Premier League predictions: Lawro v Idles bassist Adam Devonshire

Lawro's predictions

Top-of-the-table Leicester travel to injury-hit Liverpool on Sunday, but will the Foxes clinch their fifth-successive away win of the season at Anfield?

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson said: “This is an even harder game for Liverpool than when they went to Manchester City before the international break.

“There is the threat of Leicester and the way they play with Jamie Vardy, which is so effective – especially away from home.

“But then you have to consider how many players the Reds are missing at the back, and you have to think a draw would be a decent result for Jurgen Klopp’s side.”

Snapshot of the top of the Premier League table: 1st Leicester, 2nd Tottenham, 3rd Liverpool, 4th Southampton, 5th Chelsea & 6th Aston Villa

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

This weekend, he is up against Adam Devonshire, bassist with punk band Idles.

Idles are (left to right) Mark Bowen, Lee Kiernan, Jon Beavis, Joe Talbot and Adam Devonshire
Idles are (left to right) Mark Bowen, Lee Kiernan, Jon Beavis, Joe Talbot and Adam Devonshire. Their latest album ‘Ultra Mono’ reached number one in September and is the fastest-selling LP this year

Adam grew up in Devon but is a Newcastle fan.

He told BBC Sport: “When I was about nine or 10, everyone started choosing their team in school and everyone seemed to like Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester United.

“I kind of just thought I want to support someone a bit different. You think you’re being a bit outside the box when you do that at that age.

“I really liked the black and white shirts and at the time they had players like Ruel Fox and Andy Cole, who was banging them in, and I thought ‘yeah, they’re the team for me.’

“So yeah, I chose them… and once you’ve chosen your team, you’re stuck after that, aren’t you really?

“The first few years were when we were just taking off under Kevin Keegan and it lulled me into a false sense of security. I thought ‘this is what it is always going to be like’ and I was wrong.

“We were regulars in Europe for most of the later 1990s and early 2000s and back in the Champions League under Sir Bobby Robson in 2002-03, but it has not been like that in the past 10 to 15 years or so.

“It is very different being a Newcastle fan now.”

Idles play at Austin City Limits Music Festival in Texas in October 2019
Idles’ 2018 album ‘Joy as an act of Resistance’ was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2019. The band go back on tour in the UK next April

Devonshire worshipped Alan Shearer when he was growing up but his favourite Newcastle player was someone he felt could model his own game on.

“I was always a defender or a defensive midfielder so David Batty was always my hero,” he explained. “I enjoyed putting a tasty challenge in here and there.

“I played for my county and a few adult teams when I was 14 and 15, which was when music kind of took over, really. I realised I was never going to make it or anything like that, so I focused my attention on other things.”

Result Lawro Adam
Newcastle v Chelsea x-x 0-2 2-2
Aston Villa v Brighton x-x 1-1 3-1
Tottenham v Man City x-x 1-2 1-2
Man Utd v West Brom x-x 3-0 2-1
Fulham v Everton x-x 0-2 0-2
Sheff Utd v West Ham x-x 2-0 0-1
Leeds v Arsenal x-x 2-1 2-2
Liverpool v Leicester x-x 1-1 3-2
Burnley v Crystal Palace x-x 2-0 1-1
Wolves v Southampton x-x 2-0 2-2

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



Newcastle v Chelsea

Newcastle v Chelsea (12:30 GMT)

Newcastle will be awkward, perhaps even more so than usual, after their non-performance in their defeat at Southampton last time out. Magpies boss Steve Bruce will try to make them much tighter, and they will have to be to keep Chelsea out.

Frank Lampard’s side were just hitting their stride before the international break, especially in attack – they created so many chances in their win over Sheffield United.

Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz are out of this game but that would still allow the Blues to name pretty much the same team that beat the Blades. At the back, Thiago Silva is a doubt because he has only just got back from international duty, but I’d still expect Chelsea to win comfortably.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Adam’s prediction: This isn’t a reflection of what I want to happen, but I am going up against Lawro here so I have to be realistic because I want to score some points! I can see Chelsea nicking a 2-1 win if they are firing on all cylinders, because they have got some amazing players. I don’t want to say we’ll lose, but the best we can really hope for is a draw. 2-2

Aston Villa v Brighton

Aston Villa v Brighton (15:00 GMT)

I really like the way Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley link up for Aston Villa and Ollie Watkins is doing well in his first season in the Premier League.

