Lawro’s Premier League predictions v golfer Tommy Fleetwood

Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez could help decide the destiny of this year's title when his Newcastle side host the Reds on Saturday night.

Liverpool need to win to keep the pressure on leaders Manchester City, but BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson does not think Benitez will do his old team any favours at St James' Park.

“I know some people are saying Rafa could lie down against Liverpool, but he just does not do that kind of thing,” Lawrenson said.

“He is the kind of fella who will think ‘I am going to show them what they are missing'. That will be his outlook, definitely.”

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

This week he is up against golfer Tommy Fleetwood, who is hosting the British Masters next week at the Hillside club in his home town of Southport.

“Being from Southport, you are either Red or Blue, and support Liverpool or Everton,” Fleetwood said. “I was much more drawn to Everton, which I am happy about!

“So, I have been an Everton fan all my life, and that is the way it has stuck. We have not had much success over the years, but I love the club, the fans and the atmosphere – and how up and down we are.

“It has been a lot like that again this year but you can see the team starting to bed in under Marco Silva.

“It was always going to take time but football is so fickle these days because you always seem to be two or three games away from being the best manager in the league, or getting the sack.”

Tommy Fleetwood does not get the chance to watch Everton much and the last time he saw them live was at Anfield in December. “I got to watch Liverpool score the winner in the 96th minute – happy memories,” he said with a sigh
Premier League predictions – week 37
Result Lawro Tommy
FRIDAY
Everton v Burnley x-x 2-0 1-0
SATURDAY
Bournemouth v Tottenham x-x 1-2 0-2
West Ham v Southampton x-x 2-0 3-1
Wolves v Fulham x-x 2-0 4-0
Cardiff v Crystal Palace x-x 1-1 0-0
Newcastle v Liverpool x-x 0-2 1-0
SUNDAY
Chelsea v Watford x-x 2-1 2-2
Huddersfield v Man Utd x-x 0-2 0-2
Arsenal v Brighton x-x 2-0 2-1
MONDAY
Man City v Leicester x-x 2-0 2-0

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 BST unless stated.

FRIDAY

Everton v Burnley (20:00 BST)

I am backing Everton here. They have got it together in the past few weeks and the way they are ending the season is probably the way their fans were expecting them to perform throughout the whole campaign.

Burnley took a while to get going too. When their manager Sean Dyche reflects on their season, it will be interesting to know what difference he thinks it made with them being in the Europa League because it clearly stretched their squad before Christmas – especially with the way they play.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Tommy's prediction: 1-0

SATURDAY

Bournemouth v Tottenham (12:30 BST)

It will be interesting to see how Tottenham go into this game. They are 1-0 down in their Champions League semi-final against Ajax, with an away leg to come on Wednesday, and they are also one win away from securing a top-four finish to get back in the competition next year.

All of the teams chasing third and fourth have been all over the place in recent weeks, including Spurs who lost at home to West Ham last time out.

We want to win the big trophies to reach next level – Pochettino

Drop any more points here and things could get a bit jittery for Mauricio Pochettino's side, who host Everton in their final league game of the season.

But I actually think they will do all right against Bournemouth – the Cherries always concede a lot of goals and an open game will suit Spurs, who will have Son Heung-min back after his European suspension.

Lawro's prediction: 1-2

Tommy's prediction: 0-2

West Ham v Southampton

West Ham became the first away team to win at Tottenham's new stadium last week and although they are very up and down, I have a feeling they will sign off with another good performance in their last home game of the season.

Southampton are safe, and the risk they took when they appointed Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager in December has definitely paid off.

Hasenhuttl will now know all about his squad – and what they can and cannot do – and it will be very interesting to see who he tries to sign in the summer.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Tommy's prediction: 3-1

Wolves v Fulham

Fulham keep on winning, and keep on keeping clean sheets too. It has obviously come too late to keep them up, but their recent results should mean caretaker-boss Scott Parker gets the job permanently.

