Saturday, 23 August 2014

Premier League predictions: Lawro vs Destiny

Boxer Kell Brook

Premier League predictions

ResultLawroKell
Kell Brook to make his predictions on Friday
SATURDAY
Aston Villa v Newcastle
x-x
1-1
1-3
Chelsea v Leicester
x-x
2-0
2-0
Crystal Palace v West Ham
x-x
2-1
0-0
Southampton v West Brom
x-x
2-0
1-2
Swansea v Burnley
x-x
2-1
3-3
Everton v Arsenal
x-x
1-1
0-2
SUNDAY
Hull v Stoke
x-x
0-1
1-2
Tottenham v QPR
x-x
2-0
2-3
Sunderland v Man Utd
x-x
1-2
0-2
MONDAY
Man City v Liverpool
x-x
1-1
3-2
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth ONE point. Getting the exact score correct earns THREE points.
Last weekend, Lawro got six correct results from 10 Premier League games, with no perfect scores. His tally of six points saw him beaten by The Courteeners frontman Liam Fray, who also got six correct results, but managed two perfect scores, for a total of 10 points.
We're keeping a record of the totals for Lawro and his guests (below), and showing a table of how the Premier League would look if all of Lawro's predictions were correct (at the bottom of the page).

Totals after week 1

Lawro
6
Guests
10

LAWRO'S PREDICTIONS

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

SATURDAY

Aston Villa v Newcastle

Aston Villa v Newcastle (12:45 BST)

Aston Villa surprised a lot of people, including me, with their opening-day win at Stoke.
Defensively Paul Lambert's side were very good, with new signing Philippe Senderos alongside Ron Vlaar at centre-back.
Aston Villa defender Philippe Senderos
Philippe Senderos joined Villa in June on a free transfer from Spanish side Valencia
Lambert still faces a tough task this season, though.
It appears Villa owner Randy Lerner wanted to spend the least amount of money possible over the summer but still keep the club safe from relegation - if they went down he would find it a lot harder to sell up. Time will tell if Lambert has been able to strengthen well enough.
Newcastle lost their first game - at home to Manchester City - but I thought they played quite well.
The stats show the Magpies did not manage a shot on target but, if you watched the game, you saw how much pressure they put the champions under.
Yes, they still need a new striker but they will pose a threat at Villa Park too.
Lawro's prediction: 1-1
Kell Brook: 1-3
Chelsea v Leicester

Chelsea v Leicester

Continue reading the main story
Leicester are not good enough to get anything at Stamford Bridge
I was at Turf Moor on Monday night and was very impressed with Chelseain their win over Burnley.
After Burnley took an early lead, the Blues just moved up through the gears and it became apparent the Clarets could not live with them.
Now Jose Mourinho's side host another newly-promoted side and I think the gulf in class will be apparent here too.
Yes, Leicester came back twice to get a point against Everton and I like the pace and energy in Nigel Pearson's side.
But I think they are lacking something in central midfield and they are not good enough to get anything at Stamford Bridge.
Lawro's prediction: 2-0
Kell Brook: 2-0
Crystal Palace v West Ham

Crystal Palace v West Ham

It looks like Crystal Palace will still be managerless this weekendbut caretaker boss Keith Millen has stood in before, when Ian Holloway left early on last season, so this is nothing new to him.
Crystal Palace caretaker manager Keith Millen
Keith Millen's only senior full-time managerial experience is a season as Bristol City boss in 2010-11
Continue reading the main story
Even with Tony Pulis gone, Palace will play like one of his teams
The Eagles were a bit unlucky not to pick up a point at Arsenal last weekend, after Tony Pulis quit and Millen had to step in again.
Even with Pulis gone, Palace will play like one of his teams and, especially at Selhurst Park, West Ham can expect to face some high-tempo, in-your-face football.
The Hammers also lost to a stoppage-time goal in their defeat by Tottenham and they will feel they were hard done by, especially after missing a penalty.
But them being beaten makes this game even more important for West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, who was told in the summer that the board want him to produce more entertaining football.
I think that was said with their away form in mind - the owners want to be more competitive, play a more expansive style, create more chances and score more goals.
But that will be very hard for Allardyce to implement because, on the road, his gameplan is based around making his side very difficult to beat.
Because of that, I feel his position has now been compromised and it would not take much for the board to say 'thanks, but no thanks'. Another defeat will obviously not help his cause.
Lawro's prediction: 2-1
Kell Brook: 0-0
Southampton v West Brom

