Premier League predictions: Lawro v rapper Aitch


Norwich City’s hopes of staying in the Premier League are still alive – but only just.

The Canaries host Everton on Wednesday (18:00 BST) live on BBC television – the first half is on BBC Two, the second half on BBC One – and the BBC Sport website, but how much longer will we be able to watch them in the top flight?

“I think we are now in the final stages of their fight against the drop,” said BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson. “They could be departing very soon, not because of any lack of effort, but simply because they are just not good enough.

“The bottom line is they have conceded more than double the number of goals they have scored. That’s why they are where they are in the table.”

With eight games to play, Norwich are six points adrift of safety and have the worst goal difference of any top-flight team

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

This week he is up against rapper Aitch, who is a Manchester United fan and delivered his predictions while he was sitting on a bench within sight of Old Trafford.

The 20-year-old from Moston in Manchester, who released his latest EP Polaris at the end of May, says he was only ever going to be a Red – never a Blue.

MOTDx: Aitch & Jesse Lingard discuss their love for Manchester Utd

“There was never a choice – no chance,” he told BBC Sport. “My dad is a Red and I grew up as one too.

“But the mad thing that I realised when I got older and looked back on it was that my dad was actually the odd one out in our family. Most of them are Manchester City fans, and it was his uncle who made him a United fan when everyone else were Blues – but I never really had the option.”

Premier League predictions – week 31
Result Lawro Aitch
TUESDAY
Leicester v Brighton x-x 2-0 3-0
Tottenham v West Ham x-x 2-0 3-2
WEDNESDAY
Man Utd v Sheff Utd x-x 2-0 3-0
Newcastle v Aston Villa x-x 1-1 2-0
Norwich v Everton x-x 0-1 1-1
Wolves v Bournemouth x-x 2-0 2-1
Liverpool v Crystal Palace x-x 2-0 3-1
THURSDAY
Burnley v Watford x-x 2-1 1-0
Southampton v Arsenal x-x 2-1 2-0
Chelsea v Man City x-x 1-2 1-3

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

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

TUESDAY

Leicester v Brighton (18:00 BST)

Leicester’s draw with Watford on Saturday was such a strange game, with both goals coming in stoppage time. Ben Chilwell’s strike to put the Foxes ahead was such a cracking goal and they must have thought they had nicked the points.

That is exactly what Brighton did against Arsenal later in the day, and that really was a vital win for them.

It takes the pressure off the Seagulls a bit at the bottom of the table now they have a five-point cushion above the bottom three, but I cannot see them upsetting Leicester.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Aitch’s prediction: 3-0

Tottenham v West Ham (18:00 BST)

You have to fancy Tottenham here. Their draw with Manchester United on Friday night was one of the few games over the weekend that had some of the usual intensity you see in the Premier League.

I worry about West Ham after seeing them against Wolves. I don’t know where their goals are coming from – although it is tough to judge any team too much from that first set of games.

There were quite a few teams who did not offer much going forward, and they should all be better from having 90 minutes in their legs.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Aitch’s prediction: 3-2

WEDNESDAY

Man Utd v Sheff Utd (18:00 BST)

Sheffield United are another side who have not made much attacking impact since the Premier League restarted. That is obviously going to be a major problem for them in terms of getting anything at Old Trafford.

On top of that, things are going against them – like their red card in Sunday’s defeat at Newcastle and their ‘goal’ that wasn’t given against Aston Villa.

This will be their third away game on the trot, which hardly helps matters either, so I will go with a Manchester United win here.

Watching Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in Friday’s draw at Spurs, you could tell they are in a good place at the moment. I know David de Gea’s mistake cost them a goal but they have so many quality players, and it feels like they are about to seriously kick on as a team.

De Gea has not suddenly become a bad goalkeeper, it is just that at the moment he is not the De Gea who was United’s best player for three years. I wonder if he has just tweaked his technique a little bit, because what he used to do was brilliant and now what he does is average.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Aitch’s prediction: Home win. No question. 3-0

Aitch on United’s prospects: “It looks like things are on the up for United but it is hard to say. Because of the way things have gone over the past few years it is hard to know. Things have been promising for us before, but then it goes wrong in the blink of an eye. I have always got faith, but I don’t think we are all of a sudden going to be challenging to win the title again next season. It is going to take longer than that. We are building ourselves back up again and hopefully things will gradually get better and better.”

Aitch on his United heroes: “Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are my guys, but I would include De Gea on that list too. He has been criticised a bit recently by some people but a lot of our results in the past few years would definitely have been very different if he hadn’t been in the team.”

Newcastle v Aston Villa (18:00 BST)

I’ve said before that I think Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has done a really good job and his side know how to play his system. That’s why they are safe already.

Sunday’s win over Sheffield United essentially secured the Magpies’ survival – they are 13th, 11 points above the bottom three with eight games to go.

Villa, meanwhile, are still in deep trouble. They have had a bit of a nightmare in their first two games back, and I think they will have to wait a little bit longer for their first win since January.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Aitch’s prediction: 2-0

Norwich v Everton (18:00 BST)

I watched Norwich’s defeat by Southampton on Friday and you could have driven a horse and cart through some of the spaces in the Canaries’ defence and midfield.

Saints won 3-0 at Carrow Road but it could have been by a lot more.

That didn’t seem to be through lack of fitness or application by Norwich. Yes, they are missing a lot of defensive players, but they were just so open.

