Manchester City are out of the Champions League after Real Madrid’s dramatic comeback on Wednesday, but will that defeat affect their Premier League title chances?
“I don’t think City will suffer any hangover from what happened in Madrid,” said BBC football expert and former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson.
“If anything, they will welcome the chance to play again so soon afterwards when they host Newcastle on Sunday.
“City had to pick themselves up off the floor in 2019 when they lost another dramatic European tie, against Tottenham in the quarter-finals, when the title race with Liverpool was just as tight.
“They recovered to beat Spurs in the league three days later, and won their final four games of the season to take the title by one point. They are the sort of team that just gets on with it.”
Lawro is making predictions for all 380 Premier League matches this season, against a variety of guests.
This week he takes on Bobb13 Vylan, drummer with punk-grime duo Bob Vylan and an Arsenal fan.
Their new album, Bob Vylan presents: The Price of Life, was released last week. They start a tour of the UK later in May.
Bobb13 grew up in east London but chose Arsenal at an early age.
He told BBC Sport: “I remember watching Ian Wright when they played Aston Villa once – I must have been four or five. It felt like he beat their whole team down the right wing and scored.
“I saw that and I was just like ‘that’s my team!’.
“I grew up with some amazing Arsenal sides but I only properly got into football when I was a bit older, just after we reached the Champions League final in 2006.
“I was always into sport, but not really team sports – I was more into boxing and athletics. Since then, though, football has been the main thing for me.
“I didn’t even really start playing until I was about 19. I couldn’t really tell you what changed – I just remember one day really caring what was going on with Arsenal and starting to palm things off to go and watch games. I play all the time now too.”
Bob Vylan’s first single from their new album was called Health is Wealth and is about how hard it is to eat healthily when the cost of living is going up.
It’s an issue Bobb13 is passionate about and he applauds the efforts by Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford to tackle it with his campaign to end child food poverty.
He said: “The important thing about Rashford making his voice heard was not only did he have the resources to do it and the platform as a Premier League footballer, he wanted to do it because he had experienced the problem himself.
“A lot of people who have a platform like he does feel like because they have the platform, they should be using it to change things like this.
“I always think that, yeah, if you can lend your support to something worthwhile then do it. But, if it is not something that you are really committed to, leave it to someone who is, to lead that and influence the change.
“Rashford is so committed, he has done all of that and achieved so much. It’s been brilliant to see, and he’s really changing things, foundationally, which is what we need.”
|Premier League predictions – week 36|
|Brentford v Southampton||x-x||1-2||2-1|
|Burnley v Aston Villa||x-x||1-1||1-1|
|Chelsea v Wolves||x-x||2-0||2-0|
|Crystal Palace v Watford||x-x||2-1||3-0|
|Brighton v Man Utd||x-x||0-2||1-1|
|Liverpool v Tottenham||x-x||2-1||2-1|
|Arsenal v Leeds||x-x||2-0||3-1|
|Leicester v Everton||x-x||0-2||1-1|
|Norwich v West Ham||x-x||1-1||0-3|
|Man City v Newcastle||x-x||3-0||3-1|
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
LAWRO’S PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS
All games kick off at 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated.
Brentford v Southampton
It’s not easy to predict the outcome of this one.
Both these teams have got 40 points from 35 games and have been inching towards safety, although they both lost last weekend.
I don’t see either of them going down now, but they probably both need another win to be absolutely sure of staying up.
I am going to go with Southampton to get it here, despite them only winning one of their past eight league games.
Brentford’s recent form is much better but, in the past, whenever I’ve thought Saints have lost their way a little bit, they have responded with a really good result.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-2
Bobb13’s prediction: This is the single most difficult game this weekend to decide on. Everything in my head is telling me it should be a draw, but it won’t be. It could go either way, but I’ve gone with Brentford because their form is a touch better. 2-1
Burnley v Aston Villa
Burnley fully deserved their late comeback to beat Watford last week, which was their third win in a row.
