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Carabao Cup & Premier League predictions: Lawro v Wolf Alice bassist Theo Ellis

Carabao Cup & Premier League predictions: Lawro v Wolf Alice bassist Theo Ellis thumbnail

The first major trophy of the season is up for grabs on Sunday when holders Manchester City play Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final – but who will come out on top?

“Jose Mourinho’s exit this week changes this whole game for Tottenham.” BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson said. “A lot of the game was framed around him, and him possibly winning Spurs their first trophy since 2008.

“It helps new Spurs boss Ryan Mason that he is under no pressure whatsoever, because no-one expects him to get the job full-time whether they win or lose at Wembley, but I’m still backing City – I don’t see them slipping up again.”

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

Wolf Alice released their new single Smile this week. They have a new album – Blue Weekend – out in June

This week’s guest is Theo Ellis, bassist in Mercury Prize-winning band Wolf Alice.

Ellis is an Arsenal fan who was glad to see the plans for a breakaway European Super League (ESL) fall through this week.

“From an Arsenal fan’s perspective, I was just so disappointed that we were one of those founding clubs,” he told BBC Sport. “It looked like we were quite heavily involved in instigating the whole notion too.

“As someone who started going to Arsenal games as a kid in the family enclosure at Highbury, and who has supported the club through good and bad times during my entire lifetime, it was such a letdown to see them make such a blatant expression of corporate capitalism in its ugliest form.

“In regards to the proposed competition and its format, when I took my Arsenal fan hat off and looked at what it would have meant for the sport, I thought it made things meaningless.

“Buying your entry into a league feels like something you would get in F1, because it makes the club feel meaningless. You would just be left with a franchise, and the whole notion was disgusting.

“I was feeling despondent about the future of football until the plans began to crumble, and it was important to see such an amazing galvanisation of football fan culture play a part in that happening.

“Protest is a very powerful thing. It showed people their worth and their currency in relation to the sport, and how much difference they can make when they are riled up.

“That stretches way beyond matters like this though. I wish people were galvanised in the same way about the horrific racism in football. That is not tackled with anything like the same vim as the ESL was by the public or the football authorities.”

Theo (far right) had an Arsenal season ticket as a boy, including the 2003-04 season when The Invincibles went the entire campaign unbeaten. His hero was Thierry Henry – “he was so unbelievably cool and unbelievably good”
Result Lawro Theo
SUNDAY
Man City v Tottenham x-x 2-0 5-1

If the score is level at the end of normal time, the EFL Cup will be decided by extra-time and penalties.

Result Lawro Theo
FRIDAY
Arsenal v Everton x-x 2-1 2-1
SATURDAY
Liverpool v Newcastle x-x 2-0 2-3
West Ham v Chelsea x-x 0-2 1-0
Sheff Utd v Brighton x-x 0-2 1-1
SUNDAY
Wolves v Burnley x-x 1-2 3-0
Leeds v Man Utd x-x 1-2 3-1
Aston Villa v West Brom x-x 2-1 2-0
MONDAY
Leicester v Crystal Palace x-x 2-0 3-2

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

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

FRIDAY

Arsenal v Everton (20:00 BST)

Everton have not won for six games now and their season is fizzling out a bit, to the extent Arsenal will go above them if they win this one.

That would be incentive enough for the Gunners, although their form is still pretty flaky too.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Theo’s prediction: I was a guest on Lawro’s predictions a couple of years ago and spoke then about how important finishing in the top four would be to us. Little did I know we would try to make up a new competition if we couldn’t do that. If the European Super League was happening, no-one would care about their position in the Premier League – thankfully that is not the case. You don’t want to eat at the top table when all you have to do is pay for a seat there. As an Arsenal fan I want us to win every game we play but to be frank I am disgusted we have made so many staff redundant during the Covid pandemic, all the while knowing we were involved in planning something that would have provided the participating clubs with a multi-billion pound cash injection. 2-1

SATURDAY

Liverpool v Newcastle (12:30 BST)

I always thought Newcastle would get results when they really needed them and they have done exactly that in the past couple of weeks.

The Magpies are not mathematically safe yet, of course, but they are eight points above third-bottom Fulham, who are not going to catch them now.

Liverpool played really well in the first half against Leeds on Monday and should have scored more than the one goal they managed. In the second half, though, they were really poor and could have conceded a lot more than one.

That is a worry, even if you factor in how good Leeds are, so the Reds will need to find some consistency to take the three points here.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Theo’s prediction: Liverpool have had some howlers at Anfield this season so I’m going with Allan Saint-Maximin to score twice to win it for Newcastle in the last 10 minutes. I love watching him – he has got so much flair. 2-3

West Ham v Chelsea (17:30 BST)

This is a big game in terms of the top four and I just wonder if West Ham might be in a bit of a trough at the moment after their defeat by Newcastle last time out.

Midfielder Declan Rice and striker Michail Antonio are injured and defender Craig Dawson is suspended after his red card against the Magpies.

Chelsea did not do a lot in their draw against Brighton on Tuesday, although that game was overshadowed by what was happening to the plans for the ESL. Thankfully that is not something we have to worry about anymore.

The Blues have got their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Tuesday so boss Thomas Tuchel might rest players, although it is difficult to know what his priority will be.

Chelsea need to be in the Champions League next season, and you would think that qualifying for it through their league position is going to be a lot easier than winning it to get back in it. So, I would be very surprised if Tuchel seriously messes with his team on Saturday.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Theo’s prediction: I would love West Ham to win this. I’ll have a punt on them – J-Lingz (Jesse Lingard) to get their goal. 1-0

Sheff Utd v Brighton (20:00 BST)

Sheffield United are now officially relegated, although they will have known their fate for weeks.

