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Premier League predictions: Lawro v Man City & Scotland midfielder Caroline Weir


Lawro's predictions

Jose Mourinho goes back to Old Trafford on Sunday when his Tottenham team travel to face his former side Manchester United – but how will ‘The Special One’ get on?

“It’s a tough game in a busy week for Spurs,” said former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson. “This is their third game in six days.

“But I still think they can cause United some problems – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were excellent going forward against Brighton last weekend, but all over the place at the back.”

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

This weekend, he is up against Manchester City and Scotland midfielder Caroline Weir.

Man City and Scotland midfielder Caroline Weir
Weir joined Manchester City from Liverpool in 2018. She has played 71 times for Scotland since her international debut in 2013

Weir’s football career started in her back garden in Dunfermline, and her journey has taken her to the top echelon of the Women’s Super League and the World Cup finals.

“I began by just kicking a ball about with my brother and sister, and watching loads of games on TV,” the 25-year-old told BBC Sport.

“I used to love the big summer tournaments, and I remember the European Championships and World Cups I watched back then really well. Growing up, my favourite player was Zinedine Zidane. His Real Madrid shirt was the first shirt I got, with his name on the back and the number five.

“Zidane was a such a special player and, as a midfielder myself, I loved the way he used to play. He was just so skilful and had all those tricks and flicks – I’m still working on those though!

“He scored that amazing volley at Hampden Park in the 2002 Champions League final, but has had so much success with France too. That whole era was just unmatched.”

The growing exposure of the women’s game means girls growing up now have female football heroes as well as male role models.

“That’s a huge thing,” Weir added. “I get asked that question a lot about who my favourite player was, and I’d love to say it was a female player but it wasn’t – because I didn’t see them on TV and I didn’t read about them, I didn’t know who they were.

“To go from where it was when I was five or six to where it is now is brilliant. I think it’s important for young girls and boys to see that women playing football is a normal thing – and for girls to see the pathway is there for them if they want to be a professional footballer.

“Even in the past five years, huge strides have been made. For me, going from Bristol to Liverpool, then City and to see the way the game has gone forward has been amazing.

“It’s not just the financial investment that’s been made. The quality of play has improved too. It’s faster, more physical and better technically because we are full-time professionals.

“There are definitely challenges ahead – the coronavirus pandemic has affected football’s finances at every level – but I think the women’s game is strong enough now to survive and continue to flourish.

“You only have to look at the buzz around some of the massive signings we’ve seen in the past few weeks to see the interest is there. They have put the English league on the map again and I don’t think it will go backwards, we just need to find different ways of pushing it forwards.”

Result Lawro Caroline
SATURDAY
Chelsea v Crystal Palace x-x 2-0 2-1
Everton v Brighton x-x 2-0 3-1
Leeds v Man City x-x 1-2 1-3
Newcastle v Burnley x-x 2-1 2-0
SUNDAY
Leicester v West Ham x-x 2-0 3-2
Southampton v West Brom x-x 2-0 2-2
Arsenal v Sheff Utd x-x 2-0 3-0
Wolves v Fulham x-x 2-0 2-0
Man Utd v Tottenham x-x 2-1 1-3
Aston Villa v Liverpool x-x 0-2 1-4

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

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

SATURDAY

Chelsea v Crystal Palace

Chelsea v Crystal Palace (12:30 BST)

Chelsea have been very skittish so far and even in the game they won, against Brighton, they gave up a lot of chances.

Liverpool took them apart very comfortably and then they found themselves 3-0 down against West Brom. They responded well, and rescued themselves in that game, but Blues boss Frank Lampard must be wondering what his side are going to serve up next.

Chelsea always look like scoring, but defensively they have been all over the place. I do think they will improve at the back, though, once Thiago Silva settles in and has a regular partner, because he is a proper player.

So, I am going to go with them to break down Palace – they have definitely got the tools to do that, even though the Eagles always keep things pretty tight. If they get a clean sheet too, then I’d imagine Frank will be ecstatic.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Caroline’s prediction: Chelsea did well to come back from 3-0 down against West Brom last week but I think this will be a bit more straightforward for them, even though Palace have started the season pretty well. 2-1

Everton v Brighton

Everton v Brighton (15:00 BST)

Brighton were so unlucky to somehow lose against Manchester United in their last league game. If they keep playing like that, they will finish in the top 10.

The Seagulls look potent going forward, which is one of the ways they have improved, but no-one will want to play Everton at the moment. Toffees striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is absolutely flying and cannot stop scoring.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Caroline’s prediction: I like the look of Everton at the moment. 3-1

Leeds v Man City

Leeds United v Manchester City (17:30 BST)

Leeds are still strengthening their squad but the one thing you can be sure about with all of their signings is that they can run. A pre-requisite for all of their players seems to be that they can cover some ground.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have been fabulous so far and it is going to be fascinating to see how he approaches this game against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Guardiola will have a plan too, of course, but both coaches have a mutual admiration of each other.

City looked unprepared in their defeat by Leicester last weekend, which is most unusual for them under Guardiola – I am pretty sure it won’t happen again here.

I am expecting it to be a very good game. A lot of teams show massive respect to City and sit deep but I don’t think Leeds will do that.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Caroline’s prediction: This is another tough game for City’s men after they lost last weekend – we were on our way back from playing Leicester ourselves after beating them in the FA Cup and were watching the game on the team bus. I think we will bounce back to win this one though, 1-3

Newcastle v Burnley

Newcastle United v Burnley (20:00 BST)

Newcastle have had their fair share of fortune in the past few days, firstly with that last-gasp penalty to draw with Tottenham, and then to get past League Two side Newport via a shoot-out.