Most people are probably expecting the Clarets to win this game too, and I’m sure their players will go into it full of confidence.
Since Sean Dyche’s departure, they seem to have been approaching every game as if it is their last throw of the dice. For whatever reason the shackles have come off a bit, and it just looks a happy place to be.
Villa got their first win in a while when they beat Norwich last week but they still have something to prove to manager Steven Gerrard. There is no way they will roll over at Turf Moor.
I don’t want to be a party pooper, but I don’t think Burnley will just keep on winning. Even a point would maintain some of their momentum though.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Bobb13’s prediction: Burnley have been in good form but winning four in a row is going to be a bit much for them. 1-1
Chelsea v Wolves
I thought Chelsea were bullied a bit in their defeat by Everton last weekend, which was strange to see. Thomas Tuchel’s side are usually physically strong and difficult to play against, but not at Goodison Park.
I am expecting this to be a much easier afternoon for the Blues, however. Wolves have lost three games in a row without posing much of a threat, and it appears they have signed off for the season.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Bobb13’s prediction: Both teams have had some poor results recently but Chelsea should come out on top at home. 2-0
Crystal Palace v Watford
It’s nice that Watford boss Roy Hodgson is going back to Selhurst Park in the week that he has announced this will be his final season in management.
He will get a great reception but it won’t go as far as Crystal Palace allowing him to leave with the points.
The Hornets have lost their past five games and are on the brink of going back down to the Championship. It’s just a matter of when their relegation will be confirmed.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-1
Bobb13’s prediction: Palace don’t have anything to play for but they should get the job done here. A lot of managers don’t get given enough time to implement something really different when they come into clubs, but Patrick Vieira has managed it already in his first season as Eagles boss. Palace are a team that scares everyone now. 3-0
Brighton v Manchester United (17:30 BST)
Brighton have had some impressive results all season but they struggle to win at Amex Stadium – only Norwich and Watford have picked up fewer points than them at home.
That’s one of the reasons I fancy Manchester United to win this one.
Also, United are not under any pressure now their hopes of a top-four finish are basically over. They can play with a bit of freedom here, like they did when they beat Brentford on Monday.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-2
Bobb13’s prediction: United are in such a mess that they are just trying anything at the moment – like giving Juan Mata his first league start of the season against Brentford, alongside another player who is leaving in the summer, Nemanja Matic. I don’t know if Brighton will be able to beat them, though, because they don’t score many goals. 1-1
Liverpool v Tottenham (19:45 BST)
It’s been another great week for Liverpool.
I was commentating on their Champions League tie against Villarreal and the Reds were all over the place in the first half, but I said at half-time that I thought they would be fine because it had been a superhuman effort by the Spanish side. They were never going to be able to keep that up.
Now the Reds have two more cup finals to look forward this season, and I think they will see off Tottenham too, to maintain their challenge.
An evening kick-off under the Anfield lights will help boost the atmosphere, but the main reason I am backing Jurgen Klopp’s side here is more down to the fact Spurs are so unconvincing on the road.
Antonio Conte’s side got that brilliant win over Manchester City at Etihad Stadium in February, of course, but the frustrating thing for Conte is that they have not played like that often enough.
This is another big game so I think Spurs will be up for this one too, and cause the Liverpool defence some problems, but not as many as Mohamed Salah & Co will cause them at the other end.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-1
Bobb13’s prediction: This is a massive game for so many teams. For the title race, Liverpool need to win this. For their top-four chances, Tottenham need to win this. I am torn between going for a 2-2 draw or a 2-1 Liverpool win but I am going with them to win it, because you just can’t bet against them at the moment. They always seem to find a way to win. 2-1
Arsenal v Leeds (14:00)
By the time they play, Arsenal will know how Tottenham got on at Anfield the previous day and whether a win would send them five points clear of Spurs before the north London derby on Thursday.
Whatever Spurs do, though, Arsenal have just got to look after themselves from here on in. The derby doesn’t matter yet – for now, this game against Leeds is their biggest game of the season.
