Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lawro's premier league predictions

By Mark Lawrenson
BBC Sport football expert


Aston Villa V Tottenham
This is the battle of the pretenders.
Villa dropped points at Burnley last week, while Tottenham had an unbelievable 9-1 win over Wigan.
It's going to be close, but being as Villa are at home I'll go for Martin O'Neill's side.
Verdict: 2-1

Blackburn v Stoke
This is probably a game where the ball will get stretchered off.
The aerial route will no doubt be examined and if I were a low-flying object, I'd probably stay away from Blackburn.
Both teams get into the penalty area, get the crosses in and fight for it but it's something they both have to do.
Verdict: 1-1

Fulham v Bolton
I think Bolton will be another team from the north west who will leave Craven Cottage with their tails between their legs.
Fulham are extremely good at home, they dismantled Blackburn 3-0 in midweek and they're hitting form.
It's a sticky period for Bolton boss Gary Megson and I think they'll need to stick with him for a while.
Verdict: 2-0

Manchester City v Hull
Hull have done well in their previous three games, taking seven points, albeit they were all at the KC Stadium.
City could, and probably should, have won at Anfield last week and Robinho looks like he's fit, so I'll have to go for them to take the points.
I don't expect a repeat of last year's famous Phil Brown half-time team talk.
Verdict: 2-0

Portsmouth v Manchester United
Portsmouth sacked their manager this week so that usually means some sort of improvement in results.
I do feel a bit sorry for Paul Hart because once you knew Avram Grant was going to be involved in the football club we all sort of knew, if Hart lost a couple of games, who the next manager was going to be.
United are more than capable of going to these sorts of grounds and dealing with the pressure.
Verdict: 0-2

West Ham v Burnley
This is a massive game for West Ham.
They need to climb out of the bottom echelons of the league. I hate to say it's a must-win game for West Ham, but it is.
Burnley struggle to pick up points on the road and it's a game West Ham should win.
Verdict: 2-0

Wigan v Sunderland
Steve Bruce is going back to his old club and I see that him and Wigan owner Dave Whelan have been having a light-hearted joke with each other.
I'll probably go for Wigan because of the 9-1 thrashing they suffered at Spurs on Sunday.
Wigan will want to bounce back - plus the majority of players at the club will want to prove a point to Steve Bruce.
Verdict: 2-1

Arsenal v Chelsea
I tend to go for a draw in these games because they normally are.
Both teams had successful outings in the Champions League, but Arsenal have just started to encounter a few injuries which has stopped them in their tracks a little bit.
This will be the second of four really tough away games for Chelsea.
Verdict: 1-1

Everton v Liverpool
I don't think Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is under great pressure from within the club.
However, Liverpool can't afford to get turned over by Everton, who are struggling to find form as well.
I'm not sure whether Fernando Torres is going to be fit, or risked, and Alberto Aquilani is a mystery. They tell me he's fit, but he has not started a game. I can only presume he's not 100% fit, otherwise it's baffling.
Verdict: 1-1

Wolves v Birmingham
Wolves were taken apart in the first 15 minutes of their 4-0 defeat by Chelsea last week.
Since Birmingham's new owners took over, the club has gone on a really good run.
But such is the fluctuations down at the bottom, I'm going to go for a Wolves win, which will pull Birmingham back into the relegation fight.
Verdict: 2-1

Mark Lawrenson was talking to BBC Sport's Aimee Lewis
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