Liverpool appear to have the Premier League title sewn up – but can they stay unbeaten for the whole season?

BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson does not often back the Reds to lose, but he thinks it is a big ask for Jurgen Klopp’s side to emulate the ‘Invincibles’ of Preston in 1888-89 and Arsenal in 2003-04.

“They will win the league early, and if they are still in the Champions League then Klopp will make that the priority,” Lawrenson said.

“Klopp is not bothered about records. He just wants to win the league, and whatever else he can get his hands on.”

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

This week he is up against Ride bassist and Tottenham fan Steve Queralt.

Ride are currently on a tour of Europe and their new single ‘Jump Jet’ is out now

Steve grew up in Oxford but says peer pressure saw him start following Spurs, and he is now a season-ticket holder.

He told BBC Sport: “Two of my best friends were Tottenham fans so I just sort of drifted into supporting them from about the age of 10.

“The 1980s were a good time to be growing up as a Spurs fan, with Glenn Hoddle in the team. I remember going up to White Hart Lane with those two friends when we were very young – I cannot believe my parents let me do it. We used to get chips on Seven Sisters Road and walk up the High Road on our way to the game.

“It was amazing to see Hoddle. I cannot really remember much but just to say I have seen him play and, watching the clips back of games I went to – like the goal he scored against Oxford United where he feints one way and just sort of drifts through the whole defence and then the goalkeeper – they are special moments.

“He has to be my favourite Spurs player, and he was the player of the 1980s for me.

“My best moment as a Tottenham fan came last season in a bar in Amsterdam, in the Champions League.

Moura celebrates after scoring Tottenham’s winner in THAT semi-final

“I did not actually get into the ground for the second leg of our semi-final against Ajax. We watched in a bar, but it was one of the greatest nights supporting Tottenham that I have ever had.

“The night before, Liverpool did the impossible when they came back from losing the first leg 3-0 to knock Barcelona out. We were 1-0 down from the first leg and thinking lightning does not strike twice.

“When we went 2-0 down on the night, I was thinking ‘this is not going to happen’ so to then fight back and leave it until the 96th minute to score the winner was absolutely incredible. I don’t think anything will ever beat that.”

Premier League predictions – week 24
Result Lawro Steve
TUESDAY
Aston Villa v Watford x-x 2-0 0-2
Bournemouth v Brighton x-x 2-1 1-1
Crystal Palace v Southampton x-x 2-1 1-2
Everton v Newcastle x-x 2-0 1-0
Sheff Utd v Man City x-x 0-2 1-2
Chelsea v Arsenal x-x 2-0 2-0
WEDNESDAY
Leicester v West Ham x-x 2-1 3-0
Tottenham v Norwich x-x 2-1 2-0
Man Utd v Burnley x-x 1-1 2-0
THURSDAY
Wolves v Liverpool x-x 1-1 2-1

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 19:30 GMT unless stated.

TUESDAY

Aston Villa v Watford

This is a big game at the bottom, and I just have a feeling Watford’s revival will end here.

I know Watford won 3-0 when the two sides met at the end of December but the bounce the Hornets have enjoyed under new boss Nigel Pearson has got to end at some point.

Villa are on a poor run but I still feel they are more likely to play well and get a positive result when they are in a game that really matters, like this one.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Steve’s prediction: Villa are at home but I still think Watford will have too much for them. 0-2

Bournemouth v Brighton

Bournemouth fans are probably wondering what is going to go wrong next.

It does not help they have got a few injuries but they have gone four league games without scoring and look like they cannot hit a barn door with a banjo – at least they have got a decent reserve goalkeeper in defender Steve Cook, though!

I haven’t seen players’ belief enough – Howe

But things can change very quickly and this might be the game where the Cherries’ bad run ends.

Brighton are not exactly going great either and I am a bit worried about my old team because they do not seem to be able to kill sides off.

The Seagulls are easy on the eye and more attack-minded under Graham Potter than they were under his predecessor Chris Hughton but they still don’t score enough goals.

I admire the fact Potter likes to play out from the back but his side don’t appear to have a great deal of guile in midfield and the way they play just allows teams to sit in against them.

And the danger there is if you do not play through the opposition, they are in a good position to hurt you when they win possession.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Steve’s prediction: 1-1

Crystal Palace v Southampton

Palace got another great result at Manchester City on Saturday, and have now only lost one of their last 10 league matches.

