Premier League predictions: Lawro v The Greatest Dancer captain Oti Mabuse

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Sunday sees the first big test for Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when his in-form team take on Tottenham.

So far, Solskjaer has won all five of his games in charge in the Premier League and FA Cup – but how will he fare at Wembley?

BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson says: “Spurs have beaten United at home in each of the past three seasons, with most of their current team involved in those games.

“It just feels like Tottenham know they can turn United over. They beat them at Old Trafford in August, so I am backing them to do a rare double – for the first time since 1989-90.”

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

This week he is up against Strictly dancer Oti Mabuse, who is a dance captain on new BBC One show The Greatest Dancer.

Oti will make her predictions on Friday.

The Greatest Dancer captains: Matthew Morrison, Cheryl and Oti Mabuse

You can watch episode one of The Greatest Dancer now on iPlayer. Episode two is on BBC One at 20:10 GMT on Saturday.

Premier League predictions – week 22
ResultLawroOti
SATURDAY
West Ham v Arsenalx-x1-2
Brighton v Liverpoolx-x1-1
Burnley v Fulhamx-x2-0
Cardiff v Huddersfieldx-x2-0
Crystal Palace v Watfordx-x1-2
Leicester v Southamptonx-x2-0
Chelsea v Newcastlex-x2-0
SUNDAY
Everton v Bournemouthx-x2-1
Tottenham v Man Utdx-x2-1
MONDAY
Man City v Wolvesx-x3-0

Oti will make her predictions on Friday.

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 GMT unless stated.

SATURDAY

West Ham v Arsenal (12:30 GMT)

Normal service will be resumed this weekend in terms of Premier League teams going with their strongest line-ups after resting players last week – not just here, but across the division.

Both of these sides are safely into the next round of the FA Cup after beating lower league sides – I was at Blackpool for BBC Radio 5 live to see Arsenal cruise through.

FA Cup: Blackpool 0-3 Arsenal highlights

In the Premier League, the Hammers’ form has been very up and down in recent weeks, but the same could be said about the Gunners.

I am going for an Arsenal win here, but it is clear that Unai Emery still has a lot of work to do.

He has only been in charge for half a season and I think that, when they come up against the top teams, the same problems still remain.

The main issue is at the back. Would I back them defensively? No, absolutely not. Too many of their defenders are not Champions League level, which is the standard they need them to be at.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Brighton v Liverpool

Liverpool have got a problem in central defence with Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip injured, and I suspect Fabinho will play there – I can’t see what else Reds boss Jurgen Klopp would do.

Ki-Jana Hoever did great when he came on for Lovren against Wolves, but you would not want to chuck a 16-year-old in at Brighton because he would have Glenn Murray to contend with.

I know the Seagulls are not the most attacking team, and Liverpool turned them over easily at Amex Stadium last season, but Murray against a kid? No, he would have too much experience for him.

This is a really good test for Liverpool, on the back of their defeat by Manchester City and then their defeat at Molineux after Klopp decided the FA Cup was not in his top two priorities.

FA Cup: Wolves 2-1 Liverpool highlights

It would clearly be preferable for Liverpool to be at Anfield as they look to bounce back this weekend, especially because the thing about Brighton is that they are very good at stopping teams from playing.

Brighton have got a good home record too, which is why I am going for a draw here.

I don’t know whether this might be a little bump in the road for Liverpool but, if I am right and they drop points on Saturday, I would also back them to return to winning ways in their home games against Crystal Palace and Leicester before the end of the month.

There are 11 days between the Palace and Leicester matches and, because Liverpool are out of the FA Cup, Klopp will be able to give his players a few days off to rest their bodies, and clear their heads.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Burnley v Fulham

I have thought for a while that Burnley have clicked again and, including their FA Cup win over Barnsley, they now have three victories on the spin.

Clarets boss Sean Dyche would probably disagree but I can’t help thinking their Europa League campaign played its part in their poor start to the season.

Burnley just seem to have got their hunger and desire back, as well as their form – and I just cannot see Fulham getting anything here.

FA Cup: Fulham 1-2 Oldham Athletic highlights

The Cottagers’ home defeat by League Two side Oldham was one of the biggest upsets on third-round weekend.

Away from home, they have got the worst record in the top flight with just two points from 11 games, and I don’t see them adding to that tally at Turf Moor.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Cardiff v Huddersfield

Both of these teams are out of the FA Cup and just have their fight for Premier League survival to focus on now.

Cardiff have given themselves a chance, but it is hard to hold out much hope for Huddersfield, who have lost eight league games in a row and are sinking fast.

The Bluebirds have just lost their past two home games, to Tottenham and Manchester United, by a combined score of 8-1, but they have actually been on a half-decent run otherwise.

At the start of the season I watched Cardiff and thought ‘crikey, where are they going to get any points?’ but they have improved a lot and now this is a game that I look at, and expect them to win.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Crystal Palace v Watford

Crystal Palace’s last Premier League game saw them beat Wolves at Molineux, to follow up their famous victory at Manchester City before Christmas.

The Eagles’ home form has been a lot less convincing but they are still a team that is heading in the right direction and they should end up safely in mid-table.

Watford are inconsistent but they always seem to score goals, which is why I have a feeling they might edge this one.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Leicester v Southampton

Leicester’s FA Cup exit at Newport last weekend was probably the most perplexing of all the upsets suffered by Premier League clubs, especially if you are a Foxes fan.

Their win over Everton on New Year’s Day had taken them up to seventh, and they are clearly not going to go down.