I think the Cottagers' run ends on Saturday, though. Wolves have had an extremely impressive campaign and they should sign off with a win in their final home game. They deserve a fantastic send-off.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Tommy's prediction: 4-0

Cardiff v Crystal Palace (17:30 BST)

It is now or never for Cardiff. Anything less than a win and they are down, however Brighton get on against Arsenal on Sunday.

Sadly for the Bluebirds, I think this game might sum up their season. You cannot fault their efforts over the past few months, but ultimately they have not had enough quality to stay in the top flight.

They started badly, taking only two points from their first nine games, so for them to still have a chance of survival at this late stage is a credit to them and their manager Neil Warnock. Huddersfield and Fulham have been down for weeks – but Cardiff have battled on.

Warnock's tactics have been old-school in that his side are in your face – they harry, press, tackle and rely a lot on corners and set-pieces – but to be honest with you, they had to be.

Whatever happens now, they have had a good season in that they gave it a go, and can have no regrets from that side of things.

Palace have been down near the bottom of the table themselves, but it never felt as if they were in that much danger of the drop, especially once they sorted out their attack.

Michy Batshuayi has not scored a tonne of goals since joining on loan from Chelsea in January but he has got some important ones, and given them something different up front. Having Christian Benteke back in the mix has obviously helped them be more potent as well.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Tommy's prediction: 0-0

Newcastle v Liverpool (19:45 BST)

We already know what Newcastle are like, and how difficult they make it when they face the top sides.

When people talk about teams being organised, Newcastle are on that list and that is because they are a well-coached team and Benitez is an extremely good coach.

It is as if every player on all of his teams has always known exactly what their role is, and what is expected of them.

So this will be a tough game for Liverpool, because they will have to break Newcastle down.

It might actually help that they lost 3-0 to Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, because it means they won't have one eye on Tuesday's second leg any more.

”In these moments Messi is unstoppable' – Klopp on Barcelona defeat

It is not as if they got a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp and will be thinking ‘we've got a fantastic chance'.

They will know they are outsiders in that tie now, and they have to focus fully on the Premier League, where any slip by Manchester City will let them in.

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Tommy's prediction: 1-0

SUNDAY

Chelsea v Watford (14:00 BST)

Chelsea have two chances of getting into the Champions League next season – by making the top four or winning the Europa League – and, unlike some of their rivals for a spot, their fate is in their own hands.

I think they will do it through where they finish in the Premier League regardless of what happens to them in Europe this season, although they have a tricky run-in, playing at home to Watford and then away at Leicester on the final day.

The Hornets are dangerous opponents, and will be a handful, but the Chelsea players will have their eyes on the prize.

Whether or not Maurizio Sarri stays on as Blues boss, he will not forget his first year in English football because it has certainly been eventful.

It is hard to know whether he would keep his job even if Chelsea do make the Champions League, because there is so much happening at that club from top to bottom, and the future intentions of the owner Roman Abramovich are still unclear.

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Tommy's prediction: 2-2

Huddersfield v Man Utd (14:00 BST)

Manchester United should win their last two games against Huddersfield and Cardiff, but I don't think it will be enough to get them in the top four.

Having said that, the Terriers had a spell at Anfield last Friday where they were 1-0 down but looked dangerous.

For once this season, I looked at them and thought they had something about them.

I think Huddersfield will give United a game, especially because this is their final Premier League home game for the foreseeable future after two years in the top flight.

From that point of view, it will be big occasion. They will relish playing a big team like United and they will not want to sign off in front of their home fans without showing a bit of a fight.

Huddersfield beat United here last season too, so that is another reason they will fancy themselves, but I still think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will leave with the points.

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Tommy's prediction: 0-2

Arsenal v Brighton (16:30 BST)

Arsenal's recent performances in the league have been very poor, as bad as anything we have seen from them in the past five years.

Defensively they are probably the worst they have been for a while, no matter who Unai Emery brings into the team.

Away from home they remind me of the latter seasons when Arsene Wenger was there and they would go to places such as Stoke and get turned over, and you never fancied them.

The problem now is that you don't fancy them anywhere on the road – every fixture looks difficult for them.

At Emirates Stadium, things are usually much better. I know they lost to Crystal Palace in their previous home league game, but I would still fancy them to beat Brighton.

