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Second time lucky? Lawro takes on last year’s worst predictor

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson

BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson will be making a prediction for all 380 Premier League games this season against a variety of guests.

Lawro’s opponent for this week’s Premier League fixtures is comedian and actor Elis James.

James, who co-stars in the BBC Three sitcom Josh, is looking to improve on his showing when he took on Lawro last season and only scored 10 points – leaving him joint-bottom of the guest leaderboard.

He is a Swansea City fan and says: “This season so far has not been great for the Swans but it is only the end of September so we live in hope.

“I think we have got enough to stay up, but I will let you know in a couple of months.”

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James shows off his collection of football shirts when he plays Owen in BBC Three sitcom Josh

You can make your own predictions now, compare them with those of Lawro and other fans, and try to take your team to the top of the leaderboard by playing the new BBC Sport Predictor game.

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

Last week, Lawro got six correct results, including one perfect score, from 10 Premier League matches. That gave him a total of 90 points.

He was beaten by world darts number one Michael van Gerwen, who got five correct results, but with two perfect scores, for a total of 110 points.

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

All kick-offs 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated.

FRIDAY

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Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Elis’ prediction: 2-2

Match report

SATURDAY

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Swansea v Liverpool (12:30 BST)

There continues to be speculation over Francesco Guidolin’s future as Swans boss, with chairman Huw Jenkins meeting former United States coach Bob Bradley.

The Welsh club have had new American owners since Guidolin was given a new contract in May and, if they are not happy with the Italian and are looking to make a change then they should just do the decent thing and tell him.

Liverpool do not have a great record at the Liberty Stadium – they have only won once in five previous visits – but I think that will change on Saturday.

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Are Liverpool genuine title contenders?

Forget about the fact Liverpool could have scored 10 against Hull last week, it was their pressing that really impressed me. They were like a swarm of bees.

It takes quite a lot for me to go ‘whoah’ but that was probably the biggest single factor in them winning that game the way they did.

If Liverpool can play like that – and they might not be able to – against the top teams then it is going to be so difficult to beat them.

That remains to be seen but I do think they will have too much for Swansea, who put in an improved display against Manchester City last week, but still lost.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Elis’ prediction: It feels very disloyal not to back my own team but Liverpool have been brilliant so far this season. I think we will give them a game though. 1-2

Match preview

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Hull v Chelsea

I did not think Hull’s good start would last, and they have now taken just one point from their last four games.

The Tigers have had some difficult fixtures in that time of course – those three defeats came against Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United – but I think their fans now know what their season will really be all about.

Hull actually have some good players in their ranks, but they just haven’t got enough of them. They also still need to sort out Mike Phelan’s situation as caretaker manager.

Chelsea have issues of their own right now. They were torn apart by Arsenal and that game showed again how much they miss John Terry when he is out.

I am expecting to see an angry Chelsea on Saturday, though.

They have had a week to lick their wounds, and they have also had a week on the training ground to try to put things right.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Elis’ prediction: Chelsea really need this. Hull do too, obviously, but I think Chelsea will have too much for them. 0-2

Match preview

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Sunderland v West Brom

Sunderland will still be sore from the way they lost to a stoppage-time goal against Crystal Palace last week, after leading 2-0 with 30 minutes to go.

West Brom were on the other side of a late goal, snatching a draw against Stoke.

The Baggies will be difficult to break down but, away from home, I think teams see them as beatable and that is the way I am looking at this game too.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Elis’ prediction: 1-1

Match preview

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Watford v Bournemouth

Watford are very up and down this season.

I don’t know even know what their gameplan was in Monday’s defeat by Burnley, and that was the type of performance that would worry me as a manager, especially on the back of two very good results.

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Burnley 2-0 Watford: Hornets couldn’t handle Burnley – Troy Deeney

It is hard to know what to expect from the Hornets. Bournemouth had a good win against Everton last week so I think picking up a point here would be a decent result to follow that up with.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Elis’ prediction: I think this will be quite tight, but Bournemouth are on a bit of a roll. 1-2

Match preview

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West Ham v Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough have just lost three league games in a row but West Ham have outdone them with four on the trot.

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Hammers deserved defeat – Bilic

The Hammers looked all over the show at the back against Southampton last week and, at the moment, it looks like they were playing well above themselves last season when they finished seventh.

But Boro are probably the perfect team for them to play at the moment, because they don’t pose much of an attacking threat – with 5.8, they have had the fewest shots per game on average of any Premier League team so far this season.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Elis’ prediction: 0-1

Match preview

SUNDAY

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Man Utd v Stoke (12:00 BST)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was spot on when he explained why he dropped Wayne Rooney for last week’s 4-1 win over Leicester, and said he picked that team because it meant they had pace up alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

It worked and, if Mourinho sticks with the same side, I think it will work again against Stoke.

The Potters should have held on to beat West Brom last week but that is the way they are at the moment, and I cannot see them holding out at Old Trafford for 90 minutes.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Elis’ prediction: Surely United have got too much for Stoke. 3-0

Match preview

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Leicester v Southampton (14:15 BST)

Leicester had a good result in the Champions League, beating Porto, after being well beaten by Manchester United. They are still a good team, but they are not going to win every game this season.

Southampton were up against very poor West Ham side last week but they still had to win the game and a 3-0 victory away from home is a very good result in the Premier League.

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MOTD3: Southampton ‘settled’ but West Ham ‘undisciplined’

I think the Foxes will edge this one, although the signs are that Saints are improving under Claude Puel.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Elis’ prediction: 1-1

Match preview

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Tottenham v Man City (14:15 BST)

This is a big game between the top two and I am expecting an entertaining afternoon in north London.

I think John Stones will return to the centre of Manchester City’s defence after the way Aleksandar Kolarov played against Celtic on Wednesday, and he might be busy.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is very impressive in the way he sets his teams up and they are definitely going to test City’s back-line, especially Son Heung-min who is flying at the moment.

City are not going to go to White Hart Lane and sit back, though. They clearly pose an attacking threat too and, whatever the end result, I am pretty sure there will be a few goals.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-2

Elis’ prediction: I’m going for a high-scoring thriller. 2-2

Match preview

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Burnley v Arsenal (16:30 BST)

Burnley have only lost one of their first four games at home this season, but Arsenal are on a great run and seem to be gathering quite a bit of momentum.

Because of that, all of those ‘Wenger out’ banners are still in the garage at the moment.

At the moment I am hearing more about Arsene for England, so maybe we might see a ‘Wenger stay please – we love you really’. You never know.

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Burnley 2-0 Watford: Sean Dyche delighted with Clarets performance

Back to the game and I like the look of Arsenal at the moment – they were very comfortable in their wins against Chelsea and Basel.

They will have to match Burnley’s work ethic but, if they do that, I think the Gunners will make it five wins in a row in all competitions.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Elis’ prediction: 0-3

Match preview

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

Lawro’s best score: 140 points (week three v Laura Trott)

Lawro’s worst score: 30 points (week four v Dave Bautista)

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37485966