It’s a huge weekend of action with the Manchester Derby on Saturday afternoon and the North London Derby served up on Super Sunday. So it is a vital weekend to bring in our resident tipster and Premier League predictions expert, Mark Lawrenson.
Take it away, Lawro…
Friday, 8:00pm – Sky Sports Main Event
Unai Emery has done well at Villa since coming in, but they could only draw against Wolves last time out in the league. I’m not sure he’ll have been too worried about the FA Cup defeat, as they can focus on getting up the table now. Leeds look like they’re going to be busy in the transfer window this month. They’ve got loads of fight, and are horrible to play against. I think they can spring a surprise here. VILLA 1-2 LEEDS.
Saturday, 12:30pm – BT Sport 1
City were woeful at Southampton in the week and you know what that means… they’ll come out firing in this one! United have been on a good run, but it seems every time this game is played at Old Trafford they barely get a kick. They’re improving and getting better and better but I fancy City here. It could be a huge weekend for the title race with the derbies in Manchester and North London. MAN UTD 0-2 MAN CITY.
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Brighton will fancy their chances here. They should have won at Anfield earlier in the season in what ended in a 3-3 thriller. Liverpool’s midfield at the moment looks very sparse. It’s not firing and they look leggy and easy to get at.
Brighton have got loads of money for the likes of Yves Bissouma, Marc Cucurella and Graham Potter and got better! They are one of the best run teams in the league and they’re still a nice club and run by good people. Even back in my days there they did things the right way and their recruitment is spot on. BRIGHTON 2-1 LIVERPOOL
Nathan Jones has stepped up from the Championship and was never going to turn it around overnight, but he’s got a few decent results in the cups. They’ve got some quality and I think they’ll escape. Everton are in a bit of a mess, but they’re at home and they’ll fight. EVERTON 1-1 SOUTHAMPTON.
This is a big one. Forest have picked up of late. They’re not out of the woods, but I think the manager may know his best team now. Leicester haven’t picked up a win in the league since the post-World Cup restart, and I think their local rivals will pinch it here. FOREST 2-1 LEICESTER.
Julen Lopetegui has got Wolves playing, and they should have won at Liverpool in the cup last weekend. I think goals will still be a problem, though. West Ham are just starting to pick up with the draw at Leeds being followed up with that FA Cup win at Brentford. They needed that, and the mood will have improved. WOLVES 1-2 WEST HAM.
Saturday, 5:30pm – Sky Sports Main Event
I think this could be routine for the home team. Bournemouth are struggling to get a win. They had a good start, but it’s falling away and I’m not sure they can turn it around. Brentford don’t change, they have a plan and system and it works. BRENTFORD 2-0 BOURNEMOUTH.
Sunday, 2:00pm – Sky Sports Main Event
I didn’t expect Chelsea to lose at Fulham, but did know it would be a tough one. They played OK and the red card to Joao Felix hurt them. They can maybe get on a roll back in front of their own fans at Stamford Bridge. Palace don’t spend fortunes and have some good young players. On their day they are good team, but I wouldn’t fancy them here. CHELSEA 2-1 PALACE.
Newcastle are on a massive high, particularly after the win over Leicester in midweek. The FA Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday already feels a distant memory after that win. I think Fulham could suffer a hangover from the local derby with Chelsea on Thursday. It’s a quick turnaround. NEWCASTLE 2-0 FULHAM.
Sunday, 4:30pm – Sky Sports Main Event
Forget Spurs, Tottenham should be nicknamed the ‘Enigma’! You never really know what you’re going to get from them, but I can see Antonio Conte getting his troops fired up. As good as Arsenal have been, this is a completely different type of game. The tackles will be flying in, and I don’t expect it to be a classic.
I think it’ll be tight, the sort of game Conte loves. This weekend could be massive for the title race, but either way I think it’ll be tight in the run-in between Arsenal and City. SPURS 1-1 ARSENAL.
LAWRO V PUNTER CHALLENGE
So, you’ve heard what Mark Lawrenson has to say, but can this week’s Paddy Power punter take down our game-guessing guru with their Premier League predictions?
If you don’t know what we’re talking about, where have you been? Every Premier League gameweek we’re putting up at least £/€50 – more if there’s a rollover – to anyone who can outsmart Lawro in guessing the outcome of that week’s games. All the rules are here, but in a nutshell it’s three points for a correct score, and one point for a correct result. Simples.
Lawro got the better of the last challenger Aberdeen fan Craig from Edinburgh with a 5-4 victory. That means there’s £100 on the line for this week’s opponent, Sunderland supporter Ryan. Here’s his picks…
Villa 1-1 Leeds
Man Utd 1-3 Man City
Brighton 0-2 Liverpool
Everton 0-1 Southampton
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Leicester
Wolves 1-0 West Ham
Brentford 2-0 Bournemouth
Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace
Newcastle 2-1 Fulham
Tottenham 0-Arsenal 2
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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.