Fresh from their remarkable win in Paris, Manchester United return to Emirates Stadium on Sunday in search of another vital victory.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have already beaten Arsenal once on the road, in the FA Cup in January, but can they repeat that trick to boost their hopes of a top-four finish?
BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson said: “Injuries and suspension meant United were down to the bare bones against Paris St-Germain but I liked what Ole said about how at least the unfamiliar team he put out was full of energy.
“That win will have taken an awful lot of out them physically so I was tempted to go for Arsenal this time, but the Gunners have to travel to play in the Europa League on Thursday night against Rennes.
“So they are not going to be fresh either and, even if United are tired, they will be absolutely flying in terms of confidence.”
Lawro is making predictions for all 380 top-flight matches this season, against a variety of guests.
This week he is up against chef Tom Kerridge and ‘The Beast’ – aka Wycombe striker Adebayo Akinfenwa.
Manchester United fan Kerridge cooked for Akinfenwa for a Football Focus feature before Wycombe’s League One game against Sunderland on Saturday.
‘The Beast’ is a Liverpool fan who is very excited about how this weekend’s games will affect the Premier League title race, and his side’s prospects against the Black Cats.
He told BBC Sport: “Watford are going to win and Liverpool are going to win, and that opens it back up again at the top.
“And I want to put it out there that Wycombe have got this and we are going to win too – 100%.”
Football Focus is on BBC One and the BBC Sport website at 12:00 GMT on Saturday.
|Premier League predictions – week 30|
|Crystal Palace v Brighton||x-x||1-1||2-2||3-1|
|Cardiff v West Ham||x-x||0-2||1-3||1-2|
|Huddersfield v Bournemouth||x-x||1-1||0-2||0-3|
|Leicester v Fulham||x-x||2-0||2-1||2-1|
|Newcastle v Everton||x-x||1-2||2-1||1-0|
|Southampton v Tottenham||x-x||1-2||0-2||1-3|
|Man City v Watford||x-x||3-0||1-2||1-2|
|Liverpool v Burnley||x-x||2-0||2-0||3-1|
|Chelsea v Wolves||x-x||2-0||1-1||1-1|
|Arsenal v Man Utd||x-x||1-1||0-2||1-2|
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.
Crystal Palace v Brighton (12:30 GMT)
Crystal Palace have had much better results on the road than they have done at Selhurst Park this season, where they have only won three out of 14 league games.
A lot of that is down to their preferred style of play – the Eagles can play on the break when they are away but at home they have got to force the issue more, and the opposition are the ones sitting back.
This game will be hectic because it is a derby, but it will probably follow that pattern too.
Brighton picked up their first league win of 2019 when they beat Huddersfield last week and I am pretty sure that, after finally winning, their manager Chris Hughton’s main aim will be to avoid defeat.
The Seagulls are still in relegation trouble but, looking at the table, I think 36 points could be enough for safety.
That is two more wins for Brighton, and only one for Palace, but they might have to wait a bit longer to get it.
Brighton came out on top when these two met in December, despite playing for an hour with 10 men, but I am going for a draw this time.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Tom’s prediction: I think Brighton will go to Palace and do all right. 2-2
The Beast’s prediction: No, no. Palace are in really good form at the moment. 3-1
Cardiff v West Ham
West Ham are going very well at the moment. It helps that Manuel Lanzini is back from injury but a lot of their better players seem to have found some form.
The Hammers look good at the back too, and there seems to a be a much more settled and solid look about them now, compared with the way they started the season.
They have improved a lot, something that cannot be said about Cardiff in recent weeks.
The Bluebirds have lost their past three games, and it is the manner of those defeats that is worrying.
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock has questioned the contribution of some of his players during that run. That is a bad sign, because togetherness is usually one of the key attributes of any Warnock team.
It is a bad time of the season for things to go wrong and with games coming up against Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in the next few weeks, Cardiff’s main aim has to be to stay in touch with the sides above them.
Their situation does not look too clever, but I am reluctant to write off their survival chances because of their manager.
Just when you think they are down and out, Warnock does seem to have a knack of getting them going again – although I do think West Ham will come out on top on Saturday.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-2
Tom’s prediction: West Ham will do a job here. 1-3
The Beast’s prediction: Yeah, West Ham to win. 1-2
Huddersfield v Bournemouth
Bournemouth did not have a shot at goal against Manchester City last week but their approach will be completely different here – you don’t go to Huddersfield and park the bus.
I don’t think it is just a case of turning up and expecting to win, though. The Terriers are still rock bottom but they won their last home game, against Wolves, and the Cherries will have to work for whatever they get.