When everything clicks, Villa look very good. They completely outplayed Arsenal at the start of this month and had that extraordinary win over Liverpool in October.

But they have also lost at home to Leeds and Southampton in the past couple of weeks, so it is not easy to predict what they will do next.

I am also not sure what to expect from Brighton. At the start of the season, in games against Chelsea, Newcastle and Manchester United, they looked very dangerous going forward.

That hasn’t been the case recently against West Brom and Burnley, though. The Seagulls have drawn a lot of games in the past few weeks, and I think they could end up sharing the points again.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Adam’s prediction: Villa have been the most surprising team of the season so far. Barkley was a great signing and having him and Grealish is a dream pairing for them. Ollie Watkins is from Devon too, from a town near where I grew up so there is a lot of local pride around him. 3-1

Tottenham v Man City

Tottenham v Man City (17:30 GMT)

Both of these teams are on a really good run so this will be a really good yardstick for where they are at.

Snapshot of 7th to 12th in the Premier League: 7th Everton, 8th Crystal Palace, 9th Wolves, 10th Man City, 11th, Arsenal & 12th West Ham

We know the kind of form Harry Kane is in at the moment for Spurs but City are looking a lot more solid defensively, and they will have a fit Gabriel Jesus to lead their attack.

It is going to be close, but I would go with Pep Guardiola to get one over Jose Mourinho.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Adam’s prediction: I’ve gone for City here because they have got so much class but this could go either way. Spurs have got a system that works. 1-2

Man Utd v West Brom

Man Utd v West Brom (20:00 GMT)

Manchester United have not won at home in the Premier League this season but that really has to change on Saturday.

United had a very good win at Everton last time out but, on top of their collapse against Spurs, they have struggled to break teams down at Old Trafford, notably when they lost to Crystal Palace on the opening weekend of the season.

I think this is just the way United are at the moment, and the lack of a crowd certainly doesn’t help, but I still expect them to find a way past the Baggies.

If they don’t, they have got big problems.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Adam’s prediction: Our guitarist Lee supports United and I asked him ‘which United are going to turn up this week?’ He was like ‘I have no idea!’ Some weeks they look awesome and then the next it is like they have played together for the first time. They really should beat West Brom though. 2-1


Fulham v Everton

Fulham v Everton (12:00 GMT)

Fulham will feel they should have got something from their visit to West Ham and, if they get a penalty in this game, it’s safe to say that Ademola Lookman will not be taking it.

Lookman missed a Panenka-style penalty with the last kick of the game. His side lost 1-0 to West Ham
Lookman missed a Panenka-style penalty with the last kick of the game. His side lost 1-0

Everton haven’t won for a while now – after drawing the Merseyside derby they have lost their past three league games.

So, this has become a big game for Carlo Ancelotti’s side. They began the season in excellent form but they are on a poor run and they really need to kickstart their campaign with a win at Craven Cottage.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Adam’s prediction: We beat Everton when James Rodriguez wasn’t playing but when everyone is fit, the core team that they’ve got could beat anyone in the Premier League. 0-2

Sheff Utd v West Ham

Sheff Utd v West Ham (14:00 GMT)

It’s surprising to see Sheffield United struggling so badly. The worrying thing for them last time out was not that they lost to Chelsea, but that they had such a soft centre.

That is unusual for Chris Wilder’s team so the alarm bells will be ringing. I am backing them to turn the corner this weekend, though.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Adam’s prediction: I’m going for West Ham here – they are a team I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for because my second cousin on my dad’s side is Alan Devonshire, who used to play for them in the 1970s and 80s. I’ve never met him or anything like that, but apparently I am related to him. 0-1

Leeds v Arsenal

Leeds v Arsenal (16:30 GMT)

There’s surely got to be a reaction from Arsenal, after such a poor performance in their defeat by Aston Villa.

But I am going to go with Leeds here. They had a heavy defeat of their own, against Crystal Palace, but that game might have been a very different story if Patrick Bamford’s equaliser had not been ruled out by a ridiculous offside decision.

