Premier League festive predictions: Lawro v singer and Manchester United fan Rick Astley

Lawro's predictions

Liverpool are top of the table this Christmas but the big game on 26 December is second-placed Leicester against third-placed Manchester United.

Will the Foxes or United challenge the Reds for the Premier League title in 2021? Or will it be someone else?

"Along with Manchester City, United seem the most likely team to me to run Liverpool close," said BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson. "After a slow start to the season, they have just started to get it together.

"United will be a threat to Liverpool, and Manchester City will be there or thereabouts too. They have got too much quality not to be."

Snapshot of the top of the Premier League: 1st Liverpool, 2nd Leicester, 3rd Man Utd, 4th Everton, 5th Chelsea & 6th Tottenham
Manchester City are eighth, with 23 points from 13 games

Lawro is making predictions for all 380 Premier League matches this season, against a variety of guests.

This weekend, he is up against singer Rick Astley, whose new festive single 'Love this Christmas' is out now.

Rick Astley
Rick reached number two at Christmas 1987 with a cover of Nat King Cole's classic 'When I fall in love'

Astley performed 'Every One of Us' at last weekend's BBC Sport's Personality of the Year awards - his song was used to launch 2020's Unsung Hero awards and raise money for Children In Need.

"It was so weird on the one hand, because you are so used to seeing 10,000 people at SPOTY, but it was still a great night and they threw everything they could at it to make it work as well as possible in the circumstances," he told BBC Sport.

Astley is a Manchester United fan and the last time he took on Lawro, in 2016, he revealed he thought he might be a jinx because his first few visits to Old Trafford saw them lose.

He told BBC Sport: "I don't think I'm a real jinx, but funnily enough I was talking about that to someone last weekend because [United striker] Marcus Rashford was coming into the building for SPOTY.

"I would have loved to have met him properly - I have spoken to him very briefly before at the club's training ground in Carrington - and obviously I had see watched him play that day in United's win over Leeds before he came over, so I thought he'd be in a good mood.

"Then I thought 'hang on, you are being daft - you can't just go and say hello to people because everyone is trying to observe social distancing', which is why we were doing the show that way in the first place.

"So I didn't talk to him, but it was brilliant to see Marcus recognised for his work to raise awareness of child poverty in the UK with a special award.

Rashford explains his drive to help children in poverty

"Premier League footballers are usually among the first people in society who are pointed at because of the money they earn, especially when one of them does something stupid.

"But you have to remember a lot of them are very young which can distort your behaviour, I can relate to that a bit with the music industry where you can have a hit record out and a year later your bank manager is saying 'you'd better sit down' if it goes really well.

"So I can understand when the money side of it turns players' heads, but I think it is really good that we have had so many positive role models emerge in football in the past few years and tackling some important topics, not just Marcus but someone like Raheem Sterling at Manchester City as well.

"As professional athletes they are very privileged to earn what they do and are quite sheltered from the realities of life, but listening to Rashford it is clear he can relate to being a kid in a situation where life is not treating you well, and you are not getting the opportunities or - in his case - even getting enough food.

"He's experienced it, and seen the difference between the haves and the have nots in Manchester, which is quite stark. It's the same in all big cities of course, but I can relate to it with Manchester because I grew up close by and saw that for myself.

"So it's important for him to speak out - and I'm really pleased he's been recognised for what he has done."

You can still download the charity single 'Every One of Us', by Rick Astley featuring The Unsung Heroes, with proceeds going to Children in Need.

Premier League predictions - week 15
ResultLawroRick
SATURDAY, 26 DECEMBER
Leicester v Man Utd2-20-22-3
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace3-02-01-1
Fulham v Southampton0-02-10-2
Arsenal v Chelsea3-11-10-3
Man City v Newcastle2-03-03-1
Sheff Utd v Everton0-11-10-2
SUNDAY, 27 DECEMBER
Leeds v Burnley1-02-12-1
West Ham v Brighton2-22-12-0
Liverpool v West Brom1-13-05-0
Wolves v Tottenham1-11-11-3

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

LAWRO'S PREDICTIONS

SATURDAY

Leicester v Man Utd

Leicester 2-2 Man Utd

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Rick's prediction: 2-3

Match report

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace

Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Rick's prediction: 1-1

Match report

Fulham v Southampton

Fulham 0-0 Southampton

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Rick's prediction: 0-2

Match report

Arsenal v Chelsea

Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Rick's prediction: 0-3

Match report

Man City v Newcastle

Man City 2-0 Newcastle

Lawro's prediction: 3-0

Rick's prediction: 3-1

Match report

Sheff Utd v Everton

Sheff Utd 0-1 Everton

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Rick's prediction: 0-2

Match report

SUNDAY

Leeds v Burnley

Leeds 1-0 Burnley

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Rick's prediction: 2-1

Match report

West Ham v Brighton

West Ham 2-2 Brighton

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Rick's prediction: 2-0

Match report

Liverpool v West Brom

Liverpool 1-1 West Brom

Lawro's prediction: 3-0

Rick's prediction: 5-0

Match report

Wolves v Tottenham

Wolves 1-1 Tottenham

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Rick's prediction: 1-3

Match report

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

Last weekend, Lawro got four correct results from 10 matches, with no exact scores, for a total of 40 points.

He was beaten by singer Becky Hill, who got five correct results, including one exact score, for a total of 90 points.

Lawro's League Table graphic
+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO'S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
TEAMPWDLPTS+/-
1Chelsea14112135+4
2Man City13103033+6
3Man Utd131021320
4Liverpool1494131-3
=5Leeds1491428+9
=5Leicester1491428-3
=5Tottenham1491425+1
8Arsenal1371522+7
=9Brighton1452717+8
=9Southampton1452717-2
=9Wolves1445517+2
=12Burnley1344516+4
=12Newcastle13517160
=14Everton1436515-10
=14West Ham1443715-4
16Crystal Palace1433812-3
17Aston Villa1224610-8
18Sheff Utd1422108+2
19Fulham1410133-1
20West Brom1402122-1

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2020-21

ScoreGuest
110Sister Bliss, Amy Macdonald, Steve White
90Adam Devonshire, Becky Hill
80Raye
75Lawro (average after 14 weeks)
60Celeste, Caroline Weir
50Declan McKenna, Paul Smith, DJ Target
40Gavin 'Mo' Edgeley
20Dougie Payne
0Rema
Total scores after week 14
Lawro1,050
Guests920
Lawro v Guests
P14W8D0L6