Callum Wilson is back in training, which is good news for Bournemouth, but they really need him back in action soon. They look far more dangerous when he is in the team.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Tom’s prediction: Huddersfield are still fighting, but I am going for another away win here too. 0-2
The Beast’s prediction: I am with you on that – Huddersfield are sinking. 0-3
Leicester v Fulham
Brendan Rodgers lost his first game as Leicester manager, at Watford last weekend, but this is a good opportunity for him to get up and running.
Fulham have lost eight of their past nine league games and have the worst away record in the top flight this season, after taking only two points from a possible 45.
I could see what Rodgers was trying to do against Watford, but the problem was Leicester’s passing was so slow that it almost always let the Hornets get back into position.
I think we we will see them increase the tempo of their passing against Fulham, and they will need to. Otherwise they will just be playing in front of them, which looks pretty but is not particularly effective.
What might help is if Harry Maguire uses the ball more positively when he brings it out of defence, because he has definitely got the ability to do that.
Against Watford, he came so far but then just passed it without trying to hurt them. I want to see him keep the ball and commit someone from the opposition, because that is one way to open teams up, and also pinging clever passes straight through to Jamie Vardy, or runners from midfield.
Fulham improved against Chelsea last time out – they made some chances and certainly put in plenty of effort.
But they were at home and they were always going to have a go in a local derby.
They also got a lift from Scott Parker taking charge of his first game, but it boiled down to the quality of the players – and they lost because they just were not good enough.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Tom’s prediction: Leicester have a new manager and Fulham are struggling, so Leicester are going to win. 2-1
The Beast’s prediction: Leicester are at home too, so there will be lots of noise for Brendan Rodgers’ first home game. I think Fulham will score because they are good going forward, but they are not so good at defending. 2-1
Newcastle v Everton
After their display at Anfield in December, where they lost to a 96th-minute goal, it was probably their most committed performance of the season.
Newcastle lost at West Ham last week, but only really went for it in the second half when they were already 2-0 down, and looked a different team.
I am not sure what the Magpies’ approach will be like this time but I think what happens in this game is far more significant for Everton manager Marco Silva.
After all their hard work last week, and the way they raised their game, if the Toffees went to St James’ Park and got run over, then I would be seriously worried.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-2
Tom’s prediction: This is quite tricky to call. Newcastle are playing well, and there is a resurgence, energy and positivity about their play. With Everton, it is always up in the air as to how well they will play, so I am going to go for a Newcastle win. 2-1
The Beast’s prediction: I am surprised that you and I are thinking the same, but I don’t see there being many goals in this game. 1-0
Southampton v Tottenham
Spurs got a great result against Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, especially after they had dropped a few points in the Premier League in recent weeks.
Southampton played well at Old Trafford last weekend, but it ended in a glorious defeat at the hands of Manchester United.
The problem for Saints is that, despite a very good performance, it was a defeat.
They have only won one of their past six games – with that victory coming against Fulham – and I can’t see them ending that run this weekend.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-2
Tom’s prediction: Tottenham have had a dodgy couple of weeks but Harry Kane looked like he was back to his best against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday. 0-2
The Beast’s prediction: I am a fan of Harry Kane, but I am not a fan of him because he plays for Tottenham. I feel like they are going to make a statement in this game, and do really well on the counter-attack. 1-3
Man City v Watford (17:30 GMT)
The past couple of weeks have been fairly typical of Watford’s up-and-down season – they scored five at Cardiff, conceded five at Liverpool, and then scored a last-minute winner against Leicester – and I am supposed to be predicting their results.
They have got some good players but there is something about the Hornets that is epitomised by their striker Troy Deeney, who seems to be the catalyst for them to put in a good performance when he is playing well and getting stuck in individually.
I am sure Deeney will make his presence felt at Etihad Stadium, but I only see this game going one way.
Manchester City have only squeezed past West Ham and Bournemouth in their past two games, winning 1-0 on both occasions, but I don’t think that matters.
I am not sure Watford will go for a shut-out in the same way and, even if they do, I don’t think they are good enough defensively to pull it off.
They were wide open down the flanks when they went to Anfield recently and, even if they don’t play exactly the same way this time, if they leave any space, then Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane will punish them.
Lawro’s prediction: 3-0
Tom’s prediction: Watford are doing so well and having an amazing season but I cannot see anything but a City win – they are steamrollering their way to the title.