Southampton v West Brom

Like Palace and West Ham, here are two more teams who played well last weekend but were a bit unlucky.
West Brom played all the football against Sunderland but ended up sharing the points.
Continue reading the main story
My only reservation about Southampton is how many goals they have got in them
And I was very impressed by Southampton despite their defeat by Liverpool. Saints were solid defensively and carried a real threat going forward.
On that showing, it did not look like they were missing all the players who left over the summer. They still looked like a team, not a collection of individuals - which I thought they might be because of their turnover of players over the summer.
My only reservation about Southampton is how many goals they have got in them - I know they have signed Shane Long and Graziano Pelle this summer but, unless they strengthen further, I am not sure they will be as strong up front as they are in other areas.
It is the same for West Brom. They are competitive in all areas but how they do up front is what will decide whether they have another season struggling to stay up.
So the pressure is on their new £10m striker Brown Ideye to deliver when he makes his competitive debut.
Lawro's prediction: 2-0
Kell Brook: 1-2
Swansea v Burnley

Swansea v Burnley

What a great start to the season by Swansea, who barely got a mention in the build-up to their game against Manchester United but came away with a 2-1 win.
What the Welsh side did was to play with pace in wide areas when they went forward and, particularly against the 3-5-2 formation that United used in the first half, it was very successful.
Gylfi Sigurdsson gave Swansea their first league win at Old Trafford
Gylfi Sigurdsson's goal saw Swansea win at Old Trafford for the first time in the league
Burnley's fans were tremendous on Monday and I am sure they will be like that in every game.
But the problem was on the pitch. I know it was against Chelsea, but the Clarets looked short in all areas and could not create enough opportunities.
Burnley are not under any false illusions about how hard this season will be, and they are probably banking on beating the teams who are likely to be around them in the table at home.
This game will give us a better indication of how their first season back in the top-flight will go, but I cannot see them getting any joy at the Liberty Stadium.
Lawro's prediction: 2-1
Kell Brook: 3-3
Everton v Arsenal

Everton v Arsenal (17:30 BST)

Continue reading the main story
This game will give us an idea of Everton's credentials this season
This is a good test for both teams. In the past, Arsenal have not been good at scrambling past teams, and getting results when they have not played well.
But they did it in their last-gasp win over Crystal Palace last week and it will be interesting to see if they can do it again, if they have to.
Everton are without the injured Ross Barkley and Bryan Oviedo but, otherwise, they are at full strength and this game will give us an idea of their credentials this season too.
What will help the Gunners' cause is that they will have all their World Cup winners - Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski - back in contention.
Lawro's prediction: 1-1
Kell Brook: 0-2

SUNDAY

Hull v Stoke

Hull v Stoke (13:30 BST)

Because of the way they ended last season I expected Stoke to push on under Mark Hughes, but they were kept at arms' length last week by Aston Villa.
Hull, meanwhile, had a really good win at QPR. The Tigers rode their luck a little bit at Loftus Road, though, and I am backing Stoke to come good here.
The Potters will be better than they were last week and, with the Tigers coming into this game off the back of a Europa League tie against Belgian side KSC Lokeren, they might find out that playing on Thursday and Sunday is not that easy.
Lawro's prediction: 0-1
Kell Brook: 1-2
Tottenham v QPR

Tottenham v QPR (13:30 BST)

Harry's back at the Lane! Having QPR boss and former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp back at his old club adds a bit of a twist to this game, but I cannot see Rangers getting much from their trip across London.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp has another former Spurs boss, Glenn Hoddle, on his coaching staff
QPR boss Harry Redknapp has another former Spurs boss, Glenn Hoddle, on his coaching staff
Spurs got over the line last week against West Ham when they won despite not playing particularly well. I fancy them to win this time too, despite having to contend with a Europa League tie in Cyprus on Thursday night.
I thought QPR would beat Hull in their first fixture, but I was wrong.Redknapp is still signing players, or trying to, and clearly he knows he has to improve his squad.
When he manages that, they will be more competitive.
Lawro's prediction: 2-0
Kell Brook: 2-3
Sunderland v Manchester United

