Carabao Cup and Premier League predictions: Lawro v rapper and Liverpool fan Yungen

Lawro's predictions

Manchester United could do neighbours Manchester City a huge favour when they host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Liverpool need at least a point to go back to the top of the Premier League on a day when City are playing Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final – but will they get it at Old Trafford against their bitter rivals?

BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson said: “A draw would be a good result for Liverpool, especially because of the way the mood has changed at United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“The atmosphere is different to the way it was under Jose Mourinho anyway, and you just know they are are going to ramp it up for this game.”

Snapshot of the top of Premier League table: 1st Man City, 2nd Liverpool, 3rd Tottenham, 4th Man Utd, 5th Arsenal, 6th Chelsea<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

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

This week he is up against rapper and Liverpool fan Yungen, whose latest single ‘Comfortable’ is out now and on the club’s official playlist.

Yungen is a regular at Anfield and says hearing his hit ‘Bestie’ played there while he was at a Champions League game last season was one of the “top five moments of his career”.

He grew up in Herne Hill in south London but his mum is from Liverpool and his two older brothers were born there and are both Reds.

“It is has been in the family since I was a kid – I was just brought up to support Liverpool and I did not really have a choice at all!” he told BBC Sport.

Yungen<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Liverpool’s bid to win the title for the first time since 1990 means this is a tense time for all their fans and Yungen admits he is feeling the pressure a bit.

“If you had asked me how I felt a few weeks ago, I was in a really good place,” he told BBC Sport. “It is different now. Seeing us drop points means the last few weeks have been a bit nerve-wracking.

“When Manchester City lost those two games over Christmas, I thought it was ours, it has to be ours, they can’t catch us now. But here we are, level at the top going into this weekend.

“But I am still happy and positive about our chances. I think this is the best we have looked in a long, long time. We can do it, definitely.

“We are not blowing teams away like we were last season – there were times when we went forward, and it was just unbelievable – but when you watch us now it feels like we are more in control of games.

“We do not look like we are always going to concede anymore, and we do not have to play amazingly well to win.”

ResultLawroYungen
FRIDAY
Cardiff v Watford1-51-21-2
West Ham v Fulham3-12-03-0
SATURDAY
Burnley v Tottenhamx-x1-11-1
Bournemouth v Wolvesx-x1-22-1
Newcastle v Huddersfieldx-x2-02-0
Leicester v Crystal Palacex-x2-01-1
SUNDAY
Arsenal v Southamptonx-x2-04-0
Man Utd v Liverpoolx-x1-11-3
Chelsea v Man City (Carabao Cup final)x-x1-21-3

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

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless stated.

FRIDAY

Cardiff v Watford<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Cardiff 1-5 Watford

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Yungen’s prediction: 1-2

Match report

West Ham v Fulham<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

West Ham 3-1 Fulham

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Yungen’s prediction: 3-0

Match report

SATURDAY

Burnley v Tottenham<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Burnley v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)

It is great news for Tottenham that Harry Kane is back in training, although I would be surprised if he is thrown straight back in for this game.

Spurs are on a good run, and have shown they do not rely on the England striker, but I see this trip as a very tough test for them.

I have been very impressed with Burnley in recent weeks. They are unbeaten in the league since Boxing Day, and their performances have been as good as their results.

A big improvement in the Clarets’ defence has played a big part in that and I don’t think they will give much away on Saturday either.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Yungen’s prediction: 1-1

Bournemouth v Wolves<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Bournemouth v Wolves

I was going to back Bournemouth here, because I have seen them do this before – they go away and get rolled over – as has happened in their past two games at Cardiff and Liverpool – then they turn up with a very different performance at home.

But Callum Wilson and David Brooks are both out injured for the Cherries, which is a big blow for them.

Wolves are going very well – into the FA Cup sixth round and with three wins in their past four league games.

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It says a lot that they will have been disappointed to only draw with Newcastle in their last league game, but they are still in seventh in the table and they have the chance to really kick on now.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Yungen’s prediction: 2-1

Newcastle v Huddersfield<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Newcastle v Huddersfield

This is a game Newcastle really have to win, and they could climb a few places up the table if they do.

Snapshot of the bottom of the Premier League - 15th Burnley, 16th Newcastle, 17th Cardiff, 18th Southampton, 19th Fulham & 20th Huddersfield<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

The Magpies should win it too – they are playing a team who are bottom and have taken one point from their past 13 games.

I just don’t fancy Huddersfield to score at the moment, which is another reason I think Rafa Benitez’s side will come out on top.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Yungen’s prediction: 2-0

Leicester v Crystal Palace<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Leicester v Crystal Palace (17:30 GMT)

Leicester had their chances against Tottenham, at Wembley on 10 February, but that defeat means they have taken only one point from their past five games.

There always seems to be speculation over the future of Foxes boss Claude Puel, and he really needs to return to winning ways here.

A lot depends on Puel’s line-up – and whether Jamie Vardy starts this time – but I actually quite fancy Leicester here.

Crystal Palace are having a good run in the FA Cup and have taken five points from their past three games too.

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The Eagles have been playing quite well and creating loads of chances, but they are still hovering just above the relegation zone and they will have to be careful they don’t get sucked in.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Yungen’s prediction: 1-1

SUNDAY

Arsenal v Southampton<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Arsenal v Southampton (14:05 GMT)

Southampton dropped into the relegation zone after losing to Cardiff last time out, and I think they might stay there for a while longer.