The Beast’s prediction: No, no, no… NO! I can’t believe it! Liverpool are going to do it, so I am going to throw this in there – Watford and my guy Troy Deeney are going to throw a spanner in City’s works and win. I refuse to have it any other way. 1-2
Tom’s prediction: As a team talk, Watford just need to hear that. OK, I’ve changed my mind – this is definitely going to be a Watford win. 1-2
Liverpool v Burnley (12:00 GMT)
Crystal Palace unpicked Burnley last week but I am expecting the Clarets to be far more dogged at Anfield.
They have got form here – they drew this fixture last season when Liverpool were left frustrated despite having 71% of frustration and 35 shots, but I think the outcome will be different this time.
Liverpool dropped points in last weekend’s Merseyside derby but Mohamed Salah had two great chances and Fabinho wasted another good opportunity.
Eight times out of 10, they would score at least one of them and go on to win the game, but instead we get to hear a load of rubbish about how Klopp got things wrong and they are blowing the title.
Well, they have got 70 points, are one point off the top and have only lost one game all season. That is where they are at – and if you had said at the start of the season that they would be in this position at the start of March, then everyone would have said ‘wow’.
All that has happened recently is that they have not converted their chances. It happens, and there is not very much difference between them and City, who have won their past two games 1-0 but only thanks to a debatable penalty and a mis-hit shot. Nobody is doubting them, though.
The important thing is that the Liverpool players don’t seem to be affected by the talk they are having difficulties and it reminds me of when Bill Shankly was asked a question suggesting his Reds side were having difficulties in the title race.
His reply was something along the lines of “yes, we’ve got loads of problems us, at the top of the league”. Liverpool might have slipped behind City but I think everyone should remember how well they are doing – this is not exactly a crisis is it?
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
The Beast’s prediction: Look, Tom, I am taking control of this one and I am not going to hear anything different. We are at Anfield and we are going to win 3-1 – bang!
Tom’s prediction: I am not going to argue with that too much. Liverpool could find their form again here. 2-0
Chelsea v Wolves (14:05 GMT)
Wolves returned to winning ways against Cardiff last week but Chelsea are playing well at the moment.
The narrative much of the media took in the past few weeks was that Blues boss Maurizio Sarri is losing his job and the Kepa Arrizabalaga incident at Wembley was supposed to be accelerating that process.
In reality, their past few performances have all been good and, if they play like that again on Sunday, I would expect them to win.
Wolves have got a good record against the top-six clubs this season, and beat Chelsea at Molineux in December, but I think they will find it a lot harder this time.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Tom’s prediction: I am going for a draw where Wolves will think afterwards that they should have taken all three points. 1-1
The Beast’s prediction: I like that. 1-1
Arsenal v Man Utd (16:30 GMT)
United’s run under Solskjaer means it is now becoming ridiculous that they have not given him the job permanently. What are they waiting for?
Imagine if there was a suggestion that they were looking around at other managers? The crowd at Old Trafford would go wild, and the club would look stupid.
Solskjaer has to get the job because, if he can achieve this with what he has got now, imagine what he could do when he gets a chance to improve the team.
He has already improved the players he has got, which is the biggest thing that has impressed me so far, on top of his results.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Tom’s prediction: Arsenal are at home, and I am a United fan…
The Beast’s prediction: Are you? Seriously. I thought when Liverpool went to Old Trafford last month, it was our day and we were going to beat you. I was actually a bit disappointed with the way Liverpool played, because United were there for the taking.
Tom’s prediction: Our defence is looking a lot more solid now. Victor Lindelof is a changed man under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. I am going for a United away win. 0-2
The Beast’s prediction: I also think United are going to do it, but I do think Arsenal will score. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are on form at the moment. 1-2
Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
How did Lawro do last time?
From the the last round of Premier League games, Lawro got seven correct results, with one exact score, from 10 matches for a total of 100 points.
He beat sprinter Dina Asher-Smith who got five correct results with one exact score for a total of 80 points.
|Total scores after week 29|
|Lawro v Guests|
|+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION|
GUEST LEADERBOARD 218-19
|140||The 1975’s Ross MacDonald|
|90||Jim Glennie, Mario Hezonja, Karl Pilkington, Chris Stark|
|86||Lawro (average after 29 weeks)|
|80||Richard Ashcroft, Dina Asher-Smith, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg James, Mark Wahlberg|
|50||Bring Me The Horizon, Theo Ellis, Drew McIntyre, Mohamed Sanu, Dolph Ziggler|
|40||Tom Grennan, Josh Warrington|
|30||Ryan Fitzpatrick, Oti Mabuse|
Lawro’s best score: 260 points (week seven v Karl Pilkington)