Lawro’s predictions v tennis legend Becker

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson

BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson will be making a prediction for all 380 Premier League games this season against a variety of guests.

Lawro’s opponent for this week’s fixtures is tennis legend Boris Becker.

The three-time Wimbledon champion and former coach of Novak Djokovic says he has an allegiance with three English teams, as well as Bayern Munich.

Boris Becker<!–

Becker is backing Chelsea to beat Crystal Palace on Saturday and make it 11 Premier League wins in a row

The German explained: “Bayern are my favourite team, and not only because I was on their board of directors for 10 years.

“When I was living in Munich, I became good friends with my hero Franz Beckenbauer, plus people like Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and many of the Bayern players, and my knowledge of football is a bit better than your average tennis professional.

“My favourite English team is Chelsea. The reason for that is I used to have a flat in Chelsea, and I befriended Frank Lampard.

“He said that before going to watch any other team I should come to Stamford Bridge because I was going to become a Blue. That was about 15 years ago, and I have stuck with it.

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“I live in Wimbledon now so AFC Wimbledon are my local club. I went to a couple of games and I met the president and I support them and hopefully they will get better and come back to the Premier League.

“And Tottenham are another team I follow. I must say hello to my neighbour, Bill, who is a die-hard Spurs fan and I have been to the Lane a couple of times.”

You can make your Premier League predictions now, compare them with those of Lawro and other fans, and try to take your team to the top of the leaderboard by playing the BBC Sport Predictor game.

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

For the midweek Premier League games, Lawro got six correct results, with two perfect scores, from 10 Premier League matches. That gave him a total of 120 points.

He beat Fighting Talk host Colin Murray, who also got six correct results, but with one perfect score, for a total of 90 points.

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated.

SATURDAY

Crystal Palace v Chelsea<!–

Crystal Palace v Chelsea (12:30 GMT)

I was at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday to see Chelsea beat Sunderland 1-0 and I saw the gulf between the team at the top of the table and a side at the bottom.

Sunderland gave everything but had nowhere near the same quality as the Blues.

It was a very impressive performance by Antonio Conte’s side and, like their win over West Brom at the weekend, it came against a team who just tried to stop them.

In both games, Chelsea found a way to keep their winning run, which has now stretched to 10 games, going with a great goal and they did not concede. In fact, the opposition have only scored twice against them in that time.

Bottom of the Premier League<!–

This is another tough game – Crystal Palace were only beaten by a late Manchester United goal on Wednesday and made life difficult for them.

This Blues run will end at some point and I think it will end when they are away from home.

A point would be a great result for Palace and, although it will mean Chelsea drop a couple of points, it will not be a serious setback.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Boris’s prediction: Palace are struggling a little bit and Chelsea are on a roll. The momentum is with them and I think they will keep it going. 1-2

Match preview

Middlesbrough v Swansea<!–

Middlesbrough v Swansea

Liverpool just took Middlesbrough apart on Wednesday night, while Swansea had a mad few minutes against West Brom where Salomon Rondon did the same to them.

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The Swans have conceded 12 goals in their past four games but still picked up six points, which is a bit crazy. It tells you a lot about what they are like at the moment – in the top flight, only Hull have a worse defence.

Middlesbrough’s issues are at the other end of the pitch and, having been at their win over Hull last week, I have seen how reluctant they are to commit players forward.

That is making it hard for Alvaro Negredo, who is up front on his own a lot of the time, and they are scoring very few goals full stop. With 13 in 16 games so far, they have the fewest in the Premier League.

So it is a team who don’t score many against a team who concede a lot. It’s difficult to predict, but I am going to go with Boro.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Boris’s prediction: Both teams are struggling a little bit but I’m going for Boro to win at home. 3-1

Match preview

Stoke v Leicester<!–

Stoke v Leicester

Leicester’s defeat at Bournemouth on Tuesday was one of their worst of the season.

I don’t understand how they can go from the performance they put in when they beat Manchester City last weekend to a display that saw them lose almost meekly.

The Foxes have picked up only one point in eight games on the road this season but I don’t believe they can continue to be as bad as they have been away from home.

Stoke are a solid mid-table side but, as daft as this seems, I fancy Leicester here. I backed them to beat Manchester City last weekend, and I am going to back them again.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Boris’s prediction: Leicester are doing very well in the Champions League but struggling a bit in the Premier League, especially away. Stoke are in better form. 1-0

Match preview

Sunderland v Watford<!–

Sunderland v Watford

I don’t think Watford will be as defensive as they were in their defeat by Manchester City on Wednesday.

