Manchester United’s last two visits to Anfield have resulted in drab and goalless stalemates – so will things be any different when they take on Liverpool on Sunday?

BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson certainly hopes so, saying: “This fixture usually sees United boss Jose Mourinho at his most obstinate, and it could be that Liverpool are the only team who want to try to play football.

“But surely this game surely cannot be as bad as those two, so I am going to go for some goals this time. I think Liverpool will find a way to score – but Mourinho’s record in big games means you can never write his side off.”

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

This week’s guest is David Ginola, who worked under Lawro when he was a coach at Newcastle United in the 1990s.

“Mark wasn’t really keen on my game because obviously he was a defender, and he liked the striker and the forwards to track back and try to win the ball back,” Ginola said.

“Obviously my French flair and my style of playing football didn’t suit him very much – I could see it.

“But maybe it was a bit of jealousy as well because I could do things with the ball that he tried very hard to do, but he never succeeded. That is the difference between someone very skilful and someone who is not.”

Lawro agrees – well, sort of. “David was an absolutely fantastic talent,” he recalled. “In his own mind.

“He was unbelievable actually, but I think his captain Alan Shearer would have a view on his work-rate – or lack of it.”

David Ginola with Luka Modric after the Real Madrid midfielder was named world player of the year

The flamboyant former France winger will be appearing on BBC Sports Personality 2018 at 19:00 GMT on Sunday on BBC One and the BBC Sport website.

Ginola says his own personal sporting highlight of 2018 was France winning the World Cup.

“I was watching at home in London and it was a very proud moment,” he told BBC Sport. “We made a very slow start but, as the tournament went on, everything built up.

“The players, the team spirit – everything was getting stronger until the final against Croatia, and then we found a way to win it.

“We have a bunch of very talented players there, and hopefully we are going to do the same in the European Championship in 2020.”

Premier League predictions – week 17
Man City v Evertonx-x2-03-1
Crystal Palace v Leicesterx-x1-12-2
Huddersfield v Newcastlex-x0-20-1
Tottenham v Burnleyx-x2-03-1
Watford v Cardiffx-x2-01-1
Wolves v Bournemouthx-x2-12-1
Fulham v West Hamx-x2-10-1
Brighton v Chelseax-x0-20-2
Southampton v Arsenalx-x0-12-3
Liverpool v Man Utdx-x1-13-1

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


All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless stated.


Man City v Everton

Man City v Everton (12:30 GMT)

This is quite a fast turnaround for Manchester City after their win over Hoffenheim in the Champions League on Wednesday night, but this is still a game I think they will win.

Everton, who had an eventful draw with Watford last time out, are a much-improved side and they like it when teams attack them, which is what will happen here.

They will give City a game, but I am still expecting Pep Guardiola’s side to have too much for them.

City have a few injuries to some of their big hitters to contend with and, of them, only Sergio Aguero is in with a chance of returning this weekend.

But Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling are in excellent form and I think last weekend’s defeat by Chelsea will only serve to fire City up more this time.

Although it is clearly not nice at the time, losing your first game can take a bit of pressure off. Until then people are always asking, “Can you go the whole season unbeaten?” and I think the manager and players hate that.

As good as a side as they are, they have been beaten – just as Liverpool will be beaten at some point – and they no longer have that millstone around their neck.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Ginola’s prediction: 3-1

Crystal Palace v Leicester

Crystal Palace v Leicester

Crystal Palace’s home form has been far from convincing – they have only won once at Selhurst Park so far this season.

That victory came against Burnley at the start of December, when they had 29 shots and battered the Clarets, but things have not clicked for them very often.

Leicester lost at home to Tottenham last week but they have been hard to beat recently, and I can see them leaving Selhurst Park with a point.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Ginola’s prediction: 2-2

Huddersfield v Newcastle

Huddersfield v Newcastle

Newcastle were unlucky to lose to a last-gasp Wolves goal last weekend, and Huddersfield also went down to a late winner at Arsenal.

Aaron Mooy’s injury is a blow for Huddersfield, because they are short of goals anyway.

Newcastle are hardly free-scoring but with Salomon Rondon up front they always pose a threat. Magpies boss Rafael Benitez has got him playing, and he is a handful.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Ginola’s prediction: 0-1

Tottenham v Burnley

Tottenham v Burnley

Tottenham have had a very good week. It doesn’t matter that other results helped them reach the last 16 of the Champions League – they had to find a way of getting through, and they managed it.

Burnley, who got a much-needed win over Brighton last weekend, managed a draw with Spurs at Wembley last year but I don’t see Sean Dyche’s side getting anything this time.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Ginola’s prediction: 3-1

Watford v Cardiff

Watford v Cardiff

Cardiff have now won their past four home games, but they have picked up just one point from seven games on the road so far this season and I don’t see them adding to that tally at Vicarage Road.

