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Lawro’s predictions v Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar

29 Apr

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson


BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson is pitting his wits against a different guest each week this season.

Lawro’s opponent for this weekend’s Premier League fixtures is actor Adrian Dunbar, who plays Superintendent Ted Hastings in BBC drama Line of Duty.

Dunbar is an Arsenal fan who was a long-term season-ticket holder at Highbury and the Emirates Stadium when he lived in nearby Crouch End.

He is optimistic about the Gunners’ chances of beating Chelsea in next month’s FA Cup final.

“At the end of a very difficult season for everyone, there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel,” Dunbar told BBC Sport.

“I think we will be much happier playing Chelsea in the final than we would have been playing Tottenham – Spurs are ultimately a better side than Chelsea at the moment.

“So I think we’ve got a chance. Actually, while we’ve got Alexis Sanchez, we’ve always got a chance.

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Line of Duty: Adrian Dunbar gives his north London derby predictions

Dunbar says his character in Line of Duty was based on a couple of football managers, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is not one of them.

“There are a whole lot of great managers that came out of the west of Scotland – Bill Shankly, Jock Stein and Sir Alex Ferguson,” he explained.

“They had great man-management skill, there is no question about it – they were able to handle people.

“Hastings had to have the same skills, where he can get the best out of everybody. I am from not far away myself so I have kind of mined that quality for him a little bit.”

So, does Hastings need to go into the Arsenal dressing room to try to get more out of their players?

“No, I think you would be wrong to think Wenger cannot drum our players up,” Dunbar said. “I think he did it big time in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final.

“I wouldn’t mind going in though, every now and again, giving them a wake-up call.”

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

You can make your Premier League predictions now and compare them with those of Lawro and other fans by playing the BBC Sport Predictor game.

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

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

SATURDAY

Southampton v Hull<!–

Southampton 0-0 Hull City

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Adrian’s prediction: 2-1

Read the match report.

Stoke v West Ham<!–

Stoke City 0-0 West Ham

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Adrian’s prediction: 1-1

Read the match report.

Sunderland v Bournemouth<!–

Sunderland 0-1 Bournemouth

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Adrian’s prediction: 0-1

Read the match report.

West Brom v Leicester<!–

West Brom 0-1 Leicester

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Adrian’s prediction: 1-1

Read the match report.

Crystal Palace v Burnley<!–

Crystal Palace v Burnley (17:30 BST)

It looked like Crystal Palace were going to edge closer to safety on Wednesday night, because their game with Tottenham had 0-0 written all over it until Christian Eriksen scored Spurs’ winner.

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Allardyce praises ‘terrific effort’ from Palace

The Eagles are running out of centre-halves after losing Mamadou Sakho to injury but, at the other end, they always pose problems.

Burnley were brushed aside by Manchester United last time out and it might take a little while longer before they banish their relegation fears.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Adrian’s prediction: 3-1

Read the match preview.

SUNDAY

Man Utd v Swansea<!–

Man Utd v Swansea (12:00 BST)

Swansea need a win but, although they have beaten Manchester United home or away in each of the past three seasons, I don’t see them doing it again on Sunday.

I don’t think United will be affected by their upcoming trip to Celta Vigo for the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.

But Jose Mourinho’s side have trips to Tottenham and Arsenal either side of the return on 11 May, and that run of games could define his first season at Old Trafford.

By the end of it we will probably have an idea of which competition offers them the best route into next season’s Champions League, but for now they are still trying to ring-fence a top-four finish.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Adrian’s prediction: 3-0

Everton v Chelsea<!–

Everton v Chelsea (14:05 BST)

Everton are on a phenomenal run of form at Goodison Park, where they have won their past eight league games and scored 29 goals.

But if anyone is going to stop them, it is the league leaders.

Chelsea are within touching distance of the title now, and I think they will go there and do a job, and expose any weakness or tiredness that Everton have.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Adrian’s prediction: 1-1

Middlesbrough v Man City<!–

Middlesbrough v Man City (14:05 BST)

Middlesbrough ended an 16-game winless run in the league by beating Sunderland on Wednesday but they remain in deep trouble.

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Boro will take on the fight – Agnew

Boro are in a situation now where a draw is not good enough for them, regardless of the opposition.

They are more ambitious going forward under Steve Agnew than they were when Aitor Karanka was in charge but they still don’t have the players to hurt teams.

Manchester City do, and they will go to the Riverside Stadium and attack Middlesbrough. I think they will find a way through.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Adrian’s prediction: 0-2

Tottenham v Arsenal<!–

Tottenham v Arsenal (16:30 BST)

Tottenham found a way to beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday night despite not playing particularly well, and that was a great result for them.

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Pochettino praises ‘great’ Eriksen winner

Spurs have now won eight league games on the spin but I just have a feeling that Arsenal will put a spanner in the works of their bid to catch Chelsea.

The Gunners’ winning run in all competitions is much shorter, at three matches, but it included Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final.

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Highlights: Arsenal 2-1 Man City (aet)

Arsene Wenger’s side will be full of confidence and have got a bit of momentum too. This is a game that I don’t see them losing.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Adrian’s prediction: This is going to be very difficult for Arsenal – Spurs are probably the best team in England at the moment. I would be happy with a draw but who knows? It is a one-off game and anything can happen. 2-2

MONDAY

Watford v Liverpool<!–

Watford v Liverpool (20:00 BST)

Liverpool got battered 3-0 when they went to Vicarage Road last season, after conceding two goals in the first 15 minutes.

I just don’t see that happening on Monday, especially if Watford play like they did when they lost 2-0 at 10-man Hull last time out.

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Liverpool must stay positive – Klopp

The Hornets are back at home, but this still looks like a winnable fixture for Liverpool – although I thought the same about their last game against Crystal Palace.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Adrian’s prediction: 1-2

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

Lawro’s best score: 140 points (week 22 v James McAvoy)

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

Lawro's League Table<!–

How did Lawro do last time?

From last weekend’s Premier League matches, Lawro got three correct results, with no perfect scores, from the six matches, for a total of 30 points.

He beat Radio 1Xtra DJ Trevor Nelson, who got two correct results to score 20 points, but lost out to fellow MOTD pundit Jermaine Jenas, who got three correct results, including one perfect score, for a tally of 60 points.

In the FA Cup semi-finals, Nelson fared the best, correctly predicting that Chelsea would beat Spurs in normal time, while Lawro thought the Blues would win via penalties. Nobody picked Arsenal to win the other tie.

Lawro made the following predictions for the midweek Premier League games, but he did not have an opponent for all the games so not all the scores count towards his season totals.

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