It’s Christmas time, don’t let the bells end! Lawro takes on The Darkness singer Justin Hawkins

Lawro's predictions

West Brom manager Alan Pardew is still waiting for his first win after five games in charge – will he finally get to celebrate a victory when his struggling side host Everton on Boxing Day?

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson says: “You can see Pardew is trying to change the way the Baggies play and be a little bit more attacking.

They lost 3-1 at Stoke on Saturday but in all honesty, when the score was 2-1, they had quite a few chances to equalise and I do think their luck in front of goal will change soon.”

Lawro is going for a 1-0 West Brom win – do you agree? You can make your own predictions now, take on Lawro and other fans, create your own league and try to make it to the top of the table by playing the new-look BBC Sport Predictor game.

Table showing the overall leaderboard of the BBC predictions game, and Lawro's position in it, after week 19<!–

Lawro scored 80 points in week 19, which meant he climbed to 3,072nd place out of more than 335,000 users.

He will be making a prediction for all 380 top-flight games this season, against a variety of guests.

This week, Lawro takes on Justin Hawkins, singer with rock band The Darkness.

Hawkins supports Manchester United and Norwich City “for boyhood glory dreams and geographical reasons” and used to play a lot of football himself.

He told BBC Sport: “I spent many happy years as a striker for New House FC in the Lowestoft Sunday League. They were great men, and I miss them all terribly.

The Darkness<!–

Justin (left) and The Darkness. Their latest album, Pinewood Smile, made the top 10 in October

“I stopped when I moved away to live with my wife and child in Switzerland, but I feel like I could have done a John Wark and gradually dropped into midfield, defence, goalkeeper and finally assistant to the manager.

“I used to spend Sunday mornings chasing down loose balls, feeding off scraps and rebounds from my strike partner James Hurren. I ran about a lot, often to no avail. But I’ll never forget the feeling of scoring a header on my debut in Beccles somewhere.

“I just nodded in a beautiful cross from Craig ‘Cheese’ Aldred that landed right on my face and made it impossible to miss. The lads said they’ve never seen someone look so happy, despite the treacherous pitch conditions. It was worth contracting trench foot.

“As you can tell, I’m fond of these memories.”

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


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


Tottenham v Southampton<!–

Tottenham v Southampton (12:30 GMT)

The vultures are circling a little bit around Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino, whose side have won only one of their past 10 Premier League games.

It is a tough ask for Saints to get back to winning ways in this game, although going to Wembley might help them – it definitely concentrates the mind because it is a special place and different to going to another ground.

Not many teams have gone there this season and not put on some kind of performance – apart from Liverpool and Stoke.

I still think Tottenham will win, though. Their win and performance against Burnley on Saturday kind of lifted the gloom that had just started to descend on their season.

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Hat-trick hero Kane is amazing – Pochettino

In many ways the bigger story for Southampton on Boxing Day might be where will Virgil van Dijk be?

The Dutch defender was left on the bench against Chelsea in midweek and did not even make the squad for Saturday’s draw with Huddersfield.

If the decision is tactical, which is how Pellegrino has explained it, then fine. But I don’t get how leaving him out of the squad completely is tactical?

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Pellegrino calls for Saints consistency

Everyone knows there is history here, with Van Dijk wanting to leave last summer.

If the speculation over his future is affecting him again, then Pellegrino might be better off just coming out and saying it, because the questions are going to keep coming for as long as he is left out – especially if they lose against Spurs.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Justin’s prediction: 2-1

Bournemouth v West Ham<!–

Bournemouth v West Ham

Bournemouth have gone seven league games without a win and I do find it amazing that their boss Eddie Howe gets such an easy ride when his team are struggling.

Any other Premier League manager would be getting panned if their team was in the relegation zone now, including the promoted clubs.

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It was always going to be difficult – Howe

I am not saying I think Howe should be getting criticism – just that I am surprised he is not, based on what we see happen with almost every other top-flight club.

He has done a really good job there, winning promotion, keeping them up in 2015-16 and then finishing ninth last season – but even he and his players are saying they are in a relegation battle now.

Premier League - bottom six snapshot: Newcastle in 15th, Crystal Palace in 16th, West Ham in 17th, Bournemouth in 18th, West Brom in 19th and Swansea in 20th<!–

West Ham are only one place above them, after their defeat at home to Newcastle on Saturday in what was a very strange game.

I think it will only be a blip after the Hammers’ recent good run, but it is a little bit concerning when teams who have been down at the bottom lose games you expect them to win because it can be a case of ‘here we go again’.

It probably helps a bit that they are playing Bournemouth next, though. Neither side are great defensively, so I am going to go for a draw.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Justin’s prediction: 0-1

Chelsea v Brighton<!–

Chelsea v Brighton

Brighton had gone seven games without a win until they beat Watford on Saturday.

Chris Hughton’s side do seem to have the knack of getting a result like that – when they are on a bad run and you look at a game and think ‘they need to win this one’, they tend to win it, which is good news.

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‘Big win’ for Brighton pleases Hughton

The Seagulls will go to Stamford Bridge and sit in and try to make it difficult for Chelsea, but I don’t see it working this time.

Chelsea could not find a way past Everton on Saturday, and had to settle for a point. I am backing them to create a lot more chances against Brighton and, with Alvaro Morata back from suspension, they will have a cutting edge too.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Justin’s prediction: Easy. 4-0

Huddersfield v Stoke<!–

Huddersfield v Stoke

Huddersfield have taken seven points from their past four games, which is a great return for them.

Like Brighton, Stoke got a much-needed win on Saturday and I like the way Potters chairman Peter Coates dealt with the speculation over Mark Hughes’ future while they were struggling.