Similarly, Sunderland will set up completely differently to the way they were when they lost to leaders Chelsea on the same evening.

It should be quite an open game, and I am going to go with Sunderland to nick it.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Boris’s prediction: 1-0

Match preview

West Ham v Hull<!–

West Ham v Hull

West Ham’s form has not been great but they got a home win against Burnley in midweek after their draw at Liverpool, so should be feeling somewhat buoyant.

I keep tipping Hull to lose – the problem for them is that most of the time I am right.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Boris’s prediction: It’s a surprise for me that West Ham are not doing too well, but I believe in Slaven Bilic and his players. 2-0

Match preview

West Brom v Man Utd<!–

West Brom v Man Utd (17:30 GMT)

West Brom are seventh, only one place behind Manchester United, so hats off to the Baggies because a lot of people tipped them to get relegated.

I am not sure why you would ever predict a team that Tony Pulis is in charge of to go down. Yes, they made a poor start to the campaign but he was always on top of the situation.

I don’t see Pulis winning this one, though. There is a little bit more to United right now, and things are starting to come together for them a little bit.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Boris’s prediction: West Brom, at home, are a difficult team to play. Pulis is a very good manager, and his teams are very well organised. But United will win if they come out of their shells. 1-2

Match preview

SUNDAY

Bournemouth v Southampton<!–

Bournemouth v Southampton (13:30 GMT)

Southampton could be short of strikers with Charlie Austin injured and Shane Long possibly facing a retrospective ban for an alleged elbow that the referee missed during Wednesday’s draw with Stoke.

Bournemouth remain inconsistent but, after dispatching Leicester on Tuesday night, the Cherries have won their last two home games and I am thinking that little run will continue.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Boris’s prediction: 1-1

Match preview

Man City v Arsenal<!–

Man City v Arsenal (16:00 GMT)

Arsenal looked a little bit rocky dealing with set-pieces and crosses into the box during Tuesday’s defeat by Everton.

That’s not to say City will try to do that against them, but it showed there are still ways of getting to the Gunners.

Top of the Premier League<!–

City’s own defensive issues are well documented but they played with a four at the back against Watford and looked fairly comfortable for most of the game.

Their next task is keeping out Arsenal’s attack, which will be a lot more difficult.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Boris’s prediction: This is the game of the weekend. For me City are the title favourites, I know Pep from Bayern Munich and he is a great guy and a great manager.

Arsenal are not doing too bad either, though. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has a very strong team but I believe City will win at home. 2-1

Match preview

Tottenham v Burnley<!–

Tottenham v Burnley (16:00 GMT)

Burnley’s form has not got any better of late, and they still only have one goal on the road this season.

We are getting to the stage where I am thinking the score will be ‘Burnley 0’ whenever they are away from home.

Tottenham were decent against Manchester United without offering much of a threat, but they were too strong for Hull in midweek and I am expecting a similar outcome on Sunday.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Boris’s prediction: I think Spurs are a force, especially at home, and they are going to win. 2-0

Match preview

MONDAY

Everton v Liverpool<!–

Everton v Liverpool (20:00 GMT)

Anyone who has even been to a Merseyside derby under the lights will tell you it is always a fantastic atmosphere in the stands and a bit gladiatorial on the pitch, too.

Liverpool are always quick and close the opposition down. Well, on Monday, you have to feel Everton should do the same.

There was a period in their win over Arsenal that Everton got a few big tackles in. That got the whole stadium going and from then on they were up and running.

That will happen from the first second on Saturday, which is why referee Mike Dean could play as big a part as any of the players.

I think Dean is a very good referee but he has shown more red cards per game than any other official to be in charge of more than five Premier League matches this season, and how he handles those challenges – from both teams – will be a huge factor.

These are always just absolutely mad games and, whoever is top or bottom, form has absolutely no bearing on the outcome.

I am going to go with a draw, purely because I don’t know what is going to happen.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Boris’s prediction: What a classic. I can’t wait. Everton, with Ronald Koeman at the helm, had a good win over Arsenal on Tuesday – but here I have got to support my countryman Jurgen Klopp. I think his Liverpool side are going to get a draw, at least. 1-1

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

Lawro’s best score: 160 points (week thirteen v Tim Vine)

Lawro’s worst score: 30 points (week four v Dave Bautista)

Lawro's League Table<!–

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