Lawro's Premier League predictions v Jamie Johnson stars Elena Cole and Haydn Craven

Published on: 21 October 2021

Manchester United and Liverpool served up a couple of Champions League classics in midweek, but will things be as exciting when they meet at Old Trafford on Sunday?

"They were two of the best games I've seen in a long time in terms of open, attacking football," said BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson of United's comeback win over Atalanta and Liverpool's thrilling triumph against Atletico Madrid.

"I just don't see this being the same, though. United, in particular, have to make sure it isn't because, if it does open up, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will tear them apart."

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

This week's guests are Elena Cole and Haydn Craven, stars of football drama Jamie Johnson.

Series six of Jamie Johnson launches on CBBC and BBC iPlayer on Monday, following the fortunes of a new generation of footballers emerging at Phoenix FC.

Alba (Elena) and Liam (Haydn) are rivals who give everything in pursuit of glory. But who will be the next Jamie Johnson?

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This series features cameo appearances from Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright - among others - but none of them quite top Everton fan Elena's favourite moment on the show, which came in series five.

"I was part of a scene at St George's Park with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jonjoe Kenny and James Maddison," she told BBC Sport.

"It was a rondo training drill and I was in the middle trying to get the ball.

"It is like a dream sequence and at the end Dominic picks me up off the ground and they all tell me to keep going and keep trying. He's one of my favourite players, so it was amazing!"

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Away from the show, Elena and Haydn both play regularly but competition is pretty fierce between all the Jamie Johnson cast members for real football skills and tricks - so who is the best?

"We always play at lunchtime when we are filming," says Haydn. "But you never know if anyone is quite trying. We film the games you see on the show too, but sometimes we might only get 10 minutes of free play at the end.

"But this summer we had a football tournament that we filmed which was all real, and it was great to see the standard.

"That was probably my favourite moment since I've been on the show, because we played 40-minute matches full out, with no stopping. You could tell everyone loved it.

"The best player we've got is Louis Dunn, who plays Jamie. He is brilliant. He doesn't play in our team, but at lunchtimes when you see him play he is just so fast and moves the ball so well. There are a lot of very good players in the cast though."

Episode one of the new Jamie Johnson series features a heated exchange between Liam and Alba - and a cameo appearance by Nicola Adams

Elena's character rugby tackled Haydn in series four, which she still laughs about now - but she says in real life their kickabouts do not quite get that physical.

"I used to just barge Haydn out of the way because he was shorter than me, but he's a bit taller now!" she added.

"Everyone is like 'I'm the best, I'm the best', but being completely honest there is a new character coming into the show in series six. I don't want to give too much away, because you will have to watch to find out, but he is a very good player - probably the best out of all of us."

When it comes to watching football both of them are Wales fans - Elena plays in midfield for their Under-16s too - but they follow different clubs.

Elena and the rest of her family support Everton because of her dad - she says "he brainwashed all of us there!" - and her favourite moment was seeing them beat Liverpool last season, the first time they had done it in her lifetime.

Haydn is a Manchester United fan and also has a season ticket with his hometown team Cardiff City.

"I was a mascot at Old Trafford in 2014, when David Moyes was in charge," Haydn explained. "I walked out with Rafael da Silva and we beat Olympiakos 3-0 after losing the first leg 2-0.

"That was a top moment for me as a United fan, and then for Wales it was Hal Robson-Kanu's goal against Belgium at Euro 2016. Nothing will probably ever top that, it was just incredible - although it would be amazing to see Wales make it to a World Cup.

Elena agrees, adding: "It would be massive if we can make it to Qatar 2022. I'm not convinced we will, though."

View more on twitterPremier League predictions - week 9ResultLawroElenaHaydnFRIDAYArsenal v Aston Villax-x2-11-11-0SATURDAYChelsea v Norwichx-x2-02-05-0Crystal Palace v Newcastlex-x2-12-11-2Everton v Watfordx-x2-02-01-1Leeds v Wolvesx-x1-10-12-2Southampton v Burnleyx-x2-10-00-0Brighton v Man Cityx-x0-20-31-3SUNDAYBrentford v Leicesterx-x0-21-22-0West Ham v Tottenhamx-x1-11-12-1Man Utd v Liverpoolx-x1-11-02-0

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


Games kick off at 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated

FRIDAYArsenal v Aston Villa (20:00 BST)

Both these teams are in mid-table for a reason - there are some positives about the way they have started the season, but there are ways to get at them too.

