Lawro’s predictions v world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson

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Watford fan Joshua’s Focus predictions

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

Lawro’s opponents for this weekend Premier League fixtures and FA Cup semi-finals is world heavyweight champion boxer Anthony Joshua.

Joshua, who beat Charles Martin to take the IBF title earlier this month, supports his hometown team Watford, and recently trained with Hornets striker Troy Deeney.


Watford striker Troy Deeney (right) was at the O2 Arena to watch Joshua become world champion

“I’ve known Troy for a while, we linked up in a barber shop,” Joshua told BBC Sport. “From there, I saw he was training with a coach in Birmingham.

“I liked the way his training was different to what I was used to so I linked up with him too. We were training together, footballer and boxer, and we had a great coach.

“Did Troy keep up with me? Definitely. He is a beast, he knows how to handle himself in the gym.”

The 26-year-old will not be at Wembley for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final, but has a message for Deeney and his Hornets’ team-mates

“I will be supporting you from a distance,” Joshua said. “Good luck to everyone at Watford, you have come this far and the hard work is done. Enjoy it and get the job done.”

Deeney, who admits he chooses Real Madrid ahead of Watford when he plays on Fifa, met former Real and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho after the Martin fight.

“Yes he is a special one,” he added. “Cool, calm and collected – the triple c’s.”

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

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

Lawro got four correct results and no perfect scores from last weekend’s matches, to give him a total of 40 points.

He was beaten by actors Idris Elba and Richard Madden, who got six results correct, with no perfect scores, for a total of 60 points.

Ahead of Arsenal’s game with West Brom, Lawro picked up an extra 60 points from his midweek predictions. Nobby Butcher and Carl Frampton also added to their scores.

Make your own predictions now, compare them to 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 BST unless otherwise stated



Man City v Stoke (12:45 BST)

Tottenham are a very good side but I was still disappointed with Stoke’s performance against them when they were beaten 4-0 at home on Monday night.

The Potters just did not turn up, which is very unlike them under Mark Hughes.

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Stoke City 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur: Potters were poor – Mark Hughes

I was also a bit surprised that Manchester City did not play better in their draw with Newcastle on Tuesday – I was expecting Manuel Pellegrini’s side to kick on after beating Chelsea at the weekend.

But I think they will beat Stoke at Etihad Stadium. They have to, really, because a top four place is still far from guaranteed.

As far as this season’s Champions League goes, I think City have a chance in their semi-final against Real Madrid. Those two games could be any score, and I honestly do not fancy one team more than the other.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Joshua’s prediction: 2-1


Aston Villa v Southampton

Things keep getting worse for Aston Villa, with the stories coming out of the boardroom about David Bernstein and Lord King’s departure, and Gabriel Agbonlahor’s latest suspension generating more headlines.

Villa were officially relegated last week but it will take until the season ends for them to be put out of their misery.

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Aston Villa: How club went from Europe to relegation

Southampton, who are on course to follow last season’s eighth-place finish with something very similar, will be far too strong for them.

Finishing in that seventh to 10th place bracket is a good achievement, but it will be difficult for them to kick on from that without spending big.

Saints have had to get used to seeing players leave at the end of each season but their recruitment has been very good to make up for that.

They might also be a bit worried about hanging on to their manager Ronald Koeman this summer too.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Joshua’s prediction: 0-0


Bournemouth v Chelsea

Bournemouth beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the start of December, in one of Jose Mourinho’s final games in charge of the Blues.

That win lifted the Cherries out of the bottom three, and they have not been back in the relegation zone since, which underlines how impressive their first season in the Premier League has been.

They are not going down, but they might have to wait a little longer to be mathematically safe.

Chelsea’s season is just petering out, but I don’t think Bournemouth will make it three defeats in a row for Guus Hiddink’s side.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Johsua’s prediction: 1-3


Liverpool v Newcastle

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has had two decent results in the past week – a win over Swansea and a draw with Manchester City.