Arsenal have got some issues they need to sort out – Mesut Ozil’s future being one of them – but their home record is very good and they should still be too strong for Saints.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Yungen’s prediction: 4-0

Man Utd v Liverpool<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Man Utd v Liverpool (14:05 GMT)

Manchester United were excellent at Chelsea in the FA Cup on Monday – the result, and their performance too.

It was probably their best display under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, bearing in mind it came after they had been easily dealt with by Paris St-Germain.

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Paul Pogba was impressive again at Stamford Bridge and his improvement since Jose Mourinho was sacked is an example of how playing under a different manager can transform a player.

It is true he should have been doing better under Mourinho, but it is perfectly obvious that Pogba needs loving to get the best out of him.

He is such a good player that it is worth keeping him happy and when you have got someone as good as him playing well, it brings all the other players up to his level.

With United playing at the level they are, this will undoubtedly be one of Liverpool’s more difficult league games between now and the end of the season.

They have to deal with the history of the whole Manchester United-Liverpool rivalry, and everything that goes with it, as well as United’s recent revival. The atmosphere at Old Trafford will be white-hot.

To come away with anything, the Reds will have to keep their heads.

I know from playing in this fixture myself that the tackles will be flying in, so discipline is vital. No-one can afford to make a stupid lunge at someone early on because they will get sent off for it.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Yungen’s prediction: 1-3

This had to be our game in hand didn’t it! This is always a big occasion anyway, but this one is even bigger. United have been so good since Solskjaer took charge but the way I am trying to look at it is that they have to lose a league game under him at some point.

We have to be the team to beat them too. We have had some very questionable slip-ups in the past few weeks in games where we should have taken the points but I think we will be on it this weekend.

I was thinking of going for a 3-0 win but I think United will nick one at the end, just as a consolation.

Chelsea v Man City<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Chelsea v Man City (Carabao Cup final, 16:30 GMT)

I think Chelsea will be better than they were when Manchester City beat them 6-0 at Etihad Stadium earlier this month, and this will be a much closer game.

I don’t see City battering them again, but I do see Pep Guardiola’s side beating them. I just don’t think Chelsea are good enough defensively.

City are obviously after bigger prizes, but the good thing about winning the Carabao Cup is that it is an early one in the bag.

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Even if Chelsea win, I don’t think it will be enough to save Maurizio Sarri’s job.

It is not just working out for him, and the reaction of their fans to Monday’s defeat by Manchester United shows they have already made their minds up about him.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Yungen’s prediction: 1-3

I love Jurgen Klopp but if I am honest, Pep Guardiola is the best manager in the Premier League right now. He has brought something into City where he makes every player there think they are the best player in the world.

What he has done with Raheem Sterling is just incredible – with the confidence he has now, he really has become a world-class player. But what I really like about what Pep has done is the way he has structured his team, with his rotation. It doesn’t seem to matter who comes into their side, because it does not seem to make much difference.

For Liverpool, winning the Premier League is what matters the most – if I’m honest, if we got knocked out of Europe and ended up winning the title, I wouldn’t be unhappy. Some City fans might see it the other way around, with winning the Champions League the most important thing, so maybe we should organise a trade-off and that way everyone is happy!

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

On FA Cup fifth-round weekend, Lawro picked the right outcome in six of the eight ties, including an exact score in two of them. That gave him a total of 120 points, but it was not enough for him to claim victory.

Radio 1Xtra DJ Big Zuu got seven correct results, including three exact scores for a total of 160 points, while Radio 2 DJ Trevor Nelson got six correct results, with one perfect score, for a total of 90 points.

Those scores do not count towards Lawro’s total for the season or the guest leaderboard.

Total scores after week 26
Lawro2,210
Guests1,920
Lawro v Guests
P26W12D3L11
Lawro's League Table<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
TEAMPWDLPTS+/-
1Man City272430750
2Man Utd26213266+2
3Liverpool26179060-1
4Tottenham26168256-1
5Chelsea26164652+1
6Arsenal261331042-1
7Everton271321241+2
8Leicester261241040+4
9Burnley261061036+6
10Newcastle26961133+6
=11Watford26931430-3
=11Wolves26931430-4
=13Bournemouth26851329-2
=13Fulham26851329+6
=15West Ham26741525-5
=15Crystal Palace26671325-2
17Southampton26731624+1
18Brighton26371616-4
19Cardiff26351814-2
20Huddersfield263419130

GUEST LEADERBOARD 218-19

SCOREGUEST LEADERBOARD
160David Ginola
140The 1975’s Ross MacDonald
120Joe Thomas
110Yatez
90Jim Glennie, Mario Hezonja, Karl Pilkington, Chris Stark
85Lawro (average after 26 weeks)
80Richard Ashcroft, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg James, Mark Wahlberg
60Jamie Dornan & Paul Conroy, Idris Elba, Dolph Lundgren, Mumford & Sons, Dillian Whyte
50Bring Me The Horizon, Theo Ellis, Drew McIntyre, Mohamed Sanu, Dolph Ziggler
40Tom Grennan, Josh Warrington
30Ryan Fitzpatrick, Oti Mabuse
20Yizzy

Lawro’s best score: 260 points (week seven v Karl Pilkington)

Lawro’s worst score: 20 points (week 24 v Grime star Yizzy & week 25 v Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarter-back Ryan Fitzpatrick and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu)

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