Premier League predictions: Lawro v legendary Style Council drummer Steve White – BBC Sport

Lawro's predictions

Manchester United have bounced back from their 6-1 home defeat by Tottenham with impressive wins over Newcastle and Paris St-Germain, but can they continue their good form against Chelsea on Saturday?

“United have had a good week, just when questions were starting to be asked about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future as manager,” said BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson.

“Ole has been under pressure but he was proven right to play Harry Maguire against Newcastle. Then, against PSG, he had to change things at the back when Maguire was ruled out and he got that one right too.

“But what United need on Saturday is another good performance, because it still feels like they are too inconsistent at the moment. No-one is quite sure what to expect.”

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

This weekend, he is up against legendary Style Council drummer Steve White.

The band’s greatest hits anthology ‘Long Hot Summers: The Story of The Style Council’ is out at the end of this month.

White, who has also played with Paul Weller, Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene and The Who among many other bands, is a lifelong Charlton fan.

Steve White
White has been going to watch Charlton for nearly 50 years. The Addicks have won their past two games in League One 1-0 and he is predicting another victory by the same margin for them on Saturday, when they play Northampton

“I had no choice in the matter,” White told BBC Sport. “My first Charlton game was against Bolton in 1971. I went to The Valley with my dad and my grandad, and I was never allowed to go anywhere else.

“There have been plenty of ups and downs since then. It just seems to be that we have had our unfair share of people coming in to run the club in the past and making promises that they can never keep.

“Hopefully we have got a more stable future, because we have got a fantastic ground and a fantastic fanbase – we are a fantastic club and we should not be in League One.”

It is 13 years since Charlton were last in the top flight but White still watches a lot of Premier League football. His wife is Mancunian actress and TV presenter Sally Lindsay and their twin sons are Manchester City fans.

“They come to The Valley with me but they are City fans, without a shadow of a doubt!” White said.

“What has happened to City, and also clubs like Leeds and Southampton, shows how you can recover if you fall down the divisions.

“But what you really need are the right people in charge. It might sound odd coming from a Charlton fan, but what Steve Parish has done at Crystal Palace is fantastic.

Clive Mendonca celebrates after Charlton's victory in the 1998 play-off final that saw them promoted to the Premier League. Mendonca scored a hat-trick and scored in the penalty shootout
Who are White’s favourite Charlton players? “I was lucky enough to see Derek Hales play in his prime, one of the great lower-league strikers of the 1970s. Then coming into the golden times we had great players like Andy Hunt, Mark Kinsella, Johnny Robinson and Dean Kiely – and obviously super Clive Mendonca.”

“There are good people running lots of clubs, but what has happened to us in recent years shows how there needs to be more stringent checks on people that are potentially investing in football clubs, before they take control.

“All this talk of a closed shop at the elite level of football is wrong as well. It gets boring otherwise.

“And also, what I don’t like and what you are beginning to start to see is the elevation of clubs into global brands, where the fans don’t actually matter anymore.

“For me, having been a Charlton fan all my life, it is about the experience on the day as much as how well the team is doing. We all want to go to play-off finals again, we all want to be back in the Premier League too, but I go with my dad, who is nearly 80, and I have been going with him for nearly 50 years.

“My eldest son and my twin boys go too and we meet people down there. I kind of have an afternoon off from music and watch the Reds. Maybe I’m a bit naive or old school but that is what football is all about for me – that experience, and the fans and the banter.

“Even now, my two 10-year-olds are playing for a team and I am involved in the refereeing – I really enjoy it.

“Obviously, with the coronavirus pandemic we have not been allowed to watch Charlton, but watching kids’ football, I have been getting that same feeling of just the passion and the fun. That’s what I think it is all about really.”

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

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

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

FRIDAY

Aston Villa v Leeds

Aston Villa v Leeds (20:00 BST)

Villa are going great guns, with four wins out of four in the Premier League so far. It’s not just been their results that have been impressive, because they have been playing well too.

‘We are working hard’ – Smith on Villa’s winning start to season

But I just fancy Leeds here. I watched them against Wolves on Monday and, although they ended up being beaten, it is clear already this season that, even if they are not playing well, they are competitive and they will give everyone a good game.

Kalvin Phillips is out injured, which is a blow to Leeds because he covers acres and acres for them. But you won’t see anything different from them on Friday – they won’t change the way they play because one of their better players is out.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Steve’s prediction: I’m so glad to see Leeds back in the Premier League, I think it is where they deserve to be… but I can’t see them beating Villa, who are really well organised. 2-1

SATURDAY

West Ham v Man City

West Ham v Man City (12:30 BST)

Manchester City have an amazing record at London Stadium – they have won every time they’ve played there and, in sequence, the scorelines have been 5-0, 4-0, 4-1, 4-0 and 5-0.

I think it will be a different story this time though. I am expecting a much closer game.

Today was a great moment – Moyes

West Ham come into the game on the back of their brilliant late comeback to draw with Tottenham, and there seems to be a good vibe around the club at the moment.

City have got a lot of injuries to contend with – Fernandinho is their latest player to be sidelined – and so far this season, they are not looking as slick as usual going forward.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Steve’s prediction: This should be fairly comfortable for City. 0-3

Fulham v Crystal Palace

Fulham v Crystal Palace (15:00 BST)

Fulham have got a point on the board after their draw with Sheffield United last week, but it is hard to make a case for them getting anything from this one.