Sometimes you see relegated teams start playing well and winning once they know they are definitely down but I don’t think that Sheffield United will do that.

Brighton got a good point against Chelsea and they have shown they are defensively sound. It’s just in attack where they are often lacking a bit of spark – but they are still better than the Blades.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Theo’s prediction: 1-1

SUNDAY

Wolves v Burnley (12:00 BST)

Burnley have lost their past three league games and have dropped to fourth-bottom of the table, but I don’t think they will go down.

The Clarets have not been playing too badly during that time – they came close to getting a point at Old Trafford last weekend, and held the lead in their previous two matches.

Even a draw would be a big result for Sean Dyche’s side in their situation, but I actually think they will do better than that at Molineux. They will be fighting for their lives while Wolves, who are safely in mid-table, won’t be.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Theo’s prediction: 3-0

Leeds v Man Utd (14:00 BST)

Manchester United smashed Leeds 6-2 at Old Trafford earlier in the season, but I think it will be much closer this time.

Leeds have gone five games unbeaten, and have taken points off teams like Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in that time, but Manchester United are on a good run themselves, with five straight wins in all competitions since they went out of the FA Cup to Leicester.

Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani are both looking dangerous in attack for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and, defensively, I think Manchester United will deal with Leeds better than Liverpool did on Monday. They should edge it.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Theo’s prediction: I can actually imagine Manchester United being fairly disinterested here. They are a long way behind leaders City and also a long way ahead of third-placed Leicester, so they don’t have much to play for in the Premier League. It is so difficult to predict the result of any Leeds game, but I hope they win. 3-1

Man City v Tottenham (Carabao Cup, 16:30 BST)

There are question marks over Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, both because of injury.

City have got Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final with Paris St-Germain to consider and they might keep De Bruyne back for that one but, even without him, I think they will be too strong for Spurs.

Chelsea did such a good job of stopping City in last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final, but I don’t think Spurs are capable of doing the same.

Kane would make a big difference for Tottenham of course and I have a feeling he will feature but I don’t think the rest of their team is up to the task. I know their new manager Ryan Mason has a 100% record – after one game in charge – but I don’t see that lasting here.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Theo’s prediction: City are going to batter Spurs. It is a big gamble to sack Jose Mourinho the week before this game – I can’t believe Tottenham have made their way into a final and now they are in this state of crisis. 5-1

Aston Villa v West Brom (19:00 BST)

Aston Villa gave Manchester City a decent game on Wednesday night, but still ended up being beaten.

If they play like that against West Brom, though, I think Villa will take the points. The Baggies have put up a bit of a fight in recent weeks, but I don’t see them staying up – they have left themselves too much to do.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Theo’s prediction: 2-0

MONDAY

Leicester v Crystal Palace (20:00 BST)

It’s great to see Leicester in the FA Cup final but a top-four place has always been their target and the clubs below them have closed the gap on them in recent weeks.

Crystal Palace have already all but achieved their aim for the season, which is staying up, and I think the Foxes will want this more, especially after their recent wobbles in the league.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Theo’s prediction: This should be a really good game. Leicester’s form dropped off badly at the end of last season and they really need to win this if they are going to stay in the top four this time. I reckon they will do it. 3-2

Lawro and Theo were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

From the last round of Premier League fixtures, which ran from Friday-Thursday, Lawro got six correct results from the 10 matches, with no exact scores, for a total of 60 points.

He was beaten by Soccer AM legend Tubes, who got seven correct results, with one exact score, giving him a total of 100 points.

Tubes also correctly predicted the outcome of both of last weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals, backing Chelsea and Leicester to win. Lawro was right about the Foxes but thought the other Blues – Manchester City – would beat Thomas Tuchel’s men.

TEAM P W D L PTS +/-
1 Man City 33 29 4 0 91 0
2 Man Utd 32 24 4 4 76 0
3 Chelsea 32 23 6 3 75 +1
4 Tottenham 33 23 5 5 74 +2
5 Liverpool 32 20 11 1 71 +2
6 Leeds 32 21 1 10 64 +4
7 Leicester 32 16 5 11 53 -4
8 Wolves 32 14 10 8 52 +4
9 Arsenal 32 15 5 12 50 0
10 Everton 31 10 10 11 40 -2
11 Brighton 32 10 7 15 37 +5
12 West Ham 32 10 6 16 36 -7
13 Burnley 32 8 10 14 34 +4
14 Southampton 32 9 5 18 32 0
15 Aston Villa 31 7 8 16 29 -4
16 Newcastle 32 8 4 20 28 -1
17 Crystal Palace 31 6 7 18 25 -4
18 Sheff Utd 32 5 6 21 21 +2
19 Fulham 33 3 0 30 9 -1
20 West Brom 32 0 4 28 4 -1

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2020-21

110 Sister Bliss, Amy Macdonald, Dot Major, Steve White
100 Tubes
90 Adam Devonshire, Becky Hill, Passenger, Chris Shiflett
80 Lawro (average after 32 weeks)
80 Celeste, Dan Flint, Frank Harper, Peter Hooton, Raye
70 Sam Carter, Lou Cotterill
60 Majestic, Caroline Weir
50 David Gray, Declan McKenna, Billy Monger, Paul Smith, Alex Sprogis, DJ Target
40 Gavin ‘Mo’ Edgeley, Ben Howard
30 Rick Astley, Lewis Evans, Steve Guttenberg, Gethin Jones, Fraser T. Smith
20 Charlie Forbes, Dougie Payne
0 Rema

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