Premier League predictions: Lawro v soul singer and Arsenal fan Celeste

10 September 2020 0 By Total Football News
Lawro's predictions

New season, same old Liverpool? Yes, according to former Reds defender and BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson.

"Jurgen Klopp is not going to change the way he plays," Lawrenson said. "It is asking a lot for them to end up with the same points total as the past two years, but I don't expect their levels to drop and I think they will start off by beating Leeds on Saturday.

"Then Liverpool go to Chelsea next weekend, which will be a tough game, but with Manchester City's start to the season delayed until 21 September, Pep Guardiola's side could be six points behind before they kick a ball, which would not be ideal for them."

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

For the opening weekend of the season, he is up against soul singer Celeste.

Celeste talks to Woman's Hour about starting out and her top life advice.

Celeste, whose new track 'Little Runaway' is out now, was born in California and grew up in Brighton but is an Arsenal fan.

"I am not that clued up on football but I know a bit," she told BBC Sport. "My grandad watches a lot so, from when I was younger, I would always watch games - but I think most of the players I know are sort of legends now, rather than still playing.

"Why Arsenal? Well, when I was growing up, my uncle supported West Ham and one of my mum's best friends supported Arsenal. I was close with all of them and they were vying for me to follow their team.

"Then I remember my mum's best friend's husband, he bought me a kit - an Arsenal kit - and I was like 'this is cool' and that was enough to win me over. From then on I was always leaning towards Arsenal."

Celeste received 30 first-place votes from the pundits who voted for the Sound Of 2020

The 26-year-old, who won BBC Music's Sound of 2020 award in January and was the 2019 Brits' Rising Star, got used to the sound of Arsenal fans when she lived in north London.

"I used to live in Holloway, near the Emirates Stadium, and you would always know when there was a game on. It was almost like you could feel it, from the top of the road to the bottom," she explained. "People would be doing these massive long walks on their way to the game and go past us."

"I never went myself but, when the fans are allowed back, I'd love to go to a game. It would be really cool to experience it, especially after this year when you have seen the difference in empty venues.

"There is something different about playing in front of a crowd, whether you are a singer or a footballer. I can't wait until the moment when I can go back and sing a song in front of people again - that will be quite amazing.

"It kind of gives you this exhilarating energy that helps you perform - and you do things you don't even know you can do because you are filled with this adrenaline that comes from having an audience.

"It can take you to new heights. I am sure footballers feel the same way."

Fulham v Arsenalx-x0-21-2
Crystal Palace v Southamptonx-x1-12-1
Liverpool v Leedsx-x2-02-1
West Ham v Newcastlex-x2-1
West Brom v Leicesterx-x0-20-1
Tottenham v Evertonx-x2-12-1
Sheff Utd v Wolvesx-x1-11-2
Brighton v Chelseax-x0-21-2

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


Games kick off at 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated


Fulham v Arsenal

Fulham v Arsenal (12:30 BST)

With no fans allowed into grounds, Fulham will not get any of the usual buzz or lift that newly promoted teams get from their fans when they are at home on the opening day of the season.

The Cottagers must know most people think they will go straight back down, but their manager Scott Parker can use that as a way of motivating them.

I saw quite a bit of them in the Championship last season and they try to play good football, with the option of using Aleksandar Mitrovic as a target man too.

I just think Arsenal will be ready for them, though. For obvious reasons, it does not seem like very long at all since the Gunners won the FA Cup final.

Since then, they have won the Community Shield too, which is as competitive as it gets for a friendly. I'd expect them to be sharp.

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Celeste's prediction: 1-2

Crystal Palace v Southampton

Crystal Palace v Southampton

Southampton finished the season very strongly, and Danny Ings could not stop scoring.

Palace's form was at the other end of the scale, with seven straight defeats and then a draw in their final eight games.

That will all be forgotten now, though. There won't be any hangover from the previous campaign even though this is a much quicker turnaround than usual. Most of the time footballers do not even remember what happened last week.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Celeste's prediction: 2-1

Liverpool v Leeds United

Liverpool v Leeds United (17:30 BST)

Leeds are another team I've seen a lot of in the Championship and I'm looking forward to seeing how they get on in the top flight. I love the way they play.

They are very Liverpool-like in terms of their pressing and their pace and I don't see them struggling at all, even if this is an especially difficult opening game for them.

I like the look of Leeds' new striker Rodrigo and keep an eye out for Pablo Hernandez in midfield, who you might remember from his time with Swansea in the Premier League a few years back.

He is 35 now and doesn't start many games, but what a player he is when he comes off the bench - he has got fantastic vision and sees things no-one else in that team sees.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Celeste's prediction: 2-1

West Ham v Newcastle

West Ham v Newcastle (20:00 BST)

West Ham fans are clearly miffed about the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom. I don't know why they sold him - how can it be for financial reasons when they have just bid about £27m for Burnley defender James Tarkowski?

Newcastle, meanwhile, come into the new season on the back of some really good signings like Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jeff Hendrick. You can see what Steve Bruce is thinking - he wanted some players who know all about the Premier League.

This will be close, but I'm going with the Hammers. David Moyes has had some time to work with his team and, if they can get Tarkowski in - or someone like him - they will be safer, quicker, this time.

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Celeste's prediction: 2-2


West Brom v Leicester

West Brom v Leicester (14:00 BST)

It feels like West Brom have got a tough season ahead of them. Defensively I am not convinced by them at all.

Leicester have lost Ben Chilwell to Chelsea but as long as Jamie Vardy is in the side they are a threat. They will be too strong for the Baggies.

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Celeste's prediction: 0-1

Tottenham v Everton

Tottenham v Everton (16:30 BST)

Everton's midfield is starting to look seriously impressive after Carlo Ancelotti's recent recruitment drive, but they still look short of firepower.

Tottenham are also taking shape under Jose Mourinho and they have done good business over the summer too. I still think they need a proper back-up for Harry Kane, though.

I'd go with Spurs to edge this one, but I don't see either team making the top four this season.

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Celeste's prediction: 2-1


Sheff Utd v Wolves

Sheff Utd v Wolves (20:00 BST)

Sheffield United did far better than I expected last season, but I still have my doubts about whether they have got enough goals in their side. I look forward to them proving me wrong.

Wolves also had an excellent campaign, and now they have to try to match it. Like the Blades, they are always very competitive and I'm expecting a decent battle here.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Celeste's prediction: 1-2

Brighton v Chelsea

Brighton v Chelsea (20:00 BST)

If he stays fit, Adam Lallana will give Brighton something a bit different in midfield - he is a very clever player.

We already know the Seagulls are solid at the back and I look at them as being capable of finishing top of the bottom eight - or out of trouble in other words.

This is a tricky opener for them, though. Yes, Chelsea's new signings will take a little bit of time to gel, but you just know they are going to have a good season because they have so many good players.

N'Golo Kante's future with the Blues is still uncertain, which would ordinarily be a blow. But it seems like Lampard has a replacement lined up in the shape of West Ham's Declan Rice, who would be another excellent buy.

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Celeste's prediction: 1-2

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last season?

Lawro made a prediction for all 380 Premier League games last season and the final table based on all of his predictions is at the bottom of this page.

In Lawro's league table, Manchester City finished as champions, with Liverpool unbeaten and in second place - but with five points more than they managed in real life.

Overall, he had four teams out of 20 in their correct positions, with seven others only one or two places out.

Lawro's League Table graphic
1Man City383521107+1
5Man Utd38209969-2
10West Ham381571652+6
14Aston Villa381082038+3
17Sheff Utd38892133-8
=18Crystal Palace38692327-4

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