the Gunners are 10 points off fourth and a Champions League spot takes the pressure off them. It would be just like Arsenal to go on a run that puts them back in contention for that.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Katie’s prediction: 2-0
Chelsea v Man Utd (20:00 GMT)
I am not expecting to see any massive difference in the way Manchester United line up, or the way they play.
Yes, Bruno Fernandes has had a bit more time to settle in but I don’t think their other major January signing, Odion Ighalo, will start.
Chelsea, of course, did not bring anyone in but I actually think that takes the pressure off their manager Frank Lampard because everyone knows he has to make do with what he has already got.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Katie’s prediction: 3-4
Man City v West Ham (19:30 GMT)
Having this game delayed by 10 days might help Manchester City a bit – Aymeric Laporte will have a few more training sessions under his belt and could be fit enough to come into contention.
If City harbour any serious ambitions of winning the Champions League then they have to kick on and start performing the way we know they can before they face Real Madrid at the end of the month.
West Ham will also have benefited from some time training together, especially at the back.
The one thing Hammers boss David Moyes will have been working on is defensively, because they were woeful at the back last time out in their draw with Brighton.
Even so, I don’t think West Ham will have enough about them to take even a point away from City. I went with 3-0 last time, and I am going to stick with that scoreline this time too.
Lawro’s prediction: 3-0
Katie’s prediction: 4-3
Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
How did Lawro do last week?
Last weekend, in the first part of the staggered winter break programme, Lawro got one correct result, with no exact scores, from three games for a total score of 10 points – so far.
With seven games still to be played, he is trailing British snowboarder Katie Ormerod, who got two correct results, with no exact scores, leaving her on 20 points as things stand.
|+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION|
GUEST LEADERBOARD 2019-20
|90||Avelino, Helen Housby, Jo Harten, Bobby Seagull, Geraint Thomas|
|80||Tom Davis, Andy Murray, Stephen Graham|
|76||Lawro (average after 25 weeks)|
|70||David Baddiel, Richard Hawley, Kojo, Michael Johnson, Craig Mitch, Alex Scott|
|60||Sonny Bill Williams, Georgia, Serge from Kasabian, Stefan Ratchford|
|50||Chelcee Grimes, Reece Parkinson, Sam Warburton|
|40||Stephen Fry, Hugh Grant, Neil Jones, Tommy O’Dell, Steve Queralt|
|30||Matthew McConaughey, Seth Rollins|
|Total scores after week 25|