In contrast, Everton were so well disciplined and organised in their draw with Liverpool on Sunday. They should have too much nous for Norwich.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-1

Aitch’s prediction: 1-1

Wolves v Bournemouth (18:00 BST)

Bournemouth concede a lot of goals and right now they don’t look like scoring any. They were quite free-scoring for a while under Eddie Howe but that seems to have stopped, and it looks like they have found themselves in a bit of a mess at the worst possible time.

Meanwhile, Wolves looked impressive again as they saw off West Ham. They are right in the mix for a top-five spot.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Aitch’s prediction: 2-1

Liverpool v Crystal Palace (20:15 BST)

Palace were impressive in Saturday’s win over Bournemouth and they now have four wins in a row – and four clean sheets too.

That shows why it will be so hard for Liverpool to break them down, but I think the Reds will manage it, even if they are still short of their usual intensity.

Liverpool huffed and puffed against Everton, and we saw a few things that we suspected already. Takumi Minamino is a work in progress, the Reds miss Andy Robertson at left-back, and they can be short of a spark in attack when Mohamed Salah is absent.

Salah will play in this game though, and that is one of the reasons I think Liverpool will win. I am expecting to see at least another 25% from the Reds, and even if they don’t play well, I don’t see Palace scoring.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Aitch’s prediction: Being totally honest, I’d rather City win the title than Liverpool – but that’s not going to happen this year. I quite like Palace, but they wont get anything here. 3-1

THURSDAY

Burnley v Watford (18:00 BST)

Burnley will be having a little look at getting into Europe in some shape or form, because it is so tight around them in the table.

I would back the Clarets here. They are at home and this is such a tricky time for Watford to keep their heads above water at the bottom of the table. The good thing for the Hornets is that they will be buoyed by their late equaliser against Leicester.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Aitch’s prediction: 1-0

Southampton v Arsenal (18:00 BST)

I didn’t realise how few games Arsenal have won in the Premier League this season – only nine so far, fewer than all the teams around them in the table, including Southampton in 14th, who have 11 wins.

It is hard to see the Gunners adding to their tally here, and their situation is not helped by the injuries and suspension they have picked up in the past week.

Arsenal have lost two away games on the trot in that time and I think Southampton will extend that run to three.

Saints looked good against Norwich – they seemed sharp and fit, they smelled blood and they went for it.

OK, you could say that it was only against Norwich – but this is only Arsenal. They have such a soft underbelly, and the other teams know it.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Aitch’s prediction: 2-0

Chelsea v Man City (20:15 BST)

Chelsea got a good win against Aston Villa on Sunday but they are still a work in progress. When they play against better teams, they play as if they know it.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is looking to next season in lots of ways – his side still have a fabulous chance of finishing in the Champions League spots this time, but I don’t feel he would be under any pressure if they don’t make it.

Lampard has had some very good results along the way, but his side have lost nine league games this season.

I am anticipating an open game at Stamford Bridge, and for City to inflict another defeat.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Aitch’s prediction: When I was really young, Chelsea had this yellow away kit that I loved. I loved the colour yellow so I wanted it, but obviously my dad would never let me have it because it was a Chelsea kit. I went shopping with my mum once and she let me get it. I came home with it, but my dad wasn’t happy at all. I don’t think I saw it again after that day. 1-3

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

Lawro and Sports Team drummer Al Greenwood finished level on 60 points, with both predicting threecorrect results, including one exact scoreline.

+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
TEAM P W D L PTS +/-
1 Man City 30 28 1 1 85 +1
2 Liverpool 30 27 3 0 84 -1
3 Chelsea 30 22 4 4 70 +1
4 Tottenham 30 18 7 5 61 +4
=5 Arsenal 30 14 8 8 50 +5
=5 Leicester 30 15 5 10 50 -2
7 Man Utd 30 12 9 9 45 -2
=8 Burnley 30 12 5 13 41 +3
=8 West Ham 30 12 5 13 41 +9
10 Wolves 30 12 4 14 40 -4
11 Everton 30 10 7 13 37 +1
=12 Aston Villa 30 10 5 15 35 +7
=12 Bournemouth 30 11 2 17 35 +6
=12 Watford 30 10 5 15 35 +4
15 Newcastle 30 9 4 17 31 -2
16 Sheff Utd 30 7 6 17 27 -9
=17 Crystal Palace 30 6 6 18 24 -8
=17 Southampton 30 7 3 20 24 -3
19 Brighton 30 7 2 21 23 -4
20 Norwich 30 3 7 20 16 0

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2019-20

Score Guest leaderboard
160 Gabriel Luna
140 Arnold Schwarzenegger
110 Daisy May and Charlie Cooper
100 Adam Peaty
90 Avelino, Helen Housby, Jo Harten, Bobby Seagull, Geraint Thomas
80 Tom Davis, Andy Murray, Stephen Graham
75 Lawro (average after 30 weeks)
70 David Baddiel, Richard Hawley, Kojo, Michael Johnson, Craig Mitch, Alex Scott
60 Sonny Bill Williams, Georgia, Al Greenwood, Katie Ormerod, Serge from Kasabian, Stefan Ratchford
50 Chelcee Grimes, Reece Parkinson, Sam Warburton
40 Stephen Fry, Hugh Grant, Tom Grennan, Neil Jones, Tommy O’Dell, Steve Queralt
30 Sam Bird, Matthew McConaughey, Seth Rollins
Total scores after week 30
Lawro 2,240
Guests 2,000



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