Lawro’s Premier League predictions v Harry Potter actor and Leeds fan Matthew Lewis

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May 18, 2021
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    Lawro's predictions

    The race for a top-four Premier League finish has gone to the final week of the season, but who will miss out from Leicester, Chelsea and Liverpool?

    BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson said: "It couldn't be much closer and it is a fascinating scenario to have with two games to go.

    "For various reasons I just feel like the Foxes will be the ones who finish fifth, but at least it will go the final day for them, even if they lose to Chelsea in midweek."

    Snapshot of 3rd to 8th in the Premier League: 3rd Leicester, 4th Chelsea, 5th Liverpool, 6th Tottenham, 7th West Ham & 8th EvertonChampions Manchester City and second-placed Manchester United are already sure of a top-four finish but five teams still have a chance of finishing in third or fourth. Everton can no longer make it, however, following Sunday's defeat by Sheffield United

    The race for the top four – remaining fixtures
    Leicester Chelsea Liverpool Tottenham West Ham
    Chelsea (a) Leicester (h) Burnley (a) Aston Villa (h) West Brom (a)
    Tottenham (h) Aston Villa (a) C Palace (h) Leicester (a) Southampton (h)

    Lawro is making predictions for all 380 Premier League matches this season, against a variety of guests.

    For this week's midweek games on Tuesday and Wednesday, he takes on actor and Leeds fan Matthew Lewis, who hosts the weekly official Leeds United podcast with former Leeds star Jermaine Beckford, current striker Patrick Bamford and MOTDx presenter Emma Jones.

    Lewis, who is based in Florida, explained: "We'd set up our own podcast together called 'Doing a Leeds' – Jermaine was the man inside at the stadium and I was the fan living abroad.

    "We were trying to get a global audience for Leeds when we got back in the Premier League, and show what it is like when you are a fan away from home. As it turned out, with lockdown, everyone was away from the stadium so it kind of resonated with people in Leeds as well as around the world.

    "Then the club got in touch and asked us to rebrand as the official podcast which for me was just a dream come true. Suddenly I am on with Jermaine and Pat Bamford talking to every fan out there – it took a bit of getting used to!"

    Matthew Lewis"Next year is going to be tough, people will have been working out what it is Leeds do, and how to counter it," says Matt. "I think teams have been surprised at how long we can maintain our intensity in games, and they might be more aware of that."

    Matthew, who is is best known for playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films, has had roles in Ripper Street, Happy Valley and The Syndicate.

    He is a former Elland Road season-ticket holder, but has enjoyed the club's first season back in the Premier League since 2004 from afar.

    "It's been an incredible few months," he told BBC Sport. "It was worth the wait, although it has been a very long wait.

    "We have been languishing in the lower leagues for so long that when I fell in love with the club as a teenager, it was when were terrible.

    "I didn't follow football hugely the last time we were in the top flight, I sort of grew up more into rugby league and it was probably only the season after we got relegated that I started to get into it.

    "When were in the Championship and League One I used to have a season ticket and I used to travel away with the Maverick Whites supporters club to all sorts of places.

    "It was a tough time but that wasn't really so much down to where we were, it was the shambles that the club was in off the field that was really difficult to take. No-one enjoys bad football, but your team being awful is not going to cause you to fall out of love with football – you support the team regardless.

    "What makes you fall out of love with it is successive owners that just don't seem to care. It was not just that we lacked ambition, we imploded and became a national embarrassment.

    "Being out in the United States and watching it happen was hard work and no-one really knew Leeds over here then, just a few years ago. You couldn't even watch us on TV and I had to strike a deal with the guy who owned my local bar, promising to bring people along with me to watch games if he got the package which showed them.

    "We did that for a bit and then he left and the new manager refused to do it. So I just used to sit and watch games on my own, on my iPad. And we would usually lose, because we were rubbish.

    "Things are very different now, obviously. I have got a Leeds facemask that I've been wearing, and I can't even walk around my sleepy Florida town without someone pointing it out, and telling me how we are their favourite team now. Everyone is talking about us.

    "I have set up a supporters' club over here, so we have got the Orlando Whites – we meet up to watch games at a pub where the landlord supports Leeds too.

    "But this is just a great time to be a Leeds fan, wherever you are in the world. Marcelo Bielsa has been incredible of course, and changed everything. But you have to give credit to the owner, Andrea Radrizzani. He has given us our self-respect back and put the club back in touch with the community – it feels like it belongs to the city again."

