12162017

Lawro’s predictions v England cricket captain Joe Root

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has not lost any of his five matches against Tottenham since he took charge of the Reds in 2015, but can he continue that impressive record when he takes his team to Wembley?

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson says: “Liverpool beat Spurs pretty comfortably at Anfield last season and Klopp has got two draws against them at White Hart Lane – including his first game in charge.

“As well as being unbeaten against Tottenham, I think his team have always generally been the better side in those matches.

“Winning at Wembley is a big ask, because Spurs are playing well, but I would back Klopp to come away with something on Sunday.”

Lawro is going for a 1-1 draw – 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.

Lawro week eight<!–

Lawro scored 150 points in week eight, which saw him climb to 3,105th place out of more than 235,000 users.

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

Lawro’s opponent for this weekend’s fixtures is England cricket captain Joe Root.

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Premier League predictions: Joe Root predicts goals galore in Spurs v Liverpool game

Root is a Sheffield United fan who is enjoying his side’s fine start to the season in the Championship, and he also likes to play a bit of football.

The England team often start training sessions with a game of five-a-side, and Root says he likes to get among the goals.

“I would say I am in the Gary Lineker mould,” he told BBC Sport. “I stay right at the top and am just basically quite deadly in front of goal.

“There are some really good footballers on the England team – Jos Buttler always does well and Jimmy Anderson has his moments – he can be quite feisty and there is a bit of Dennis Wise in him on occasions, and a bit of Vinnie Jones there as well.

“There are a lot of guys who think they are better than they are, though. Sam Billings is a bit of a show pony – he gives out all the chat and he is a Fifa master but, when it comes to actually playing, he takes too many touches and ruins the flow of the game.

“But it is all good fun and we really enjoy it – it gets us going and it is a great way to start a training session because everyone is right up for it when we come to the cricket.”

Joe Root shoots during an England training session<!–

Root takes aim with a Lineker-like shot

You can hear more from Root on Football Focus at 12:00 BST on Saturday on BBC One and the BBC Sport website.

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

Remember you can try to beat Lawro by playing the BBC Sport Predictor game.

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

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

FRIDAY

West Ham v Brighton<!–

West Ham v Brighton (20:00 BST)

I do feel like West Ham have turned the corner since the start of the season, even if Andy Carroll’s red card probably cost them victory at Burnley last week.

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‘Mixed emotions’ for Bilic after late equaliser

Manuel Lanzini is fully fit, which makes a big difference, and I don’t worry about their form at London Stadium any more either.

Brighton also shot themselves in the foot last time out, because they had put in a decent performance before Bruno gave away a last-minute penalty that allowed Everton to equalise.

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Hughton disappointed with Everton draw

The Seagulls are still doing OK, though. I look at them and think they are going to be involved in the relegation battle, but they have enough about them to sneak out of it.

They are aiming for 17th place and they are not going to try to get it by playing open football.

I am expecting them to make things difficult for the Hammers on Friday night, but I still think Slaven Bilic’s side will find a way through.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Root’s prediction: 1-0

SATURDAY

Chelsea v Watford<!–

Chelsea v Watford (12:30 BST)

If Chelsea boss Antonio Conte thinks he is short of numbers, why did he let so many players – 26 in total – go out on loan?

There must have been one or two there about whom he might have thought, ‘you know what, these lads might just train on’.

They sold some squad players too, like Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Ake, and I don’t get it – especially because you are not worried about money when you are at that football club. Why not wait until January?

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‘Some managers cry & cry’ – Conte & Mourinho exchange tense words

Chelsea worried me a little bit in their defeat by Crystal Palace last week because they did not really turn up, but I don’t think they have suddenly become a bad side.

It is more that, with the squad they have got, they must already know that their chances of defending their Premier League title are slim.

Watford are having a good time of things at the moment, especially away from home, where they have won three and drawn one of their four games.

Those victories came at Bournemouth, Southampton and Swansea; it is asking a lot for them to go to Stamford Bridge and do the same.

Also, unlike in their game against Arsenal last week, Watford will face a team this week who will put their foot in, rather than rolling over and asking for their tummy to be tickled.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Root’s prediction: 3-0

Huddersfield v Man Utd<!–

Huddersfield v Man Utd

I have said it before, but Huddersfield do not just need a win – they need some goals.

The Terriers have only scored once in their past six league games, but have started conceding them – four against Tottenham, then two versus a Swansea side who had been struggling.

But they are up against Manchester United at home on Saturday, so if you are Huddersfield manager David Wagner, what do you do?

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Wagner frustrated with ‘unlucky’ Terriers

His philosophy when I saw his side play in the Championship was to play with wide players, and people poured forward, which was great and ultimately got them promotion.

Do they do the same against United? You are asking for trouble if you do, so those goals might have to wait.

Wagner might be best off following the example of Sam Allardyce, when he was Bolton boss after they had just been promoted. He put each game into a category – ones they had to win and ones where they try to get a point.

This is definitely the latter for Huddersfield. They start the game with a point, can they finish with one?

I am backing United to go there and win, but the question is how hard will Huddersfield make them work for it?

