Lawro v Deadpool star Ed Skrein

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson

BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson is pitting his wits against a different guest each week this season.

Lawro’s opponent for this weekend’s Premier League games is actor Ed Skrein, star of Game of Thrones and new superhero movie Deadpool.

Skrein is a Liverpool fan and told BBC Sport: “I should support Arsenal because I grew up in north London but my auntie and my cousins are to blame for me picking Liverpool instead in about 1987.

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Deadpool star picks his football villains

“I grew up through the golden years for Arsenal and Manchester United under Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, which was tough, but I love my team when they’re losing as well as when they’re winning.

“I am very excited about Jurgen Klopp being Liverpool manager. When he was appointed I spoke to my brother and said ‘this is something that is going to be this romantic whirlwind’. It feels like it is all going to end in tears but we will enjoy every minute of it.”

You can hear more of Ed’s tales of following the Reds on Football Focus at 12:10 GMT on Saturday on BBC One and the BBC Sport website.

Our scoring system has changed this season and a correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is now worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

Last weekend, Lawro got six correct results from 10 matches, including two perfect scores.

His score of 120 points saw him beat Dad’s Army stars Blake Harrison and Daniel Mays, who picked three correct results but no perfect scores for a total of 30.

Make your own predictions now, compare them with Lawro and other fans, and try to take your team to the top of the leaderboard by playing the BBC Sport Predictor game.


All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated


Sunderland v Man Utd (12:45 GMT)

Manchester United’s playing style has improved a bit in recent weeks but they went back to being more methodical in last week’s draw with Chelsea.

United got their full-backs forward well at Stamford Bridge but you would not describe them as having played free-flowing football.

I don’t think we will see too much of that from either side at the Stadium of Light, but I would still back United to come out on top.

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‘Never say die’ spirit pleases Sam Allardyce

Sunderland fought back well to earn a precious late point at Anfield last week, and I think if Sam Allardyce’s side get anything here then he will see it as a bonus.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Ed’s prediction: I play a super-villain in Deadpool and I think Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce would be quite well-suited to do the same. Imagine a cyborg Allardyce – he would do a job on United. 1-0

Bournemouth v Stoke

Stoke are on a really bad run that has seen them lose three in a row in the league and go out of both cups.

Potters chairman Peter Coates came out this week and gave manager Mark Hughes his complete and utter backing, which might have set a few alarm bells ringing if it had happened at a different club.

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Stoke unable to recover – Hughes

In this case, when a vote of confidence comes from someone like Coates, he means it – he is not saying ‘lose the next two games and you are out’ because I think he realises what a good manager he has got.

It is goals that Stoke are short of – only West Brom and Aston Villa have scored fewer in the top flight this season – and Ryan Shawcross’s injury has affected them at the back because he is their key defender.

I don’t think their form will improve this weekend. Bournemouth were a bit hard done by when they lost to Arsenal on Sunday, and are fighting to stay clear of the bottom three.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Ed’s prediction: 0-0

Crystal Palace v Watford

I have a feeling Crystal Palace will edge this one, although they are another team short of goals because their strikers are not scoring.

Connor Wickham is back from suspension and Emmanuel Adebayor will be fitter – the Eagles desperately need one of them to find some form.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Ed’s prediction: I went down to Selhurst Park earlier in the season and enjoyed it. They are a great team with a good manager. 2-0

Everton v West Brom

West Brom are struggling – they have got all sorts of injuries and were taken to penalties by Peterborough in the FA Cup in midweek too.

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FA Cup: Peterborough 1-1 West Brom (3-4 pens) highlights

In contrast, Everton are on a roll after beating Newcastle and taking Stoke apart.

It’s funny how quickly things change – Toffees boss Roberto Martinez was under pressure before they played the Magpies, with his team being compared to his Wigan side that were relegated in 2013.

Then he wins two games and he is a genius. If they win on Saturday it will be three in a row which, as Martinez might say, would be phenomenal.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Ed’s prediction: 2-1

Norwich v West Ham

West Ham are another team that had 120 minutes of FA Cup football in midweek, with their extra-time win over Liverpool on Tuesday.

The Hammers are not playing that well anyway, but fatigue from that tie is part of the reason I am backing Norwich here, despite the Canaries’ dismal form that has seen them lose five league games in a row and drop into the bottom three.

The last time Norwich had a positive result was when they won back-to-back home games against Southampton and Aston Villa at the turn of the year.

Alex Neil’s team have conceded eight goals in their past two home games and they desperately need their results at Carrow Road to improve because their away form is not going to keep them up.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Ed’s prediction: 1-1

Swansea v Southampton

Swansea have won one and drawn two since Francesco Guidolin took charge, and he was in the stands for their victory over Watford too.

Southampton are also in good form, with four wins and a draw from their past five games, and they held on with 10 men for more than 30 minutes to beat West Ham last weekend.

Something has to give, but Saints keeper Fraser Forster has not conceded a goal in five games since returning from injury and I am going to back him to continue that run.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Ed’s prediction: 1-2

Chelsea v Newcastle (17:30 GMT)

Chelsea’s interim boss Guus Hiddink is now unbeaten in 10 games since taking charge before Christmas and I do not see that record as being in danger here.

Hiddink has steadied the ship but he has not found a miracle cure to the problems he inherited.

The Blues are just not as good as they were last season in every area, but they will still be too strong for Newcastle.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Ed’s prediction: 2-0


Arsenal v Leicester (12:00 GMT)

This is going to be very interesting because the spotlight is seriously on Leicester now after their impressive win over Manchester City last weekend.

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Leicester City 5,000-1? So are all these things…

Because of the way the Foxes play on the break, I think this will be one of the easiest games they have between now and the end of the season – because Arsenal will come on to them.

It should be a cracking game but I was surprised to hear Gunners boss Arsene Wenger describe it as “must-win” for his team, because that is inviting people to question their title chances if they only manage a draw.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Ed’s prediction: 1-1

Aston Villa v Liverpool (14:05 GMT)

Aston Villa beat Norwich last time out, but I think that said more about Norwich than Villa’s survival prospects.

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Klopp sees ‘lot of good’ despite loss

Liverpool went out of the FA Cup on Tuesday but I was heartened by their performance and the way they played through midfield.

The only problem was that, until Daniel Sturridge came on after an hour, the Reds did not have a striker who looked like he was going to score because Christian Benteke was struggling.

In a team who play to his strengths, like Villa did, he will be a success but it is not working for him at the moment.

Sturridge looked sharp when he came off the bench and I would be inclined to start with him on Sunday. If he is fit, what is the point of holding him back?

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Ed’s prediction: 0-2

Man City v Tottenham (16:15 GMT)

I don’t think the fact the Manchester City players knew Manuel Pellegrini is going to be replaced by Pep Guardiola had anything to do with their poor performance against Leicester last week.

City were outmuscled, out-thought and outpaced. They were second best in all areas and, apart from Sergio Aguero, their players were unbelievably ordinary.

They cannot afford to be as bad again, because this is their biggest game of the season when it comes to the title race.

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Spurs still need to improve – Pochettino

If Tottenham go to Etihad Stadium and roll them over, then City might not be able to recover.

It is going to be hard for City because, along with the attacking threat of Harry Kane and Dele Alli, Tottenham’s success is based on a top-class goalkeeper in Hugo Lloris and a very good defence.

But I actually see a few goals in this game, and I think the points will be shared.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-2

Ed’s prediction: 2-1

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

Lawro’s best score: 160 points (week 19 v Guy Mowbray)

Lawro’s worst score: 20 points (week one v Graeme Swann week 23 v Ice Cube and Kevin Hart)

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