As well as playing down talk of Hughes getting fired when he spoke to the media, Coates met Hughes for lunch and told him he had his support. That is what you want as a manager, and it meant Hughes could get on with doing his job.

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Hughes thanks Stoke owners for ‘fantastic support’

A point would be a decent result for Stoke, and for Huddersfield too, because it would keep them ticking over.

I still have not tipped the Terriers to win a game this season, and I am not going to do it for the sake of it, but I do think they will get something from this game.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Justin’s prediction: 1-1

Man Utd v Burnley<!–

Man Utd v Burnley

I felt that Burnley’s defeat by Tottenham was coming, because they had been on such a great run.

The three goals the Clarets conceded on Saturday was as many as the other nine Premier League teams to have played at Turf Moor this season had managed between them, which shows how good Sean Dyche’s side have been.

Burnley hung on for a draw when they went to Old Trafford last season, despite United having 37 shots at goal.

I think United will find a way through this time, although they will still be sore at the way they dropped points in Saturday’s draw with Leicester.

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Mourinho criticises ‘childish’ Man Utd

It was a debacle at the end of that game by United, and very unlike their manager Jose Mourinho that they did not do something about the fact Chris Smalling was struggling before Harry MaGuire scored the Foxes’ equaliser.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Justin’s prediction: I don’t think this will be very inspiring to watch. 3-1

Watford v Leicester<!–

Watford v Leicester

Watford’s poor run continued with their defeat at Brighton on Saturday, and they have now taken only one point from their last six matches.

Leicester deserve some credit for the way they kept going to get a point against Manchester United, who should have been home and hosed against them.

I am going with the Foxes to win this one. Jamie Vardy has started scoring again, and he could make the difference here.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Justin’s prediction: I love Watford, but I have a feeling this one will go against them. 1-2

West Brom v Everton<!–

West Brom v Everton

Sam Allardyce keeps on doing what we know he does, which is make his teams extremely difficult to beat.

You could tell from his big smile at the final whistle on Saturday that he took great delight from stopping Chelsea – and that draw means he has picked up 11 points from his first five league games as Everton manager.

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Allardyce ‘delighted’ with ‘terrific’ point

That run won’t last forever, though, especially because Everton have not been carrying much of an attacking threat. The ball has been running for them quite a bit too.

Alan Pardew has not had the same impact since taking charge of the Baggies, but I am backing his side to upset the apple cart this time.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-0

Justin’s prediction: 0-0

Liverpool v Swansea<!–

Liverpool v Swansea (17:30 GMT)

Swansea caretaker manager Leon Britton should still be in charge for this game – unless someone else gets an unexpected present on Christmas Day.

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Draw shows Swansea’s great character – Britton

The Swans will be lifted by the way they fought back to pick up a point against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but I am not sure it will help them much at Anfield.

I don’t know how Liverpool will look back on their 3-3 draw against Arsenal on Friday. They might think they did well to get out with a point, which is a bit ridiculous when you consider they were 2-0 up.

This game should be very different, and it is all about whether Liverpool can break Swansea down – the Reds defence will not be tested in the same way it was at Emirates Stadium.

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It feels strange to only get a point – Klopp

I think Liverpool will get some goals, but my only reservation would be if their manager Jurgen Klopp looks ahead to their next game, against Leicester on 30 December.

If he tries to rest players against Swansea so they can face the Foxes then they are asking for trouble.

Klopp needs to start with his strongest team on Boxing Day – that way, he can try to get the game won as early as possible and then start taking players off if he has to.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Justin’s prediction: Liverpool will show no seasonal mercy. 5-0


Newcastle v Man City<!–

Newcastle v Man City (19:45 GMT)

Newcastle put in a performance against West Ham that was very unlike their manager Rafa Benitez, and threw caution to the wind.

I am not sure if he only did that because of the players he had available, but it worked.

The Magpies got a really good result to end their run of nine games without a victory and, with leaders Manchester City up next, they really needed that win.

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Newcastle needed this win – Benitez

I think Benitez will revert to his usual approach for this game, though.

He is very good at negating the opposition in matches like this but, even so, I do not see Newcastle stopping City’s winning run.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Justin’s prediction: 0-2

Premier League table - top six snapshot: Man City in 1st, Man Utd 2nd, Chelsea 3rd, Liverpool 4th, Tottenham 5th and Arsenal in 6th place<!–


Crystal Palace v Arsenal<!–

Crystal Palace v Arsenal (20:00 GMT)

Crystal Palace got another positive result with their point at Swansea on Saturday and it is clear Roy Hodgson’s methods are working.

Like Sam Allardyce, Hodgson is very good at setting his teams up to deny the opposition space and making them very difficult to beat.

The Eagles turned Arsenal over 3-0 in this fixture at the end of last season, when Allardyce was in charge.

Palace’s fans will make plenty of noise again because they always really get behind their team – the atmosphere at Selhurst Park is one of the best in the top flight.

Arsenal also remain extremely inconsistent, but a repeat of that result from March is asking a lot from Palace despite their recent form, and I am going to go for a draw.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Justin’s prediction: 0-2

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan

How did Lawro do last time?

In the last round of Premier League games, Lawro got five correct results, including one perfect score, from 10 matches, for a total of 80 points.

He beat singer-songwriter Craig David who got four correct results, with no perfect scores, giving him a total of 40 points.

*Foster and Cram both provided predictions on week one, but only Foster’s score contributes to the guest total.

**Anderson and Moeen both provided predictions on week nine, but only Anderson’s score contributes to the guest total.

***Witter and Johnson both provided predictions on week 17, but only Johnson’s score contributes to the guest total.

Lawro’s best score: 150 points (week eight v Wretch 32)

Lawro’s worst score: 40 points (week four v Umenyiora and Bell, and week five v Non Stanford)

Lawro's League Table<!–

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