If their luck continues then it might be a good time to ask Magpies boss Steve Bruce for his numbers for Saturday’s National Lottery draw, although I actually think things will be a little more straightforward for them this time.

It appears all is not well at Burnley, in terms of the relationship between the manager and the board anyway, and maybe a third defeat in their first three league games will help to persuade the club they need to back Sean Dyche in the transfer market.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Caroline’s prediction: 2-0

SUNDAY

Leicester v West Ham

Leicester City v West Ham United (12:00 BST)

West Ham got their first league win of the season last weekend against Wolves. It was an impressive result and they deserved it, because they played extremely well.

They won’t be afraid of the Foxes, because they will sit in and deny them space to run into. That sounds ridiculous coming off the back of a 4-0 scoreline but that is the format that might give them success here too.

I just fancy Leicester to take this one, though. Jamie Vardy is in great form and will be full of confidence after his hat-trick against Manchester City. I don’t see the Hammers keeping him out.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Caroline’s prediction: I’m a big fan of Vardy, who is such a clever player. I have a feeling this one will be high scoring. 3-2

Southampton v West Brom

Southampton v West Bromwich Albion (12:00 BST)

Southampton are up and running after beating Burnley last time out, and they played well in that game too.

You could see how much the result meant to Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl by the way he ran on to the pitch at full-time – he knew if they had played three and lost three then it would have put them under pressure right at the beginning of the season.

West Brom came close to a morale-boosting win of their own after starting really well against Chelsea – but then they got penned in and could not get out of their own half as their 3-0 lead was whittled away.

Even so, I am sure Baggies boss Slaven Bilic would have taken a point before the game – although I think they are going to have to wait a little longer for their first victory.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Caroline’s prediction: 2-2

Arsenal v Sheff Utd

Arsenal v Sheffield United (14:00 BST)

Still no points and no goals for Sheffield United so far this season. Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster is apparently the man Blades boss Chris Wilder wants to bolster his forward line, and they definitely need to strengthen there.

As I’ve said before, the Blades have got Championship strikers who have done brilliantly for them – but they basically need a Danny Ings to lead their line. Mind you, so does half the Premier League.

I know Arsenal lost at Anfield on Monday but I thought they were really competitive and they had a purpose about the way they played.

The tempo they played at was good too. Yes, they were beaten by a very good Liverpool team but another performance like that will secure the points this time.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Caroline’s prediction: Arsenal look in good shape at the moment, while Sheffield United seem to be struggling a bit. 3-0

Wolves v Fulham

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Fulham (14:00 BST)

Wolves were well beaten by West Ham over the weekend but I don’t see Fulham giving them too many problems.

The Cottagers are bottom of the table with three defeats from three, with 10 goals conceded, and I don’t think the comments from their vice chairman Tony Khan, who apologised to fans after they lost to Aston Villa, has helped their situation much.

The one positive that might come from it is that Khan mentioned some new signings and you have to presume Fulham boss Scott Parker might get them now.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Caroline’s prediction: 2-0

Man Utd v Tottenham

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur (16:30 BST)

It’s not just United’s back four which is a problem – it is the protection, or lack of it, in front of them that really astonished me against Brighton.

Brighton were allowed to play in and around United’s 18-yard box, which I could not understand. Solskjaer has got to find a better balance in his midfield because, yes, they were great going forward – but they look like they are going to concede goals too.

Spurs created plenty of chances against Newcastle last weekend, but could not beat Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow. I am going with United because of their attacking power, but it is going to be very close.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Caroline’s prediction: 1-3

Aston Villa v Liverpool

Aston Villa v Liverpool (19:15 BST)

This fixture turned into a pivotal game for Liverpool last season – they were 1-0 down with three minutes left last November, but ended up winning 2-1.

It was one of those games where Jurgen Klopp’s side were not at their best, but still found a way to win.

Liverpool are playing well at the moment, though. Yes, you could say the same about Aston Villa – and they already look a better team than they were last season – but you have to consider who they have played so far.

Villa beat Sheffield United, who are yet to score a goal, and Fulham, who have shipped plenty. Liverpool are a much sterner proposition at both ends.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Caroline’s prediction: Villa have made a good start but Liverpool are still the team to beat – Jurgen Klopp has got them so well-drilled and they have lost none of their focus. 1-4

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last week?

From last weekend’s games, Lawro got four correct results, with no exact scores, for a total of 40 points.

He was beaten by singer-songwriter Declan McKenna, who got five correct results, with no exact scores, for a tally of 50 points.

Lawro's League Table graphic

TEAM P W D L PTS +/-
1 Tottenham 3 3 0 0 9 +7
=2 Chelsea 3 2 1 0 7 +7
=2 Liverpool 3 2 1 0 7 0
=4 Arsenal 3 2 0 1 6 +1
=4 Aston Villa 2 2 9 0 6 0
=4 Leeds 3 2 0 1 6 +3
=4 Leicester 2 2 0 1 6 -3
=4 Man Utd 2 2 0 0 6 +10
=9 Everton 3 1 1 1 4 -6
=9 Man City 2 1 1 0 4 +4
=9 West Ham 2 1 1 1 4 +2
=12 Burnley 2 1 0 1 3 +6
=12 Newcastle 3 1 0 2 3 -2
=12 Wolves 3 0 3 0 3 +4
15 Crystal Palace 3 0 2 1 2 -9
=16 Sheff Utd 3 0 1 2 1 +3
=16 Southampton 3 0 1 2 1 -1
=18 Brighton 3 0 0 3 0 -6
=18 Fulham 3 0 0 3 0 +2
=18 West Brom 3 0 0 3 0 -1

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2020-21

80 Raye
67 Lawro (average after three weeks)
60 Celeste
50 Declan McKenna

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