It looks like he has put a bit of resolve back in that team, but I am not sure he has got the players to go and get another positive result at Anfield.

I don’t see them getting much of the ball on Saturday, the way Liverpool are playing. The Reds are on a roll at the moment.

Benitez will get a good reception of course, but I think that is all he will get.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Joshua’s prediction: 2-0


Everton v Man Utd (FA Cup semi-final, 17:15 BST)

I think Everton were seriously naive in Wednesday’s Merseyside derby defeat. Even before they won that game 4-0, Liverpool had scored four goals in each of their last two home games.

So it was time for Toffees boss Roberto Martinez to play a 4-5-1 and tell his players to start scrapping.

Instead, they made it far too easy for the Reds, who could have been four or five up at half-time, and it was embarrassing for Everton.

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Everton loss horrible for fans – Roberto Martinez

There are many reasons why Martinez is in danger of getting sacked if Everton lose at Wembley – and results are only one of them.

It seems Martinez’s biggest problem is with the Everton fans. Rightly or wrongly, lots of supporters have decided they are not having him.

If you are running that football club, you are going to take that into consideration. Will the new owner Farhad Moshiri let Martinez spend his money in the summer? I very much doubt it.

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Man Utd have to score more goals – Van Gaal

If he wins the FA Cup, Martinez might get more time because they have not won anything since 1995, but if they get rolled over by Manchester United then he is in big trouble.

I don’t think United boss Louis van Gaal has changed the way his side play, but there was a little bit more urgency about them in their win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Van Gaal’s future is in doubt even if he wins the FA Cup, though. For me, he needs a top-four finish and Champions League football to keep his job.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Joshua’s prediction: 1-3



Sunderland v Arsenal (14:05 BST)

Sunderland’s win at relegation rivals Norwich last week was an excellent result.

The Black Cats seem to have tightened up defensively because they have now had two clean sheets in their last three games.

I am backing them to pick up another point here, because I am not sure what to expect from Arsenal at the moment.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Joshua’s prediction: 0-3


Crystal Palace v Watford (FA Cup semi-final, 16:00 BST)

I know Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew changed his team around for Wednesday’s defeat by Manchester United but, before then, they were coming into a bit of form after a long run without a league win.

I think Palace will fancy their chances against Watford. The Hornets also made lots of changes in their defeat by West Ham, but they were fortunate to beat West Brom at the weekend and I don’t think they are in a good place at the moment.

There seems to be a bit of speculation over Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores’ future too. That seems harsh after the season they have had.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Joshua’s prediction: 1-2


Leicester v Swansea (16:15 BST)

I was at the King Power Stadium last week for Radio 5 live and the atmosphere felt a bit strange before kick-off.

You could sense West Ham were going to cause Leicester problems and, when the game started, the Foxes looked heavy-legged and leaden-footed.

It is going to be interesting to see how they cope without the suspended Jamie Vardy.

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Jamie Vardy: How long should Leicester star be banned for?

Shinji Okazaki, who spends more time on the floor than any other player I’ve seen, and Leonardo Ulloa are their only other options up front.

Without Vardy’s pace, teams can really squeeze Leicester because nobody is going to run in behind them.

I think that is a real worry, so I am going to go for another draw here – although Swansea did look like they had just booked their summer holidays in Benidorm against Newcastle last weekend.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Joshua’s prediction: 2-0



Tottenham v West Brom (20:00 BST)

It is always much easier to be the chasing club in the title race but, even so, Tottenham are playing extremely well at the moment.

They have always had skilful players but they have now got application and endeavour too, and they never roll over. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has done a wonderful job.

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Spurs can win Premier League title – Harry Kane

Tottenham are built from the back but they have developed as the season has gone on and, at the moment, they are the best team in the league in every department.

West Brom have taken only one point from their last four games and it is hard to see their form improving on Monday.

However Leicester do on Sunday, Spurs will win this and keep the pressure on.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Joshua’s prediction: 2-0

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

*Does not include score for postponed games

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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