FA Cup: Newport County 2-1 Leicester City highlights

We can only speculate about Claude Puel’s reasons for changing his team so much on Sunday. It is all a little bit strange.

Maybe his remit is that he has to finish in the top 10, so he was thinking the FA Cup might get in the way of that?

On paper, Southampton’s form has dropped off a bit with one point from their past three games.

They worry me a little bit, because their squad needs some strengthening, but new Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has got something about him which helps, and I think they will be all right.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Chelsea v Newcastle (17:30 GMT)

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez got a great welcome at Anfield when he went back with the Magpies over Christmas, but I don’t think he will get the same sort of reception on Saturday at another of his former clubs.

Sadly for Benitez, I can see him being on the wrong end of a similar result – although I do not see Chelsea hammering Newcastle the way that Liverpool did.

It looks like the Blues are going to get a new striker in January, we just don’t know who it will be yet.

They need one because they have been a bit short of goals recently but, in the meantime, I still think they will be too strong for the Magpies.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

SUNDAY

Everton v Bournemouth (14:15 GMT)

Both of these teams have been in poor form recently – and Everton’s results at home in the past few weeks are probably the most worrying thing for boss Marco Silva.

The Toffees have only won one of their past eight league games, taking only two points from their past four games at Goodison Park.

Everton were too ‘nervous and anxious’ – Silva

Bournemouth can be quite inconsistent anyway but they are more down than up at the moment – and have lost nine of their past 12 league matches.

That run of results has seen both teams fall out of the the top half of the table, but they are still capable of a top-10 finish.

I do think that Everton, in particular, will come good at some stage because they have some very good players.

Silva just has to work out what his best team is – and this might be the fixture they need.

The club has had a good week anyway with the news about their ambitious plans for their new stadium, and that might kick them on to produce a good performance in front of their own fans.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Tottenham v Man Utd (16:30 GMT)

This is a big test for United caretaker Solskjaer and it will be interesting to see whether he will be as attack-minded at Wembley as in his first five games.

It is quite possible United will not have the same amount of possession they have enjoyed in those matches – if not, they will need a different approach.

Tottenham’s methods, meanwhile, are tried and tested.

There was more news about Tottenham’s stadium this week but if it is not going to be ready until March, they are better off staying at Wembley until the end of the season.

Moving grounds mid-season is something no Premier League team has done before, let alone one that might be challenging for the title at that late stage of the campaign and also trying to progress in the Champions League.

If Spurs can wait until the summer to move, then they should do.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

MONDAY

Man City v Wolves (20:00 GMT)

City scored seven against Rotherham, nine against Burton – so I guess they will be going for 11 against Wolves.

Despite the return to form of Pep Guardiola’s side, I think Wolves will go to Etihad Stadium in confident mood, especially because they gave the defending champions such a good game in a 1-1 draw at Molineux in August.

Highlights: Manchester City 7-0 Rotherham United

In the same way that Liverpool’s last-gasp winner in the Merseyside derby definitely spurred them on the next few games, I really do feel that Sadio Mane hitting the post for the Reds against City has had a similar effect on Guardiola’s side.

That game, which City won 2-1, was so finely balanced and if that Mane shot had gone in, I think Liverpool would have won it.

You only have to look at City’s results in the two games they have played since then to see how much that result has lifted them, and I just see them kicking on now. The blip they had over Christmas seems a long time ago already.

Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool: Pep Guardiola proud of ‘incredible’ players

Wolves, who are ninth, are looking good for a top-10 finish, and that is not just down to what we have seen from them in the first half of the season.

In the past their owners have always kicked on from a position of strength, which is the way to do it – and they looked to do that again when they tried to sign Tammy Abraham.

If they do stay in the top half that would be a really good first season back for them, and you could envisage them really building on that in the summer.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

How did Lawro do last time?

In the third round of the FA Cup, Lawro picked the right result in 14 of the 32 ties, including one exact result.

In the four ties where he went up against Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac [Tranmere 0-7 Tottenham, Everton 2-1 Lincoln, Blackpool 0-3 Arsenal and Wolves 2-1 Liverpool], Lawro got three correct results with no spot-on scores, while Annie also got three correct results but with one exact score.

From the last round of Premier League games at the start of January, Lawro got four correct results, including one perfect score, from 10 matches, for a total of 70 points.

He was beaten by rapper Yatez, who got eight correct results, with one exact score, for a total of 110 points.

Total scores after week 21
Lawro1,800
Guests1,670
Lawro v Guests
P21W10D2L9
+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
TEAMPWDLPTS+/-
=1Man City21183057+1
=1Man Utd21183057+5
3Liverpool21138047-2
4Tottenham21136245-1
5Chelsea21134443-1
=6Everton21111934+5
=6Leicester21104734+1
8Arsenal21103833-3
9Newcastle2185829+6
10Fulham21831027+9
11Burnley2166924+5
=12Bournemouth216510230
=12Crystal Palace21651023+2
=12Watford21721223-4
=15West Ham21631221-5
=15Wolves21631221-6
17Southampton21521417+1
=18Brighton21251411-5
=18Cardiff21251411-1
20Huddersfield212415100

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2018-19

SCOREGUEST LEADERBOARD
160David Ginola
140The 1975’s Ross MacDonald
120Joe Thomas
110Yatez
90Jim Glennie, Karl Pilkington, Chris Stark
86Lawro (average after 21 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)

Premier League predictions: Lawro v The Greatest Dancer captain Oti Mabuse

Sunday sees the first big test for Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when his in-form team take on Tottenham. So far, Solskjaer has won all five of his games in charge in the Premier League and FA Cup – but how will he fare at Wembley?

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