Aston Villa suffered a late collapse against Wolves last time out, while Arsenal scraped a draw with Crystal Palace on Monday in a game that said more about where they are at the moment than their recent run of three straight wins did.

The Gunners probably thought they had turned the corner after their poor start to the season but I don't think that is the case. I'm going with them to win this one, but that is mainly down to them having home advantage - it is going to be another close one.

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Elena's prediction: Arsenal were a bit dodgy at the start of the season while Aston Villa have been more good than bad. This is going to be a draw. 1-1

Haydn's prediction: Arsenal have picked up and are on a bit of a roll at the moment. 1-0

SATURDAYChelsea v Norwich (12:30)

This is top versus bottom and, even though Chelsea will be without injured duo Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, there is only going to be one outcome here.

Norwich just cannot score goals - they have only managed two in their first eight games - and they are up against the joint-meanest defence in the division.

If there was going to be a game that Chelsea would pick to be without Lukaku and Werner, it would be this one. They will find a way though.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Elena's prediction: Norwich haven't made a very good start - this is a tough one for them. 2-0

Haydn's prediction: I've got a feeling Chelsea are going to run away with this one. 5-0

Crystal Palace v Newcastle

Graeme Jones will be in charge of Newcastle following Steve Bruce's departure, and this is a free hit for him because he's not really in the running to take the job permanently.

Callum Wilson is back fit for Newcastle, and you saw the difference he makes to their attack with his early goal against Tottenham.

I'd be more worried about the Magpies at the other end, though, even if Wilfried Zaha is not well enough to play for Palace.

Palace have not quite managed to turn some good performances into wins yet under Patrick Vieira - Monday's draw with Arsenal was another example of that, because they should have won - but they are progressing nicely.

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Elena's prediction: It's going to be interesting to see what Newcastle do in the January transfer window but until then they might struggle. 2-1

Haydn's prediction: It might be tight but I'm going with Newcastle. 1-2

Everton v Watford

I'm not sure what Watford were trying to do in their 5-0 defeat by Liverpool last weekend, in Claudio Ranieri's first game as Hornets boss.

They made it so easy for Liverpool, and didn't even start to try to play until they were 4-0 down.

Watford have to do more here, but I don't think this is a good time for them to play Everton, who were beaten at home by former manager David Moyes' West Ham at the weekend.

We will see a reaction from Rafa Benitez's side too, that's for sure. I know they are still without Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front, but they should still win this one.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Elena's prediction: I've got to go for the Everton win, haven't I? We've made a good start to the season, but we just need to keep it up. I don't think we will make the top four, but we can finish in the top six. 2-0

Haydn's prediction: Elena went for an Everton win? That won't happen - no chance! 1-1

Leeds v Wolves

Wolves are on a roll, with four wins in their past five games, and they are scoring some goals now too.

Meanwhile, Leeds lost again last week, at Southampton. They were without Kalvin Phillips, Raphinha and Patrick Bamford at St Mary's and Raphinha might be the only one of that trio who plays here.

This is a tricky time for Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa but I think they will find some form soon - it might not happen until Phillips and Bamford are back though.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Elena's prediction: Leeds play nice, attacking football but Wolves have hit a bit of form and I think they will turn up for this one. 0-1

Haydn's prediction: I reckon there will be a few goals here. 2-2

Southampton v Burnley

Burnley are still waiting for their first league win of the season but Southampton got theirs against Leeds last week, which was big for them.

The Clarets put up a decent fight in their defeat at Manchester City but that is the least I expect from them. Goals seem hard to come by, which is a worry.

Southampton are hardly prolific themselves, but I think they will edge this one.

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Elena's prediction: This one might be quite boring. 0-0

Haydn's prediction: I agree! 0-0

Brighton v Manchester City (17:30)

Brighton have made an excellent start to the season, but this is their first game against one of the big boys and it is going to be hard for them.