Leeds have also got plenty to play for, because they have been dragged right into the relegation scrap.
They certainly haven’t been short of effort since Jesse Marsch took over, but Arsenal showed against West Ham last week that they can scrap for the points when they have to.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Bobb13’s prediction: I don’t know why Manchester City had to beat Leeds so badly last week – it’s just a headache because when that happens you always think they will try to prove something in their next game. They will attack us, which will leave us some space. We will probably still beat them, but I don’t think we will keep a clean sheet. 3-1
Bobb13 on Arsenal’s season and their future: It’s an exciting time for us at the moment. We knew how good this group of young players were but it’s been amazing to see them all come good and make that step up at the same time. We are a very young team and every once in a while we still wobble, but most of the time they play with so much maturity. I think we’ve got a bright, bright future – if we can hold on to them. Getting in next season’s Champions League would definitely help there, and also mean we can attract better players and keep on improving. That’s the key, really. Mikel Arteta has turned the team around. Last season wasn’t great but he has always been so explicit in saying we are rebuilding, and that is going to take time.
Leicester v Everton (14:00)
Leicester have had a difficult season, playing Thursday-Sunday for most of it because of their European involvement, but they have only just dropped out of the top half of the table.
It is injuries to key players that have affected the Foxes the most during this campaign, and that’s the reason they have been so inconsistent.
They don’t have much to play for in the league now, so I just have a feeling Everton will nab the points here, despite having the worst away record in the top flight in 2021-22 with just one win and three draws from 16 games.
All Toffees manager Frank Lampard has to do is tell them before kick-off is ‘same as last week’. If they play like they did against Chelsea, they will win this game too.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-2
Bobb13’s prediction: Leicester seem to be in a really odd patch of form. As bad as Everton have been away from home, I think they will get something here. 1-1
Norwich v West Ham (14:00)
Norwich were relegated last week but I don’t think they will just roll over in front of their own fans.
West Ham won’t have their strongest team out after Thursday’s Europa League semi-final with Eintracht Frankfurt, but whatever side David Moyes puts out they will be difficult to beat.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Bobb13’s prediction: Norwich will still be playing for pride but West Ham are just too good for them. 0-3
Manchester City v Newcastle (16:30)
There will be an absolutely cracking atmosphere at Etihad Stadium for this game.
There is no way the City fans will let their team be down about what happened to them against Real Madrid – plus the title is still at stake and their full focus is on that now.
As good as Newcastle have been to climb into the top half of the table, there is still a gulf in class between the two teams. I’m expecting City to win comfortably.
Lawro’s prediction: 3-0
Bobb13’s prediction: I reckon Newcastle will put up a fight, but City are just too good. 3-1
Lawro and Bobb13 were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
How did Lawro do last time?
Last weekend, Lawro got six correct results from 10 Premier League matches, including two exact scores, for a total of 120 points.
He beat Will from electronic duo Chase & Status, who got eight correct results, but with no exact scores, giving him 80 points.
|+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION|
GUEST LEADERBOARD 2021-22
|190||TJ from Ezra Collective|
|110||Jelani Blackman, Friction, Reuben James, She Drew The Gun, S-X|
|100||ArrDee, Dev from Idles, Johnny Marr|
|81||Lawro (average after 35 weeks)|
|80||Will Kennard from Chase & Status, Call Me Loop, Tom McFarland|
|70||Austin Brown, Ben Cajee, Elena Cole, Tom from Blossoms|
|60||Femi from Ezra Collective, Haydn Craven, James Spence of Rolo Tomassi|
|50||Aqib Khan, Jim Piddock, Joe from Blossoms, Shaun Thomas|
|40||James Arthur, Dan Haggis of The Wombats, Murray & Tav from FUR, Martin Noble, Curt Smith, Taka from Feeder, Justin Young|
|30||Dan McCarthy from KAWALA, Mez, Roland Orzabal, Michael ‘Venom’ Page, Roger Taylor, Zuzu|
|Total scores after week 35|
|Lawro v Guests|
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