Premier League predictions: Lawro v singer-songwriter and Tottenham fan Declan McKenna


Lawro's predictions

Something has got to give at Anfield on Monday when Liverpool and Arsenal meet after making 100% winning starts to the Premier League season – but who will prevail?

“Of course Arsenal have improved,” said former Reds defender Mark Lawrenson. “But Liverpool are still a level or two above them at the moment.

“I just don’t see the Gunners coming to Anfield and causing them problems.”

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

This weekend, he is up against singer-songwriter and Tottenham fan Declan McKenna.

Declan McKenna
McKenna’s new album ‘Zeros’ reached number two in the charts earlier this month

McKenna, 21, grew up in Cheshunt, only 10 miles away from the club’s old and new homes and definitely part of Tottenham’s territory in terms of the local fanbase. His family are all Spurs fans too.

“There was only ever one club for me – there was never any reason to go against the grain and support anyone else,” he told BBC Sport.

“I’ve gone to games my whole life. We were only five minutes away by train and my older brothers had season tickets when I was very young.

“They are our local club and there is a bit of pride about that, even though there have been lots of ups and downs. That is all part of the fun.”

Despite the new Premier League season starting behind closed doors, McKenna was at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for their opening game against Everton – because he was part of the club’s on-line pre-match entertainment.

“I was a big fan of our new ground anyhow, and I was quite familiar with it because I went to a few games before lockdown last season,” he added. “Despite being bigger, it has a very similar energy to White Hart Lane and already feels very homely.

“But before the Everton game I had a little tour as well and it was great seeing the view of the pitch, even from the highest points at the back of the stands. It is so well done, with the seating slanted so you really feel in the action wherever you are.”

Like Spurs boss Jose Mourinho and some of the players, McKenna has also done ‘The Dare Sky Walk’ at his club’s new ground. Only for the brave, it is a climb up a narrow glass walkway that rises 46.8 metres above the pitch.

“Now that is a different perspective altogether!” he explained. “It was great to be able to go up and touch the new ‘Chirpy’ (the golden cockerel that is the club’s emblem) up there.

“The walkway does wobble quite a lot in the wind, though. It was scary – but cool!”

Declan McKenna
McKenna rose to fame after winning Glastonbury’s emerging talent contest in 2015
Result Lawro Declan
SATURDAY
Brighton v Man Utd x-x 0-2 1-2
Crystal Palace v Everton x-x 1-1 0-2
West Brom v Chelsea x-x 0-2 0-1
Burnley v Southampton x-x 2-1 2-2
SUNDAY
Sheff Utd v Leeds x-x 1-2 2-3
Tottenham v Newcastle x-x 2-0 3-0
Man City v Leicester x-x 3-0 2-1
West Ham v Wolves x-x 1-1 0-2
MONDAY
Fulham v Aston Villa x-x 1-2 0-1
Liverpool v Arsenal x-x 2-0 3-0

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

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

SATURDAY

Brighton v Man Utd

Brighton v Man Utd (12:30 BST)

Brighton got an excellent win at Newcastle last week. Just as they did against Chelsea in their first game, they created plenty of chances, which is a really good sign of how they have progressed since last season. They look a lot more dangerous.

United are under pressure already but I think their defeat at home by Crystal Palace will act as the kick up the backside they need. I’d be surprised if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side do not produce a much better performance this time.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Declan’s prediction: This one could go either way. As a team, I rate Brighton – they thrashed us 3-0 last season – but United have some great individual players who can make the difference on their day. 1-2

Crystal Palace v Everton

Crystal Palace v Everton (15:00 BST)

It is two wins out of two for both of these sides so far, and they have both scored a few goals as well.

It is clear that Everton have upgraded their team with their summer signings – James Rodriguez has got a bit of class – and, up front, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are a handful.

But I am going to go for a draw here. Palace have shown they have got a decent goal threat of their own but Eagles boss Roy Hodgson will make sure they are solid in this one. He always does.

When you play against a Hodgson team, you just feel like there is no space to operate in. Rodriguez is still good enough to find some, of course, but I still don’t think Everton will get as many chances here as they did in their wins over Tottenham and West Brom.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Declan’s prediction: I know Palace have won both of their league games so far but I just have a feeling Everton are going to be a real threat this season. 0-2

West Brom v Chelsea

West Brom v Chelsea (17:30 BST)

Chelsea’s defeat by Liverpool last week was a bit of a reality check for them. Frank Lampard’s side looked pretty ordinary at times, and it was a reminder of where they are at – he is still trying to work out what his best team is, with all their new signings.

We also saw, again, that Chelsea’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is not good enough – he makes too many mistakes, which is why they have gone out and signed Edouard Mendy this week.

Whoever is in goal for them at The Hawthorns, Chelsea will surely bring in Thiago Silva at the back for his first league game – but I don’t see West Brom causing the Blues many problems anyway.

The Baggies have lost their first two games, and conceded eight goals already. Things are not going to be any easier this time, but the only thing I would say in their defence is that in Leicester, Everton and now Chelsea, they have started their season by playing three teams who will probably finish in the top eight.

It has been a very tough start for Slaven Bilic’s side, so there is no need to panic if they are still without a point after this game. We will find out more about them when they play teams who are likely to be around them near the bottom of the table.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Declan’s prediction: I just don’t see West Brom getting anything here. 0-1

Burnley v Southampton

Burnley v Southampton (20:00 BST)

I am a bit surprised by the way Southampton have started the season with two defeats, especially the way they were taken apart by Tottenham last time out.

Saints looked full of confidence with the way they finished last season, but there is a risk all of that could be knocked out of them very early on.

