Lawro’s predictions v singer Macdonald

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson



BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson is pitting his wits against a different guest each week this season.

Lawro’s opponent for this weekend’s Premier League fixtures is singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald.

Macdonald has been a fan of Scottish Premiership side Rangers since she went to watch them for the first time, aged 10.

“It was Walter Smith’s testimonial match at Ibrox against Liverpool in 1998,” she told BBC Sport. “Rangers won 1-0 and from that moment I was pretty hooked.

“I was a bit of a tomboy at school. I loved to sit with the boys and discuss football and I was always a bit of a statto – I knew everything that was going on with every team.

“Growing up in Glasgow, it is such a massive footballing city that it is hard not to be involved in that. I don’t know anybody who is not interested in football – everyone has got an opinion.”

Amy Macdonald<!–

Macdonald’s fourth album, Under Stars, was released in February and she is currently touring the UK. “I don’t have much time to go to Rangers games because I am constantly on the road and my diary is full until next year,” she says. “But it is great being on tour because there are are a lot of us who follow football – my manager is a Huddersfield fan, some of the crew support Manchester United and my drummer supports Spurs, so there is a really diverse mix.”

Macdonald, who is engaged to St Johnstone right-back Richard Foster, has experienced good and bad times as a Rangers supporter, with the club now back in the Scottish top flight after being liquidated and placed in Division Three in 2012.

“It has been a crazy few years,” she explained. “When I first became a fan and started to get really into football it was the Dick Advocaat era and at that point there were so many amazing players that were signed.

“There were people like Lorenzo Amoruso, who became cult heroes at Rangers. Someone like him would be my ultimate favourite, but there were so many incredible players in the team that it was an absolute pleasure to be a fan back then.

“Obviously everything that has happened since then has proved that being a football fan is a massive roller-coaster and you have incredible highs and terrible lows, which has happened over the past few years.

“I think a lot of fans were glad when Rangers got back in the top division but I still think there is a long way to go to get the team back to where they were and back to where a lot of the fans expect them to be.”

You can make your Premier League predictions now and compare them with those of Lawro and other fans by playing the BBC Sport Predictor game.

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 otherwise stated.

SATURDAY

Tottenham v Watford<!–

Tottenham v Watford (12:30 BST)

Tottenham’s late comeback to beat Swansea underlined how they just keep going and don’t give up, which is a great thing for any team to have about them.

People thought Mauricio Pochettino’s side would struggle for goals without the injured Harry Kane, but they have now scored seven in three games without him, and have won all of them too.

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Amazing Spurs comeback reduces Wright to ‘tears’

I don’t think it will be easy for Tottenham on Saturday – Watford showed that by beating in-form West Brom on Tuesday.

The Hornets will put up more of a fight than they did when Spurs brushed them aside at Vicarage Road on New Year’s Day, and they cannot be any worse defensively than they were that day, but it is hard to see them stopping this Tottenham side.

Top of the Premier League<!–

Spurs’ title hopes are reliant on Chelsea slipping up – but a second-place finish would be a great achievement and more progress for them. They are still in the FA Cup as well, of course, and they just have to keep plugging away.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Amy’s prediction: Two Watford wins in a row have put them clear of the relegation zone but Spurs are going to have a bit too much for them, even without Kane. 3-1

Man City v Hull<!–

Man City v Hull City

I thought Manchester City were the better side despite losing to Chelsea on Wednesday – they just made some stupid mistakes.

Vincent Kompany made a big difference at the back and it would make sense to keep playing him now, although you never know what Pep Guardiola will do.

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Guardiola ‘lucky guy to manage’ City players

Hull’s home form under Marco Silva is fantastic, but he has only picked up one point from five league matches on the road.

I don’t see that record improving at Etihad Stadium because Manchester City will create a lot of chances and eventually they will find a way through.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Amy’s prediction: Manchester City have become a bit patchy recently, but Sergio Aguero is back in form and think they will win convincingly. 4-0

Middlesbrough v Burnley<!–

Middlesbrough v Burnley

Middlesbrough were a little bit more open against Hull on Wednesday night and scored two goals away from home for only the third time this season. They conceded four, however, and clearly they did not get the balance quite right.

At least they were trying to win the game, though. I think that approach will continue back at the Riverside, with Rudy Gestede and Alvaro Negredo up front, and the home fans will want to see them having a go after a season of safety-first football under Aitor Karanka

Will it work? I am not sure. It might actually play into Burnley’s hands a little bit.

Bottom of the Premier League<!–

The Clarets’ win over Stoke stopped their slide towards the relegation zone, and the pressure is off them a bit now.

I’ve said before that I don’t see Sean Dyche’s side going the whole campaign without winning away – and I think they will get that elusive victory here.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Amy’s prediction: Burnley have a great goalkeeper in Tom Heaton and have had a decent season. I think they are all but safe now and I am backing them to beat Boro. 0-1

Stoke v Liverpool<!–

Stoke City v Liverpool

After coming back from 1-0 down to lead Bournemouth 2-1 on Wednesday, there is no way Liverpool should have conceded a late equaliser the way they did.

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Klopp takes responsibility for late Liverpool lapse

You can call it game management if you like, but it comes down to a collective responsibility by the team – when you are ahead with a few minutes to go, you make sure you win.