The Cottagers will probably have more of the ball but I don’t see them breaking Palace down, or keeping the Eagles out at the other end.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Steve’s prediction: It’s great to see Ademola Lookman back in the Premier League with Fulham. He possibly left us a little early [he left Charlton for Everton in 2017 when he was 19] because he could have done with another season at The Valley before he moved up. He scored on his debut for Everton against City and that was meant to be the start of big things for him but he has had to take a few sideways steps. It’s really good to see him playing well again. Palace are wobbling a bit but I still don’t see Fulham winning this one though. 0-2

Man Utd v Chelsea

Man Utd v Chelsea (17:30 BST)

Like Manchester United, Chelsea’s biggest problem this season has been at the back.

I watched them against Southampton last weekend and they just capitulated. It has not been a one-off and Blues boss Frank Lampard is probably thinking ‘who the heck do I play there?’

Two points thrown away – Lampard

At least Lampard has goalkeeper Edouard Mendy fit for Saturday because, as good as Chelsea are going forward, they cannot defend.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Steve’s prediction: Chelsea have a great attack but their defence is pretty shocking. United aren’t much better at the back though. 1-1

Liverpool v Sheff Utd

Liverpool v Sheff Utd (20:00 BST)

With Virgil van Dijk injured, Fabinho played well at centre-back against Ajax on Wednesday night but I think it will be harder for him if he stands in again there on Saturday.

Fabinho will be fine in open play, it is from set-pieces where I’d worry about him. Van Dijk was such a massive influence when it came to defending corners and free-kicks – he basically had a magnet on his head.

‘Van Dijk will be a massive miss’ – do Liverpool have enough cover?

Sheffield United will be trying to test Liverpool in those situations, especially with Adrian in goal.

So, I’d back the Blades to score at Anfield and, although I’d back Liverpool to score more, I just think it will be a bit tight.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Steve’s prediction: I’ve got a soft spot for the Blades because I do a lot of work in Sheffield, but Liverpool are going to be too strong for them. 2-1

SUNDAY

Southampton v Everton

Southampton v Everton (14:00 GMT)

Everton are still unbeaten but I have a feeling that run ends here.

Southampton are looking more like the side they were in the summer when they finished last season so strongly. Goals are not a problem for them with Danny Ings playing so well.

Saints deserved point – Ralph Hasenhuttl

With Everton, they will have to do things a bit differently in attack while Richarlison is suspended and it is going to be interesting to see what Carlo Ancelotti does while he is out.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Steve’s prediction: Because of my good friend [former Ocean Colour Scene bassist] Damon Minchella I have to say Everton will win this one, but they have started the season so well anyhow. 0-3

Wolves v Newcastle

Wolves v Newcastle (16:30 GMT)

Wolves were very good at Leeds on Monday. They understood exactly what Leeds were about, and matched them, but looked really dangerous on the counter-attack too.

It was a tight game but Wolves did enough to win it and they are clearly a very good side. I like the way they are set up.

They will probably create more chances on Sunday and I don’t see Newcastle keeping them out.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Steve’s prediction: 1-1

Arsenal v Leicester

Arsenal v Leicester (19:15 GMT)

This is a good time for Arsenal to play Leicester, who have lost their past two league matches.

The Foxes still have injury concerns over Jamie Vardy and they will definitely be without a couple of other key players in Caglar Soyuncu and Wilfred Ndidi. I’m going for a Gunners win.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Steve’s prediction: Arsenal to edge it. I’ve got a lot of Gooner mates, so I’d better say that. 2-1

MONDAY

Brighton v West Brom

Brighton v West Brom (17:30 GMT)

Brighton’s results have not really reflected the fact they are much better team than they were last season.

They only got a point against Crystal Palace last weekend but we saw in that game that, as well as creating more chances, they are starting to dominate games in midfield.

I’m expecting to see more of the same from them here.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Steve’s prediction: 0-1

Burnley v Tottenham

Burnley v Tottenham (20:00 GMT)

I still can’t quite believe how Tottenham threw away a 3-0 lead against West Ham with less than 10 minutes remaining, and only picked up a point.

That just showed how Spurs are still something of an enigma and, as dangerous as they are going forward, they are still vulnerable at the back.

‘Nobody plays better than us with the ball’ – Mourinho

I think Burnley can capitalise, if they take the game to Spurs. The Clarets are getting more and more players back from injury, and I’m backing them to get their first win of the season.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Steve’s prediction: Spurs will have something to prove after what happened last weekend. 1-2

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

Last weekend was another tough one for Lawro and his guest. Lawro got three correct results, including one exact score, for a total of 60 points, while Afrobeat star Rema scored zero.

Lawro's League Table graphic

TEAM P W D L PTS +/-
1 Chelsea 5 4 1 0 13 +7
=2 Leicester 5 4 0 1 12 +2
=2 Man Utd 4 4 0 0 12 +13
=2 Tottenham 5 4 0 1 12 +5
5 Liverpool 5 3 2 0 11 -2
6 Arsenal 5 3 1 1 10 -1
7 Leeds 5 3 0 2 9 +3
=8 Everton 5 2 2 1 8 -7
=8 Man City 4 2 2 0 8 +3
=10 Aston Villa 4 2 0 2 6 -8
=10 Burnley 4 2 0 2 6 +8
=10 Newcastle 5 2 0 3 6 +3
=10 Wolves 5 1 3 1 6 -4
=14 Sheff Utd 5 1 1 3 4 +5
=14 Southampton 5 1 1 3 4 -2
=14 West Ham 5 1 1 3 4 -5
17 Crystal Palace 5 0 3 2 3 -3
18 Brighton 5 0 1 4 1 -2
=19 Fulham 5 0 0 5 0 +1
=19 West Brom 5 0 0 5 0 -2

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2020-21

80 Raye
70 Lawro (average after five weeks)
60 Celeste, Caroline Weir
50 Declan McKenna
0 Rema
Lawro 350
Guests 250
P5 W3 D0 L2

Around the BBC iPlayer banner
Around the BBC iPlayer footerLink to Original Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.