Burnley also began by losing – against Leicester, after being ahead, but they showed plenty of fight. The Clarets have some injury problems to contend with, but I’d still back them to edge this.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Declan’s prediction: I’m going for goals here, especially if Southampton defend like they did against us last week. 2-2

SUNDAY

Sheff Utd v Leeds

Sheff Utd v Leeds (12:00 BST)

Leeds are up and running points-wise after seeing off Fulham last week and I think this will be another rock-and-roll type game with lots of chances, and lots of tackling too.

Both teams like to get stuck in, and this is going to be a good game to watch.

Sheffield United have no goals or points so far, but I think they will at least put the first part of that problem right in this game.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Declan’s prediction: It’s going to be interesting to see how things pan out for Leeds this season. They will surprise a few people. 2-3

Tottenham v Newcastle

Tottenham v Newcastle (14:00 BST)

Both of these sides have had one very good performance and result in the Premier League so far this season – and one very bad one too.

I’m going for Tottenham here, though. They have got to wait for Gareth Bale to get fit, but even without him they showed last week against Southampton that they have got a big attacking threat.

Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane both feed off goals and, after they combined so well against Saints, I’d expect more of the same this time.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Declan’s prediction: I’ve got to back my team, haven’t I? Hopefully we will keep going forward like we did against Southampton last week, take the game to Newcastle and pull them out of position, which we have not been doing enough against well-drilled opposition. 3-0

Declan on Spurs: It’s been up and down so far this season but I am still pretty optimistic about where we are heading. When Bale is fit he will definitely lift the team and it looks like our attack is going to be strong – we just need our defence to settle in. But it is an exciting time because of the way the side has changed so much and I have really taken to Jose Mourinho too – I’ve been watching the Amazon Prime documentary about the club and I really like seeing him interact with the players. He’s an excellent manager and now he has built his own team, with players he wants.

Man City v Leicester

Man City v Leicester (16:30 BST)

Manchester City got the job done against Wolves on Monday, in what was a tricky opener for them.

Leicester have won two out of two so far but the injured Wilfred Ndidi is going to be a big miss for them at the back, where he has been filling in for them.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Declan’s prediction: I am expecting big things from Manchester City this season. 2-1

West Ham v Wolves

West Ham v Wolves (19:00 BST)

Wolves will feel they deserved something out of their game against Manchester City and, if they create as many chances as they did in that game, I don’t think they will end up empty-handed again this time.

West Ham need a win but they will have to try to get one without their manager David Moyes, who is self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus. He should still be able to speak to his players before kick-off via a video-call though.

The Hammers were actually pretty decent in defeat against Arsenal last weekend, but I think a draw would be a good result for them here.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Declan’s prediction: It’s got to be Wolves here. They are in the same bracket as Spurs at the moment – trying to break into the top four. The whole top 10 is so up in the air and it feels like a lot of those teams could make the step up and get in there. I really like the fact that part of the Premier League is quite open at the moment. 0-2

MONDAY

Fulham v Aston Villa

Fulham v Aston Villa (17:45 BST)

Fulham have lost their first two league matches and shipped seven goals already, so this is a game they will be thinking they have to get something out of.

Aston Villa will fancy it too, though. They made a confident start against Sheffield United, with a win and a clean sheet, and I’m going to go with them to carry on in that kind of form at Craven Cottage.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Declan’s prediction: I have got Jack Grealish in my Fantasy Football team so I am going with Villa to edge this, and him to get me some points with the winner. 0-1

Liverpool v Arsenal

Liverpool v Arsenal (20:00 BST)

Thiago Alcantara came into the Liverpool side for his debut against Chelsea and bossed things without even having a sweat on. He looked quite a player.

I’d expect the Reds to dominate possession in this game too, and I still worry about Arsenal when they don’t have the ball.

Yes, the Gunners beat Liverpool in July, but that was just after Jurgen Klopp’s side had clinched the title.

I wouldn’t take anything from that game as a suggestion Arsenal could do it again because Liverpool were not playing at anything like 100%. They will be this time, though.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Declan’s prediction: I am always going to go with a big Liverpool win here, aren’t I!? 3-0

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last week?

From last weekend’s games, Lawro got six correct results, including two exact scores, for a total of 120 points.

That gave him victory over singer Raye, who got five correct results, including one exact score, for a tally of 80 points.

Lawro's League Table graphic

TEAM P W D L PTS +/-
=1 Arsenal 2 2 0 0 6 +2
=1 Leicester 2 2 0 0 6 0
=1 Tottenham 2 2 0 0 6 +5
=4 Chelsea 2 1 1 0 4 +6
=4 Liverpool 2 1 1 0 4 -1
=6 Aston Villa 1 1 0 0 3 +2
=6 Everton 2 1 0 1 3 -5
=6 Leeds 2 1 0 1 3 +3
=6 Man Utd 1 1 0 0 3 +8
=6 Newcastle 2 1 0 1 3 +6
=6 West Ham 2 1 0 1 3 +10
12 Wolves 2 0 2 0 2 0
=13 Crystal Palace 2 0 1 1 1 -8
=13 Man City 1 0 1 0 1 -6
=13 Sheff Utd 2 0 1 1 1 +4
=13 Southampton 2 0 1 1 1 +6
=17 Burnley 1 0 0 1 0 -3
=17 Brighton 2 0 0 2 0 -9
=17 Fulham 2 0 0 2 0 +1
=17 West Brom 2 0 0 2 0 +3

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2020-21

80 Lawro (average after two weeks), Raye
60 Celeste



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