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Root’s prediction: 1-2

Man City v Burnley<!–

Man City v Burnley

Burnley have done brilliantly this season and I don’t think even their most optimistic fan would have thought they would be sitting seventh in the table having lost only one of their first eight games.

The Clarets have done well when they have gone to the top clubs this season and they are used to this kind of game, where the opposition will have most of the ball.

You can almost close your eyes when you are watching Sean Dyche’s side and know that, when you open them, all of his players will be in position – which shows how well he organises them.

But the way Manchester City are playing, they are creating chances from all over the pitch.

City have so many match-winners, it is going to be very hard for Burnley to stop them.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Root’s prediction: Apologies to [Burnley fan] Jimmy Anderson, but I am going for a big City win. 4-1

Newcastle v Crystal Palace<!–

Newcastle v Crystal Palace

Palace finally got off the mark by beating Chelsea last week and you could see in that game the effect Roy Hodgson has had on the players on the training ground.

The Eagles were also buoyed by Wilfried Zaha returning from injury and being extremely lively, as well as scoring the winner.

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Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea: Roy Hodgson delighted for match-winner Wilfried Zaha

Now there will be an expectation that they go to St James’ Park and get another positive result, but I think this is an extremely difficult game for them.

Newcastle should really have seen out their game against Southampton last week. They had to settle for one point instead of three, but I was still very impressed by them.

Of the three promoted teams, they are starting to look the most comfortable and – surprise, surprise – they have got a manager who is extremely experienced in the Premier League.

Magpies boss Rafael Benitez moulds teams and makes the best out of the players he has got, which is why he is getting some good results.

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Benitez ‘really pleased’ with Newcastle performance

Hodgson follows a similar template, in that he organises his side and makes them hard to beat, but he has only just taken over so he is obviously a little bit behind Benitez in terms of where his side are at the moment.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Root’s prediction: 2-0

Stoke v Bournemouth<!–

Stoke v Bournemouth

From looking at their squads, I did not expect either of these teams to struggle this season, but they are both in the bottom four.

Stoke had the temerity to score twice against Manchester City when they were 3-0 down last weekend but they were not back in the game for long, and ended up conceding seven.

Bournemouth lost again, 1-0 at Tottenham, but at least they put in a better defensive performance.

Of the two teams, I am more worried about the Cherries.

They have some very good players, and with signings like Jermain Defoe, I was expecting more progress from them in their third season in the top flight, but it has not happened for them yet.

It is brilliant that Eddie Howe is allowed to just get on with his job without being told he is going to lose it, but he needs his side to start playing the way they are capable of, and quickly.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Root’s prediction: 1-1

Swansea v Leicester<!–

Swansea v Leicester

Leicester’s owners seem to think that just because they won the league a couple of years ago, they have the divine right to be up there at the top of the table.

They spent a few quid in the summer and have made a poor start but I don’t think sacking Craig Shakespeare is a sign of a sensibly run club.

It seemed a bit hasty to me. He had the job permanently for four months – is that really all you get?

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Leicester’s ‘spirit and resilience’ please Shakespeare

So this is probably a really good time for Swansea to be playing them, especially after the Welsh side got a bit of a confidence boost by beating Huddersfield last week.

I am not convinced by the Swans this season, though. They are a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team, and have been very inconsistent so far.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Root’s prediction: 2-2

Southampton v West Brom<!–

Southampton v West Brom (17:30 BST)

Tony Pulis will be miffed West Brom did not hold on after taking the lead at Leicester on Monday, and it is now six games since his side won in the league.

Southampton were behind twice against Newcastle on Sunday but still got a point from that game and it is good news for them that Manolo Gabbiadini is back in the goals because he looks like a striker who scores in streaks.

I suspect we might see more from him on Saturday, and I am backing Saints to continue the Baggies’ poor run.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Root’s prediction: 2-1

SUNDAY

Everton v Arsenal<!–

Everton v Arsenal (13:30 BST)

Both of these teams have issues, but Everton probably have more to worry about.

Arsenal can be undone when teams attack them and play physically, like Watford did last week, but you would not look at the Gunners and say they are unbalanced or short of goals like Everton are.

I think what will help the Toffees on Saturday is that Goodison Park will be roaring – it always is against the big teams.

There will be a different atmosphere to when Everton have played, say, Bournemouth or Burnley this season, and I think it will give them some much-needed impetus.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Root’s prediction: 2-1

Tottenham v Leicester<!–

Tottenham v Liverpool (16:00 BST)

It has been a good week for Tottenham, who broke their Wembley hoodoo in the Premier League by beating Bournemouth, and were very good against Real in their draw in Madrid in the Champions League.

Liverpool enjoyed themselves against Maribor on Tuesday but this is obviously going to be a much tougher game for them.

It is going to be close. I can see the Reds scoring, but I don’t see them keeping Spurs out.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Root’s prediction: I think this is going to be a high-scoring game. I fancy Harry Kane for a few but I also think that, going forward, Liverpool are quite dangerous. 3-2

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

Last week, Lawro got six correct results, including four perfect scores, from 10 matches, for a total of 150 points.

He beat rapper Wretch 32, who got four results correct with two perfect scores, for a total of 100 points.

*Foster and Cram both provided predictions on week one, but only Foster’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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