    Premier League predictions – week 37
    Result Lawro Matthew
    TUESDAY
    Man Utd v Fulham x-x 3-0 3-0
    Southampton v Leeds x-x 0-2 1-2
    Brighton v Man City x-x 0-3 0-2
    Chelsea v Leicester x-x 2-0 1-1
    WEDNESDAY
    Everton v Wolves x-x 2-0 0-0
    Newcastle v Sheff Utd x-x 2-1 2-0
    Tottenham v Aston Villa x-x 2-1 1-2
    Crystal Palace v Arsenal x-x 0-2 1-0
    Burnley v Liverpool x-x 1-3 0-2
    West Brom v West Ham x-x 0-2 1-3

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

    LAWRO'S PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS

    TUESDAY

    Man Utd v Fulham

    Man Utd v Fulham (18:00 BST)

    United have the Europa League final next week but this is their last home game of the season, with their fans back at Old Trafford, and I think they will field a strong team.

    I can't see United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doing the same at Wolves on Sunday, but a win here would be a good way for them to sign off. I don't think Fulham will be able to stop them.

    Lawro's prediction: 3-0

    Matthew's prediction: I'd like Fulham to win but that isn't going to happen. 3-0

    Southampton v Leeds

    Southampton v Leeds (18:00 BST)

    Leeds put on a masterclass against Burnley on Saturday and they are flying at the moment. They are becoming a really good side, and are very difficult to play against.

    Like everyone else, Southampton will be glad to have fans back at St Mary's Stadium but I don't think they would have picked Leeds to be the visitors.

    I've been impressed by Nathan Tella for Saints, but Danny Ings is not fit enough to play 90 minutes yet and they are not the same side without him.

    Lawro's prediction: 0-2

    Matthew's prediction: We should beat Southampton, although I think they will score. 1-2

    Matthew on what next for Leeds? "Safety was our priority this year, but even when we have lost games we have been able to hold our heads high and say 'this is just fantastic to watch'. If we were 17th now I might have a different opinion, but this is a unique season in many ways. My outlook is that if you are going to lose 1-0, you might as well lose 5-0 – but go for it, try and get the win. That's how Bielsa looks at games and I wouldn't have it any other way under him. I think some other clubs survive every year finishing 16th or 17th and they watch the same dour games every year – 0-0 or 1-0. Yes, they are in the Premier League but do you really enjoy it? I want us to keep doing it differently."

    Brighton v Man City

    Brighton v Man City (19:00 BST)

    City are surely going to bring some of their A-listers back after resting them in Friday's win over Newcastle. It's a good idea to keep them ticking over with the Champions League final on 29 May in mind.

    Brighton are neat and tidy as we know, but I don't see them hurting City.

    Lawro's prediction: 0-3

    Matthew's prediction: Brighton don't ever score a lot of goals and even City's B team is very strong. 0-2

    Chelsea v Leicester

    Chelsea v Leicester (20:15 BST)

    I really enjoyed Saturday's FA Cup final, which was a really intriguing game and turned into a classic cup story.

    The Wembley atmosphere was great, and it was nice to have that back. Leicester were celebrating at the end, but Chelsea will have been thinking how it could have been their day.

    That's one of the reasons I'm going for a Chelsea win here. They will want some revenge and they need a win to keep their top-four hopes in their own hands, plus they are playing at Stamford Bridge and they will have some fans there to help them.

    Lawro's prediction: 2-0

    Matthew's prediction: 1-1

    WEDNESDAY

    Everton v Wolves

    Everton v Wolves (18:00 BST)

    I'd correctly predicted every Premier League game at the weekend, until the last one – which was Everton versus Sheffield United.

    I went for an Everton win, despite their terrible form at Goodison Park, because I thought they were bound to beat the bottom-of-the-table Blades. It just shows you can never rely on them!

    Having their fans back for this one should help Everton a lot, though, so I am going for another home win this time – if only because Wolves don't really ever look like scoring.

    Lawro's prediction: 2-0

    Matthew's prediction: Everton's home form has been terrible. The times I've watched Wolves this season, they've been boring, which is not what I expect from them to be honest. 0-0

    Newcastle v Sheff Utd

    Newcastle v Sheff Utd (18:00 BST)

    The positive thing for Sheffield United is that they are not going down being beaten heavily every week.

    There is nothing riding on this game now Newcastle are safe but it's important they put on a good show in front of their fans. By that I mean they should go for it a bit.

    The last thing Steve Bruce needs is an off-day from his team and a load of supporters chanting 'Bruce out' at him as soon as they are allowed back in the stadium.

    Lawro's prediction: 2-1

    Matthew's prediction: I was livid when Magpies boss Steve Bruce got the manager of the month award for April. I'm not saying he had a bad month, but Bielsa was undefeated against Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool and won a Yorkshire derby too. Newcastle are going to win this one. 2-0

    Tottenham v Aston Villa

    Tottenham v Aston Villa (18:00 BST)

    Tottenham's home form has held up over the past few weeks, but they are not going to get in the Champions League from here.

    Spurs should be able to get at Villa, who let another lead slip at Crystal Palace on Sunday and seem to be leaking more goals at the moment.