Watford have not won for six games but they got back among the goals with their draw at Everton on Monday, and they will be able to deal with the Bluebirds’ physical approach too.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Ginola’s prediction: 1-1

Wolves v Bournemouth

Wolves v Bournemouth

Without the injured Callum Wilson up front, Bournemouth never really threatened Liverpool last week but the good news for the Cherries is that he could be fit for this game.

I still think Wolves will win, though. Their last-minute winner at Newcastle kept up their momentum after their win over Chelsea, and they will be full of confidence at the moment.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Ginola’s prediction: 2-1

Fulham v West Ham

Fulham v West Ham (17:30 GMT)

I was at Old Trafford last weekend to see Fulham lose to Manchester United. It was far too easy to score goals against the Cottagers and I was a bit perplexed by their attacking approach too.

They have got a big striker up front in Aleksandar Mitrovic but you knew they were going to struggle when they had three free-kicks around 40 yards from the United goal, and played the ball backwards each time.

With Mitrovic to aim for, you have got chuck the ball into the box in situations like that – and you never know what might happen.

Cottagers boss Claudio Ranieri changed things around at half-time with his side 3-0 down and there was a glimmer of hope for them when they pulled a goal back – but generally they were outclassed.

Ranieri has fared rather better at Craven Cottage since taking charge, however, taking four points from two games so far.

West Ham will arrive on the back of a run of three straight runs wins they are a team that can suffer a hiccup from time to time – and it would not surprise me if Fulham find a way of winning this one.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Ginola’s prediction: 0-1


Brighton v Chelsea

Brighton v Chelsea (13:30 GMT)

Brighton’s home record is decent, with only one defeat from seven games at the Amex Stadium this season.

So, this will not be an easy afternoon for Chelsea, but I still think they will build on last weekend’s impressive win over Manchester City.

Chelsea were second-best for most of the first half against City but they were able to hang on, and then they capitalised when they had a good spell. They should be able to cope with whatever Brighton can throw at them too.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Ginola’s prediction: 0-2

Southampton v Arsenal

Southampton v Arsenal (13:30 GMT)

Ralph Hasenhuttl started his reign as Southampton manager with a defeat at Cardiff last weekend.

I am sure Hasenhuttl realises that Cardiff’s playing style is different to most other Premier League sides, but things are not going to get easier for him just because Arsenal will come and try to play at St Mary’s.

The Gunners left it late against Huddersfield last weekend but got another win in the end, and I am backing them to spoil Hasenhuttl’s first home game.

Snapshot of bottom of Premier League: 15th Newcastle, 16th Crystal Palace, 17th Burnley, 18th Huddersfield, 19th Southampton, 20th Fulham

Looking at Southampton’s squad, they will have to act in January if they want results to improve significantly. If they want to stay in this division, they will need to gamble.

That could mean spending £50-60m but, after all the players they have sold in the past few years, Saints must have the cash. The question is, are they prepared to spend it?

Lawro’s prediction: 0-1

Ginola’s prediction: 2-3

Liverpool v Man Utd

Liverpool v Man Utd (16:00 GMT)

The way Liverpool are playing and winning at the moment means everyone is expecting them to beat United, but they have really struggled to get past them at Anfield when Mourinho has been in charge.

Snapshot of top of Premier League: 1st Liverpool, 2nd Man City, 3rd Tottenham 4th Chelsea, 5th Arsenal, 6th Man Utd

United may not be firing on all cylinders but they are dogged and determined – and they have already picked up a couple of excellent results on the road at Chelsea and Juventus this season.

So, we know United are capable of producing a decent performance, and we also know that it tends to happen when they are playing a team that is better than them.

That is Sunday’s scenario, and I am expecting Mourinho to set his side up to frustrate Liverpool and pinch a point.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Ginola’s prediction: 3-1

How did Lawro do last time?

From last weekend’s Premier League games, Lawro got seven correct results, including one perfect score from 10 matches, for a total of 100 points.

He beat world champion boxer Josh Warrington, who got four correct results, with no exact scores, for a total of 40 points.

Total scores after week 16
Lawro v Guests
Lawro's League Table

=1Man City161420440
=1Man Utd16142044-5
=10Crystal Palace1654719+6
=12West Ham1653818-1


140The 1975’s Ross MacDonald
120Joe Thomas
90Karl Pilkington, Chris Stark
85Lawro (average after 16 weeks)
80Richard Ashcroft, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg James, Mark Wahlberg
60Idris Elba, Dolph Lundgren, Mumford & Sons
50Bring Me The Horizon, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre.
40Tom Grennan, Josh Warrington

Lawro’s best score: 260 points (week seven v Karl Pilkington)

Lawro’s worst score: 40 points (week three v Idris Elba, week eight v Chris Stark and week 12 v Mumford & Sons)


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