Sunderland v Man Utd (16:00 BST)

Continue reading the main story
It will be interesting to see what shape United use at the start of this game
Last weekend, new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal went from three at the back in the first half to playing a four-man defence in the second half, and got beaten at home by Swansea.
If David Moyes had done that in his first game in charge of Manchester United last year, he would have been laughed out of the ground - there would have been uproar.
Yes, Van Gaal is a very good manager, there is no doubt about that, but he essentially played square pegs in round holes so he could use the formation he wanted to play. Ashley Young was at wing-back and I was thinking 'how does that work?'
So it will be interesting to see what shape United use at the start of this game.
Argentina's defender Marcos Rojo
Rojo cost United £16m, with Nani joining Sporting Lisbon on loan as part of the deal
Marcos Rojo will probably be thrown in after joining from Sporting Lisbon and United will probably start with three at the back again because Van Gaal will not want to be seen to be abandoning his three-man defence straight away.
There will be a little less pressure on United this week because they are away from home.
Sunderland got a good result against West Brom last week but I am going for a United win, especially if Robin van Persie is fit enough to play some part for them.
Lawro's prediction: 1-2
Kell Brook: 0-2

MONDAY

Man City v Liverpool

Man City v Liverpool (20:00 BST)

Manchester City just got the job done in their win over Newcastle last weekend - it was not a vintage performance by the champions.
But the quality of their goals was outstanding and, if you looked at City's bench, it was frightening.
Mario Balotelli
Balotelli scored 30 goals in 80 games for Manchester City between 2010 and 2013

Rodgers can handle Balotelli

Liverpool need a new striker and I think AC Milan's former Manchester City frontman Mario Balotelli would be a great signing. Can Brendan Rodgers handle him? Yes.
Rodgers is the sort of hands-on manager who can handle players with big personalities. We saw that with Luis Suarez, and what he produced last season.
Balotelli has been here before, and made his mistakes. Yes, he will make some more but, when he plays, he is a real handful.
And I just get the impression that Rodgers can handle him far better than Roberto Mancini, who seemed to spend all his time looking after the Italy international.
If Balotelli starts to mess around a little bit, Rodgers will just stick him on the bench.
Liverpool limped over the line a little bit too, in their win over Southampton.
On paper, this game suits the Reds better because they are set up to hit you on the break. Their new centre-back Dejan Lovren played well last week but their strength is still going forward.
But, because this game is so early on in the season, I think it will be a much cagier affair than previous encounters.
When these sides met at the Etihad Stadium last season, I thought the very least Liverpool deserved was a point. This time, I think they will leave with one.
Lawro's prediction: 1-1
Kell Brook: 3-2
Lawro was speaking to Sportmasta's Sam Praise.

Lawro v Guests

P1
W0
D0
L1
BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson

ARROWS DENOTE DIFFERENCE TO FINAL STANDINGS IN REAL 2013-14 TABLE

POSTEAMPWDLPTSDIFF+/-
1.
Arsenal
1
1
0
0
3
Up arrow
+2
2.
Chelsea
1
1
0
0
3
Down arrow
-1
3.
Liverpool
1
1
0
0
3
Up arrow
+1
4.
Man Utd
1
1
0
0
3
Up arrow
+10
5.
Stoke
1
1
0
0
3
Up arrow
+12
6.
Man City
1
1
0
0
3
Down arrow
-4
7.
QPR
1
1
0
0
3
Up arrow
+9
8.
Everton
1
0
1
0
1
Up arrow
+1
9.
Leicester
1
0
1
0
1
Up arrow
+1
10.
Sunderland
1
0
1
0
1
Up arrow
+1
11.
Tottenham
1
0
1
0
1
Down arrow
-3
12.
West Brom
1
0
1
0
1
Side arrow
0
13.
West Ham
1
0
1
0
1
Up arrow
+5
14.
Newcastle
1
0
0
1
0
Up arrow
+6
15.
Hull
1
0
0
1
0
Down arrow
-8
16.
Aston Villa
1
0
0
1
0
Down arrow
-10
17.
Burnley
1
0
0
1
0
Up arrow
+2
18.
Crystal Palace
1
0
0
1
0
Down arrow
-5
19.
Southampton
1
0
0
1
0
Down arrow
-4
20.
Swansea
1
0
0
1
0
Down arrow
-15

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