    Lawro's prediction: 2-1

    Matthew's prediction: I really want Villa to lose, but Tottenham have been very up and down. 1-2

    Crystal Palace v Arsenal

    Crystal Palace v Arsenal (19:00 BST)

    Arsenal, who had the weekend off, are on a run of three successive league wins and I think they will make it four in a row at Selhurst Park. Their young players have made a difference for them in recent weeks.

    If Palace boss Roy Hodgson is leaving when his contract ends in the summer, it would be a nice touch if they could make an announcement before this match so he gets a proper send off in his final home game in charge. It might help lift the players too.

    Lawro's prediction: 0-2

    Matthew's prediction: This could be pretty boring. Arsenal are not quite as terrible now as they were, but having fans in Selhurst Park should help Palace. 1-0

    Burnley v Liverpool

    Burnley v Liverpool (20:15 BST)

    Burnley will score and this won't be a comfortable night for Liverpool – but I'd back the Reds to win.

    Jurgen Klopp's side don't know for sure that winning their final two games of the season will secure a top-four place because goal-difference may decide it, but all they can do is look after their side of things by taking the points at Turf Moor.

    Sunday looked like it would be yet another day where Liverpool dropped points in a game they should have won, but they will be buoyant after Alisson's winner against West Brom.

    At least one of the teams immediately above them will drop points the night before they play Burnley, which will be another massive incentive. It won't be easy, but I think Liverpool will get the victory they need.

    Lawro's prediction: 1-3

    Matthew's prediction: I think Liverpool will be quite comfortable here. 0-2

    West Brom v West Ham

    West Brom v West Ham (20:15 BST)

    West Ham have run out of steam in the past few weeks, and their results have tailed off at the worst possible time for their top-four hopes.

    The Hammers have gone off the boil, but they have not been playing poorly, and they have not had any breaks.

    West Brom put up a heck of a fight against Liverpool on Sunday, but I'm going with West Ham to bounce back here.

    Lawro's prediction: 0-2

    Matthew's prediction: West Ham have tailed off a bit but they should win this one. 1-3

    Lawro and Matthew were speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

    READ:  'Physical courage and glorious goalscoring'

    How did Lawro do last time?

    From the last round of Premier League fixtures, Lawro got seven correct results from the eight matches, including two exact scores, for a total of 130 points.

    He beat Radio 1Xtra DJ Ace, who got five correct results, but with no exact scores, giving him a total of 50 points.

    Ace also correctly predicted the outcome of the FA Cup final, but he does not get any points from that game.

    Lawro's League Table graphic

    +/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO'S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
    TEAM P W D L PTS +/-
    1 Man City 36 32 4 100
    =2 Chelsea 36 26 6 4 84 +2
    =2 Man Utd 36 26 6 4 84
    4 Tottenham 36 26 5 5 83 +2
    5 Liverpool 36 23 12 1 81
    6 Leeds 36 23 1 12 70 +4
    7 Leicester 36 19 6 11 63 -4
    8 Arsenal 36 17 5 14 56 +1
    9 Wolves 36 14 11 11 53 +3
    10 Everton 36 13 10 13 49 -2
    11 Brighton 36 12 8 16 44 +6
    12 Burnley 36 11 10 15 43 +3
    13 West Ham 36 11 7 18 40 -6
    14 Southampton 36 11 5 20 38
    15 Aston Villa 36 8 8 20 35 -4
    =16 Crystal Palace 36 8 7 21 31 -3
    =16 Newcastle 36 9 4 23 31
    18 Sheff Utd 36 5 6 25 21 +2
    19 Fulham 36 3 33 9 -1
    20 West Brom 36 5 31 5 -1

    GUEST LEADERBOARD 2020-21

    Score Guest
    110 Sister Bliss, Brandon Crook, Amy Macdonald, Dot Major, Steve White
    100 Tubes
    90 Adam Devonshire, Becky Hill, Passenger, Chris Shiflett
    83 Lawro (average after 36 weeks)
    80 Celeste, Dan Flint, Frank Harper, Peter Hooton, Raye
    70 Sam Carter, Lou Cotterill, Ben Thatcher
    60 Majestic, Caroline Weir
    50 Ace, David Gray, Declan McKenna, Billy Monger, Paul Smith, Alex Sprogis, DJ Target
    40 Gavin 'Mo' Edgeley, Ben Howard
    30 Rick Astley, Lewis Evans, Steve Guttenberg, Gethin Jones, Fraser T. Smith
    20 Charlie Forbes, Dougie Payne
    10 Theo Ellis
    Rema
    Total scores after week 36
    Lawro 2,990
    Guests 2,370
    Lawro v Guests
    P36 W20 D2 L14

    Source

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    May 18, 2021
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