Liverpool do not have the ability to do that at the moment. You could argue they are too nice, and they are also missing the injured Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane.

Stoke have now lost three on the spin and have scored only one goal in their past four matches, but I don’t see Liverpool going there and winning.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Amy’s prediction: Liverpool have some injury problems but I still think they are stronger than Stoke. 1-3

West Brom v Southampton<!–

West Brom v Southampton

I was impressed by the way Southampton came back from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace in midweek.

Saints are in ninth now, one place behind West Brom, and all things considered I think Claude Puel’s side have had a decent season.

But West Brom do not give much away at home and I think they will find a way of winning this game too.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Amy’s prediction: West Brom have had a really great season while Southampton have been slightly more inconsistent – but Saints are doing OK, and I think this has got draw written all over it. 1-1

West Ham v Swansea<!–

West Ham v Swansea

Swansea have been playing well but have only one point to show for it from their past four games. They definitely played well enough to get something out of their game with Tottenham, but ended up being beaten 3-1.

This is not a good time to hit the buffers, as West Ham know well. They are on an even worse run of form, with five straight defeats.

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Bilic admits Hammers in relegation fight

The Hammers were rolled over by Arsenal last time out but this is a chance to get some breathing space over the bottom three, and leave Swansea in big trouble. This is a huge game for Slaven Bilic and his side, and I think they will win it.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Amy’s prediction: Both teams are struggling but the Hammers have home advantage and I think that means they will win. 2-1

Bournemouth v Chelsea<!–

Bournemouth v Chelsea

Bournemouth made a terrible start to 2017 but are now on a decent run of form, with Wednesday’s draw at Anfield making it five games unbeaten for the Cherries.

Chelsea were not at their best against Manchester City last time out, but still won – and I think they will find a way of winning this game too.

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Conte revels in ‘great’ win over world’s ‘best coach’

Bournemouth will have a go at them, but we know the Blues are capable of soaking up pressure and we also know they have match-winners in their side.

By the time they kick off, Chelsea will know how Tottenham got on against Watford, and their lead could be down to four points. I think it will be back up to seven points by the end of the day.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Amy’s prediction: Bournemouth blow hot and cold but they do play free-flowing, attacking football and are nice to watch. I don’t see it working against Chelsea, who are back on track after losing to Crystal Palace last weekend. 0-3

SUNDAY

Sunderland v Man Utd<!–

Sunderland v Man Utd (13:30 BST)

Sunderland have not scored in any of their past six matches and I think they know the game is up. Another great escape is not going to happen now.

I am not expecting Manchester United to just brush the Black Cats aside, though. I’ve been at United’s past two games – draws against West Brom and Everton – and they are far from being a free-flowing, attacking side.

It is a problem that affects them more at Old Trafford where the opposition is always more defensive minded, but United move the ball so slowly that teams can always get back and fill the holes.

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Top four finish now very difficult – Mourinho

United have had no runners from midfield trying to get into the box and this Red Devils side do not play in the same way we became used to seeing. By the end of their draw against Everton on Tuesday they were just chucking the ball forward.

Being away from home might help them on Sunday, however. Sunderland may well start with a defensive outlook, but they need to win and ultimately they will give United more room.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Amy’s prediction: I think Sunderland could probably do with a good slap. They need to show some fight if they are going to avoid relegation, but I think they are too far gone now. United have been blighted by a lot of draws this season – I still think they will be too strong for Sunderland. 0-2

Everton v Leicester<!–

Everton v Leicester (16:00 BST)

Everton were much improved at Old Trafford after their poor performance at the weekend in the Merseyside derby. They should have beaten Manchester United and maybe would have done if they had made the most of the counter-attacks they had in the second half.

But the Toffees have already had a tough week and Ashley Williams’ suspension means they are without another key player at the back.

This is not a good time to play Leicester, who look unstoppable at the moment. The Foxes have got their swagger back and I think they will win.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Amy’s prediction: Leicester have had a massive turnaround in the past few weeks, but Everton striker Romelu Lukaku is a big threat and I think he will make the difference. 2-1

MONDAY

Crystal Palace v Arsenal<!–

Crystal Palace v Arsenal (20:00 BST)

Arsenal made short work of West Ham on Wednesday but going to Selhurst Park will be a completely different test for the Gunners.

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‘Convincing’ Arsenal cheer Wenger

Crystal Palace are still in the relegation dogfight despite winning four games in a row before Wednesday’s defeat at Southampton and they will be determined to get something from this game.

If you offered a home draw to Eagles boss Sam Allardyce before kick-off, he would take it. I think he will get it, too.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Amy’s prediction: Arsenal are in danger of missing out on a top-four finish for the first time in years but their win over West Ham in midweek put them back in contention – and I think they will win this one too. 1-3

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

*Does not include scores from postponed games.

Lawro’s best score: 140 points (week 22 v James McAvoy)

Lawro’s worst score: 20 points (week 28, but only five games played so far) or 30 points (week four v Dave Bautista)

Lawro's League Table<!–

How did Lawro do last time?

From the midweek Premier League games, Lawro got five correct results, including two perfect scores, from 10 matches for a total of 110 points.

He beat DJ, artist and drum and bass pioneer Goldie, who got six correct results but with one perfect score, for a tally of 90 points.

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