The Eagles are not quite the Premier Division’s draw specialists – Arsenal (11) and Wolves (10) have drawn more times than them – but they have shared the points in their past four matches, and nine in total.

So they are hard to beat, and now they have Cenk Tosun up front, on loan from Everton, they offer more of a goal threat too.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson praises Cenk Tosun after debut goal against Man City.

Southampton’s run of good results was ended when Wolves fought back to beat them at the weekend, and this is another tough game for them.

I can see Saints being beaten again, but I don’t see them being dragged back into the relegation battle.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Steve’s prediction: Palace don’t score many and I think Saints will sneak it. 1-2

Everton v Newcastle

Everton’s improvement has continued under Carlo Ancelotti, not just with their results, but the way they play – they have purpose and a bit of fire in their bellies.

Newcastle’s win over Chelsea on Saturday was a total smash and grab, but that is allowed.

With the injuries he has had to contend with, Magpies boss Steve Bruce has done brilliantly to keep his side clear of the relegation scrap but I don’t think his side will be able to keep Everton out here.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Steve’s prediction: Carlo Ancelotti has started to settle in now I think, and Everton are going to be difficult to beat. He beat Newcastle in his second game in charge, and I am going for another win here – I cannot see Newcastle giving them too much trouble. 1-0

Sheffield United v Manchester City

Nothing really seems to change for Manchester City – the reason they dropped two more points against Crystal Palace on Saturday was down to the same old defensive problems that have haunted them all season.

It says a lot that City have conceded 27 league goals after 23 league games, compared to 23 in 38 in the whole of the previous campaign.

So it is good news for Pep Guardiola that Aymeric Laporte is on his way back from his long-term injury, even if he is unlikely to feature in this game.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola says his side created the most chances against Crystal Palace

Sheffield United will give them a real test – just as they did at Etihad Stadium last month, when City won but the Blades made it very difficult for them.

But I still think City will have lots of the ball on Tuesday night, and they should create enough chances to win pretty comfortably.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Steve’s prediction: I saw Sheffield United play Tottenham earlier this season and although we got a draw, they destroyed us. The Blades were really strong, compact, closed us down really quickly. This could be tricky for City. 1-2

Chelsea v Arsenal (20:15 GMT)

Arsenal are not shipping as many goals but I still think they are pretty ordinary at the back.

Chelsea punished them with two late goals at Emirates Stadium a few weeks ago and I am expecting a similar story this time too.

Frank Lampard’s side have struggled at home against less glamorous opposition, but they are going to be up for this one.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Steve’s prediction: Can both teams lose? I think Chelsea have had their blip, and they will be too good for Arsenal, especially with Gunners striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suspended. Chelsea to win, which is no good for Tottenham. 2-0

Steve on the race for the top four: I still have hopes for the top four for Spurs at the moment, even if I don’t think it will happen. There are three teams nailed on – Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester – but then another six teams are in the hunt and, a bit like last season, no-one really seems to want to be there.

No team is making the fourth place theirs. Chelsea have shown the most promise but even they have slipped in recent weeks as well.

WEDNESDAY

Leicester v West Ham

After Leicester won eight games in a row before Christmas, they have now taken only seven points from their past seven games.

It’s not the first time we have seen a team who looked great when they were on a winning run, then suddenly hit a bit of a slump.

Burnley 2-1 Leicester City: Leicester were better team throughout – Rodgers

That’s not because the Foxes have become a bad team, it’s down to other sides seeing a team who have won so many games, working out how they play and setting up to stop them.

The very top teams still manage to win games when that is happening every week but it looks like Leicester need to learn how to do it.

West Ham will not make it easy for them but I don’t think they have enough of a presence up front, and the Hammers need some reinforcements for the relegation battle that lies in front of them.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Steve’s prediction: 3-0

Tottenham v Norwich

Tottenham have now gone four league games without a win, and three without a goal – so it is fair to say their manager Jose Mourinho needs both to arrive on Wednesday.

I know they are without Harry Kane and he is a big miss but they coped without him last year, when they went with the pace of Lucas Moura and Son-Heung Min.

Harry Kane is irreplaceable – Mourinho

Mourinho has to come up with something here – and he really should be able to find a way to beat the Premier League’s bottom team at home.