A screengrab of the Patrick Bamford offside decision
Had Bamford’s goal against Palace stood it would have made it 1-1. Leeds lost 4-1

I really do think this game is especially hard to call, but that is Leeds at the moment – they will go for it, but give the opposition chances.

With the Gunners, the question is more about whether they turn up as a team – a case of ‘same old Arsenal’ if you like. They had just started to improve and had looked as if they were about to kick on under Mikel Arteta but instead they have been very inconsistent.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Adam’s prediction: It is great to have Leeds back in the Premier League and they are an exciting team to watch because you never know what is going to happen with them. They could score four and concede three – kind of like Newcastle under Keegan in the 1990s. Leeds just love to attack. I would love to have that mentality at Newcastle now. 2-2

Liverpool v Leicester

Liverpool v Leicester (19:15 GMT)

Liverpool are short of fit centre-halves and they also need to find a way of dealing with Jamie Vardy’s pace.

It may well be that they use Fabinho alongside Joel Matip at the back, if the Brazilian midfielder is fit after his hamstring injury, or ask Jordan Henderson to drop back into defence if Fabinho is not ready yet.

Nat Phillips is a natural centre-half of course, but his real strength is heading and Leicester never really load the box and send in a lot of crosses.

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is out too and whether it is Neco Williams or James Milner who replaces him on Sunday, it will be as part of a back four that have never played a competitive game together as a unit before.

Vardy is probably scenting blood. They will do very well to keep him quiet.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Adam’s prediction: This is another exciting game. Brendan Rodgers is doing a great job at Leicester and he is bringing the best out of Vardy. Liverpool are still Liverpool though, and they are still a very dangerous team even if they are not quite at their best right now for various reasons, especially at the back. I can see there being some goals in this one. 3-2


Burnley v Crystal Palace

Burnley v Crystal Palace (17:30 GMT)

Like Sheffield United, Burnley have made an awful start to the season. Again, I don’t think they are as bad as their results suggest and a first league victory of the campaign is not far away.

Palace carry more of an attacking threat but this is unlikely to be an open game, full of free-flowing football. It will be a battle, and it is one that the Clarets can win.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Adam’s prediction: This has got a low-scoring draw written all over it. 1-1

Wolves v Southampton

Wolves v Southampton (20:00 GMT)

Southampton showed they could cope without Danny Ings when they brushed Newcastle aside before the international break. This is a much sterner test, however.

Saints are not just well-organised, they are forward-thinking. I really like the way they look to move the ball forward, get people in wide areas and stretch the opposition.

But they are up against Wolves, who are really canny team and have got a bit of class too.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side very rarely have off nights. Yes, they keep things very tight but they are what I would call a probing team. Once they find a weakness, they are in.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Adam’s prediction: This is going to be close. Wolves play good football and have got a bit of class about them, but Southampton have made a great start to the season. 2-2

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

From the last set of games, played before the international break, Lawro got four correct results, with no exact scores, for a total of 40 points

He was beaten by singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald, who goes joint-top of the guest leaderboard. She got eight correct results from the 10 matches, including one exact score, for a total of 110 points.

Lawro's League Table graphic

1 Man Utd 7 6 1 0 19 +13
=2 Leeds 8 6 0 2 18 +13
=2 Tottenham 8 6 0 2 18 0
=4 Chelsea 8 5 2 1 17 +1
=4 Liverpool 8 5 2 1 17 -1
6 Arsenal 8 5 1 2 16 +5
=7 Leicester 8 5 0 3 15 -6
=7 Man City 7 4 3 0 15 +3
9 Wolves 8 3 3 2 12 0
10 Southampton 8 3 2 3 11 -6
=11 Burnley 7 3 1 3 10 +8
=11 Newcastle 8 3 1 4 10 +2
13 Everton 8 2 3 3 9 -6
14 West Ham 8 2 2 4 8 -2
15 Brighton 8 2 1 5 7 +1
=16 Aston Villa 7 2 0 5 6 -10
=16 Crystal Palace 8 1 3 4 6 -8
17 Sheff Utd 8 1 1 6 4 +2
19 Fulham 8 1 0 7 3 -2
20 West Brom 8 0 0 8 0 -2


110 Amy Macdonald, Steve White
83 Lawro (average after eight weeks)
80 Raye
60 Celeste, Caroline Weir
50 Declan McKenna, DJ Target
0 Rema

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