Manchester City are playing well, and were excellent in their 5-1 Champions League win over Club Bruges in Belgium in midweek. Defensively, they give very little away.

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Elena's prediction: City will be too strong. 0-3

Haydn's prediction: It's hard to say this as a United fan but City will win. Brighton will give them a game though. 1-3

Which Premier League manager would you love to play under?

Elena: It would be Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola, one of those two. Even speaking as an Everton fan, you have to say Klopp is a very good manager. It's the same with Pep, you can tell they both improve their players.

Haydn: Of the managers now, it would be Pep, because you can tell he loves working with his players - he even coaches the opposition sometimes. But of all time, it has to be Jose Mourinho. I'm a big Jose fan!

SUNDAYBrentford v Leicester (14:00)

This will be a really good game if both teams play the way they have been.

I am not sure how Brentford didn't get anything out of their defeat by Chelsea last time out, while Leicester have had one heck of a week with thrilling wins over Manchester United and Spartak Moscow.

The Bees caused Chelsea loads of problems and it will be the same again here, but I do think having Jonny Evans fit makes a big difference for Leicester's defence.

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Elena's prediction: Leicester to nick it. 1-2

Haydn's prediction: Brentford's fans will help make the difference. 2-0

West Ham v Tottenham (14:00)

West Ham got a really good win at Everton last week in a game I had a feeling they would nick.

Tottenham's revival continued at Newcastle, where their quality came through after a difficult start and Harry Kane got off the mark in the Premier League.

This one is hard to call. I don't think there will be much between them on Sunday, or come the end of the season.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Elena's prediction: This is going to be close. 1-1

Haydn's prediction: It is hard to predict this one because both teams are very good on their day. 2-1

Manchester United v Liverpool (16:30)

Manchester United's performance to come back from 2-0 down against Atalanta and win 3-2 on Wednesday summed up what they are like under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They can have spells where they are awful, as well as when they are very hard to stop.

If United had been beaten then that would have been a bonus for Liverpool but, instead, both of them are on a high going into the weekend.

There is probably more pressure on United to get a positive result, because they have dropped points in each of their past three league games, but a draw would not be a bad result for either camp and that's what I'm going for.

Liverpool won't change the way they play - they can't. The reason I think United will shut up shop is because, if they are open, you would fear the worst for them.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Elena's prediction: United to win it, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the winner in the last minute. 1-0

Haydn's prediction: I'm going with United but we've got to keep a clean sheet. That's a big ask with Mohamed Salah playing the way he is for Liverpool. His goals against Manchester City and Watford were just beautiful. 2-0

Haydn's favourite Manchester United player: I think Edinson Cavani is brilliant, with his work-rate he puts in. His movement is so good. I do like Scott McTominay too, although he is going through a bit of a dodgy patch at the moment. I'm a defensive midfielder myself, and I actually used to model my game on Ander Herrera when he played for United, because of his passion and, again, his work-rate. The best ever was Xavi, though.

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last week?

Last weekend, Lawro got five correct results from 10 matches, with no exact scores, for a total of 50 points.

He beat Shepherd actor Tom Hughes, who got one correct result without the exact score, giving him 10 points.

+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO'S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITIONTEAMPWDLPTS+/-1Man Utd871022+52Leeds870121+153Man City8620200=4Aston Villa860218+9=4Leicester853018+7=4Liverpool853018-27Chelsea844016-68Brighton843115-49West Ham842214-210Tottenham834113-511Arsenal824210+112Newcastle82339+713Wolves82157-314Everton82066-6=15Brentford81164-6=15Burnley81164+317Southampton81073-2=18Norwich80262+2=18Watford80262-220Crystal Palace80171-6GUEST LEADERBOARD 2021-22ScoreGuest110Friction, She Drew The Gun83Lawro (average after eight weeks)80Tom McFarland50Aqib Khan, Shaun Thomas40Dan Haggis of The Wombats, Justin Young30Michael 'Venom' Page10Tom HughesTotal scores after week eightLawro660Guests470Lawro v GuestsP8W6D1L1

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