Norwich played well when these two sides met at Carrow Road last month, but they have the worst away record in the Premier Division so it is hard to see them getting anything this time.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Steve’s prediction: I am going to this one. Norwich gave us a game at Carrow Road but I am going to have to say Spurs win – and I am going to go with a comfortable 2-0.

Steve on Spurs’ season: Essentially this is the same Tottenham team that went to the Champions League final, but things have slipped so far since then.

The players obviously dug really deep to get as far as we did in Europe but losing in Madrid was a real anti-climax and to pick themselves up and do it all again under the same manager this season was just too big an ask.

Our squad has not been refreshed properly, so it came to a natural end really. I was devastated when Mauricio Pochettino was sacked – and even more devastated with the appointment of Mourinho.

He has managed Chelsea and United, two of our rivals, and I never really liked the guy or his style of football, and then all of a sudden he becomes the Tottenham manager.

So, you have to kind of try to get your head around that and try to look at the positives – of which there really have not been many in the past few weeks.

But I am going to try to get behind him, and give him the benefit of the doubt – plus a transfer window or two – and see where we go, but it is not looking great at the moment.

Manchester United v Burnley (20:15 GMT)

I was at Anfield on Sunday to watch Liverpool play Manchester United and, if the Reds had won that game 4-0, then United could not really have complained.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side made a bright start but only really started playing in the second half – they were really just swept away and there were times when I looked at them and thought ‘what league are United in?’

Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pleased with ‘many positives’

Obviously things should be very different in this game, but the onus will be on United to attack, and Burnley will offer them a test in a different way.

The Clarets will be invigorated from their great win at the weekend when they came back from a goal down to beat Leicester, and I have a feeling they will make life difficult for United.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Steve’s prediction: Which United will show up? It has got to be a home win, and I don’t think Burnley will score. 2-0

THURSDAY

Wolves v Liverpool (20:00 GMT)

Everything about Wolves is impressive – their manager Nuno Espirito Santo, their style of play and their threat going forward. They are a very skilful outfit.

Do I think they are going to be the team to end Liverpool’s long unbeaten run? Not quite, because Wolves are not brilliant at home, but this is still the Reds’ most difficult game for a long time – and I am going for a draw here.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Steve’s prediction: I am going to go for a Wolves win, being a total idiot. Liverpool have been incredible this season but they are going to lose at some point so I am going to stick my neck out here. 2-1

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last week?

Last weekend, Lawro got four correct results, with two exact scores for a total of 100 points.

He beat actor and comedian Tom Davis, who got five correct results with one exact score for a total of 80 points.

+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
TEAM P W D L PTS +/-
1 Man City 23 22 1 66 +1
2 Liverpool 22 20 2 62 -1
3 Tottenham 23 16 5 2 53 +5
4 Chelsea 23 16 4 3 52
5 Arsenal 23 11 7 5 40 +5
6 Man Utd 23 11 6 6 39 -1
7 Leicester 23 10 5 8 35 -4
=8 Watford 23 9 4 10 31 +9
=8 West Ham 22 9 4 9 31 +8
10 Burnley 23 9 3 11 30 +4
11 Everton 23 7 6 10 27
=12 Bournemouth 23 8 2 13 26 +7
=12 Wolves 23 8 2 13 26 -6
14 Aston Villa 23 7 4 12 25 +4
15 Newcastle 23 7 2 14 23 -3
16 Southampton 23 6 3 14 21 -3
17 Brighton 23 6 2 15 20 -2
18 Sheff Utd 23 5 3 15 18 -11
19 Crystal Palace 23 3 5 15 14 -10
20 Norwich 23 2 7 14 13

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2019-20

Score Guest leaderboard
160 Gabriel Luna
140 Arnold Schwarzenegger
100 Adam Peaty
90 Avelino, Helen Housby, Jo Harten, Bobby Seagull, Geraint Thomas
80 Tom Davis, Andy Murray, Stephen Graham
77 Lawro (average after 23 weeks)
70 David Baddiel, Richard Hawley, Kojo, Michael Johnson, Craig Mitch, Alex Scott
60 Sonny Bill Williams, Serge from Kasabian, Stefan Ratchford
50 Chelcee Grimes, Reece Parkinson, Sam Warburton
40 Stephen Fry, Hugh Grant, Neil Jones, Tommy O’Dell
30 Matthew McConaughey, Seth Rollins
Total scores after week 23
Lawro 1,760
Guests 1,600



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