Premier League predictions: Lawro v Yatez

Lawro's predictions

There is one standout match among the New Year fixtures - Thursday's game between champions Manchester City and leaders Liverpool.

The Reds remain unbeaten this season in the league and hold a seven-point lead over Pep Guardiola's side, who have lost three of their past five games.

BBC Sport's football expert Mark Lawrenson says: "Regarding City, the circumstances coming into the match highlight how big Riyad Mahrez's penalty miss against Liverpool was.

"Back then it was harder to gauge the magnitude, but now it's: 'Crikey!'"

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

This week's guest is Birmingham rapper Yatez, whose new football-themed song Top Striker- which references players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Paul Scholes and Alan Shearer - is out now.

Yatez
Yatez's favourite time as an Aston Villa fan came when Martin O'Neill was manager. "It was the days of Olof Mellberg, Gareth Barry and James Milner - when we were a top-six team. It would be nice if those times came back around soon"

Yatez is an Aston Villa fan who feels they are heading in the right direction under manager Dean Smith, but he will not be happy until they are back in the Premier League.

"Things are better than they have been, but it is not back to normal for me yet," he told BBC Sport. "We are a big club and we need to be back up there.

"I am a big fan of Dean Smith - I like his attacking style of play and he has really lifted the mood around the club since he took over in October.

"I am hoping he can strengthen our defence in the January transfer window. Attack-wise, we are already one of the best, if not the best in the Championship.

"If we do go up this season, then I think we will do OK. It is just getting promoted that is hard because it is such a tough division to get out of."

Premier League predictions - week 21
ResultLawroYatez
TUESDAY
Everton v Leicester 0-12-01-2
Arsenal v Fulham4-12-03-1
Cardiff v Tottenham0-30-20-2
WEDNESDAY
Bournemouth v Watford3-31-12-2
Chelsea v Southampton 0-02-03-0
Huddersfield v Burnley1-21-10-1
West Ham v Brighton2-22-02-1
Wolves v Crystal Palace0-22-00-1
Newcastle v Man Utd0-20-21-3
THURSDAY
Man City v Liverpoolx-x1-12-1

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 19:45 GMT unless stated.

TUESDAY

Everton v Leicester graphic

Everton 0-1 Leicester

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Yatez's prediction: 1-2

Match report

Arsenal v Fulham graphic

Arsenal 4-1 Fulham

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Yatez's prediction: 3-1

Match report

Cardiff v Tottenham

Cardiff 0-3 Tottenham

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Yatez's prediction: 0-2

Match report

WEDNESDAY

Bournemouth v Watford

Bournemouth 3-3 Watford

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Yatez's prediction: 2-2

Match report

Chelsea v Southampton

Chelsea 0-0 Southampton

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Yatez's prediction: 3-0

Match report

Huddersfield v Burnley

Huddersfield 1-2 Burnley

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Yatez's prediction: 0-1 - Burnley play in the right colours so I've got to go with them.

Match report

West Ham v Brighton graphic

West Ham 2-2 Brighton

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Yatez's prediction: 2-1. I kind of feel like I've got to back all the teams that play in claret and blue now. To be fair, I would have backed them to win this one anyway.

Match report

Wolves v Crystal Palace graphic

Wolves 0-2 Crystal Palace

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Yatez's prediction: 0-1

Match report

Newcastle v Manchester United graphic

Newcastle 0-2 Man Utd

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Yatez's prediction: 1-3. I don't think United have got a chance of making the top four under Solskjaer, but I have this crazy vision in my head that, if they can get past Paris St-Gemain in the last 16 of the Champions League - which is possible, then they have got a sniff of going all the way in Europe. After what he did, scoring the winner in the 1999 final, it would be an amazing story if Solskjaer took over and repeated that glory as United manager.

Match report

THURSDAY

Manchester City v Liverpool graphic

Man City v Liverpool (20:00 GMT)

Super Thursday! It's a massive fixture.

Because it's Liverpool, Pep Guardiola's side will need to win. The Reds, on the other hand, will be happy with either one of two results - the win or draw.

Of course, they won't play for the draw, but a point will make City's attempt to close the seven-point gap a lot more difficult.

It'll not be an end-to-end encounter - it'll be cagey. It'll be very different to some of last season's clashes between the sides, but similar to their first meeting this season when there were relatively few chances during the 0-0 draw.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will want his potent forward line to get a few opportunities, but if you're either side would you go gung-ho knowing you leave yourself open to the counter-attack?

These two teams will have massive respect for each other's attack, and because of that I think this will be a stalemate.

A 1-1 scoreline will be far better for Liverpool - privately Klopp will be thinking his team will have a better chance of winning the league if they don't get beaten.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Yatez's prediction: 2-1 - this is a tough one. I feel like City have to win it otherwise it is Liverpool's title, because it has been slipping away from them. I think it will be close, but I think City will edge it.

How did Lawro do last time?

From the last set of Premier League games on 29 and 30 December, Lawro got six correct results, including one perfect score, from 10 matches, for a total of 90 points.

He beat Wolf Alice bassist Theo Ellis, who got two correct results, with one exact score, for a total of 50 points.

Total scores after week 20
Lawro1,730
Guests1,560
Lawro v Guests
P20W10D2L8
Lawro's League Table
+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO'S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
TEAMPWDLPTS+/-
1Man City20182056+1
2Man Utd20173054+4
3Liverpool20137046-2
4Tottenham20126242-1
5Chelsea20124440-1
6Leicester20104634+2
7Everton20101931+3
8Arsenal2093830-2
9Newcastle2085729+6
10Fulham2083927+9
11Burnley2065923+7
=11Crystal Palace2065923+3
13Bournemouth20641022-1
=13Watford20711222-4
=15West Ham20531218-4
=15Wolves20531218-8
17Southampton205213170
=18Brighton20251311-5
=18Cardiff20251311-2
20Huddersfield20231590

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2018-19

SCOREGUEST LEADERBOARD
160David Ginola
140The 1975's Ross MacDonald
120Joe Thomas
90Jim Glennie, Karl Pilkington, Chris Stark
86Lawro (average after 19 weeks)
80Richard Ashcroft, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg James, Mark Wahlberg
60Idris Elba, Dolph Lundgren, Mumford & Sons, Dillian Whyte
50Bring Me The Horizon, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Theo Ellis.
40Tom Grennan, Josh Warrington

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

Lawro's worst score: 40 points (week three v Idris Elba, week eight v Chris Stark and week 12 v Mumford & Sons)

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