The Seagulls couldn't put two passes together in the first half against Newcastle but they were much better in the second half and could have ended up going on to win the game.

I was at the Amex Stadium and I was impressed by Brighton midfielder Solly March when he came on for the second half. He really lifted the crowd and the whole atmosphere too.

It is going to be very hard for them at Arsenal but I think the Seagulls will be safe anyway, because I do not see Cardiff getting six points from their final two games.

If the Bluebirds get four points, which I don't see happening either, then the Seagulls' goal difference will still keep them up.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Tommy's prediction: 2-1

MONDAY

Man City v Leicester (20:00 BST)

Any other time of the season, I am sure Manchester City's players would be 100% confident of winning this game but because the title is so close, and because Leicester have a decent record against them, they might have a few doubts.

Leicester have certainly got the players to hurt Manchester City, and they did that when they beat them at the King Power Stadium in December.

Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers seems to be getting the best out of people such as Jamie Vardy and Kasper Schmeichel too, and we saw that the team are playing for him in their win over Arsenal last weekend.

Brendan Rodgers full of praise for in-form Jamie Vardy

But Manchester City will be ready for them after their week off and they will know they are three wins away from a domestic treble.

I have been at each of their past three games and they have been able to step things up in the second half if needed. I am sure they will do that again if they have to.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Tommy's prediction: 2-0

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

Lawro got five correct results, including one perfect score, for a total of 80 points.

He was beaten by Radio 1 DJ Melvin Odoom who got six correct results, including two perfect score, for a total of 120 points.

Total scores after week 36
Lawro 3,140
Guests 2,710
Lawro v Guests
P36 W17 D4 L15
+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO'S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
TEAM P W D L PTS +/-
1 Man City 36 33 3 0 102 0
2 Liverpool 36 25 11 0 86 0
3 Man Utd 36 26 6 4 84 +3
4 Tottenham 36 21 11 4 74 -1
5 Chelsea 36 22 7 7 70 -1
6 Leicester 36 19 6 11 63 +2
7 Arsenal 36 18 6 12 60 -2
8 Everton 36 18 5 13 59 +1
9 Burnley 36 13 10 13 49 +6
10 Wolves 36 15 3 18 48 -3
11 Newcastle 36 13 7 16 46 +2
=12 Watford 36 11 5 20 38 -2
=12 West Ham 36 11 5 20 38 -1
14 Bournemouth 36 10 7 19 37 0
15 Southampton 36 10 4 22 34 +1
=16 Brighton 36 8 8 20 32 +1
=16 Fulham 36 9 5 22 32 +3
=16 Crystal Palace 36 8 8 20 32 -4
19 Huddersfield 36 3 6 27 15 +1
20 Cardiff 36 3 5 28 14 -2

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2018-19

SCORE GUEST LEADERBOARD
160 David Ginola
140 The 1975's Ross MacDonald
120 Melvin Odoom, Joe Thomas
110 Tom Kerridge, Yatez
90 Jim Glennie, Mario Hezonja, Karl Pilkington, Chris Stark
87 Lawro (average after 36 weeks)
80 Adebayo Akinfenwa, Richard Ashcroft, Dina Asher-Smith, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg James, Johnny Marr, Mark Wahlberg
70 Matt Fitzpatrick, RED, Yungen
60 Jamie Dornan & Paul Conroy, Idris Elba, Tom McFarland, Dolph Lundgren, Mumford & Sons, Dillian Whyte
50 Bring Me The Horizon, Theo Ellis, Drew McIntyre, Mohamed Sanu, Ten Tonnes, Dolph Ziggler
40 Tom Grennan, Josh Warrington, Taka
30 Ryan Fitzpatrick, Danny Howard, Oti Mabuse, Scott Mills
20 Yizzy

Lawro's best score: 260 points (week seven v Karl Pilkington)

Lawro's worst score: 20 points (week 24 v Grime star Yizzy, week 25 v Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarter-back Ryan Fitzpatrick and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, and week 31 against Radio 1 DJ Danny Howard)


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