Premier League predictions: Lawro v Robert De Niro & Sly Stallone

Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro

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

His opponents for this weekend's Premier League matches were Hollywood heavyweights Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro.

Stallone, who wrote and starred in 'Rocky', and De Niro, who put in an Oscar-winning performance for playing Jake LaMotta in 'Raging Bull', have been in the UK promoting their latest boxing film, a comedy called 'Grudge Match'.

De Niro admits he has has not played much football, but Stallone famously fancied himself as a goalkeeper for real while playing one - an American POW called Hatch - in World War II football epic 'Escape to Victory', which featured real players like Pele, Bobby Moore and John Wark.

"That was one of the low points of my life," Stallone laughed. "What a butt-kicking I got! I still have a broken finger from trying to block a penalty by Pele.

"He put on a pair of World War II shoes which were steel-tipped, and the ball was like a cannonball - it was twice as thick and heavy as footballs are today. He was telling me he was going to take a shot and I thought 'it's soccer, what's the big deal? It's easy'.

"He came to take one penalty shot and he told me exactly where he was going to put it, so I stood there but the ball still flew past me before I could move.

Pele attempts to teach Stallone some goalkeeping skills during the filming of 'Escape to Victory'
Pele attempts to teach Stallone some goalkeeping skills during the filming of 'Escape to Victory'

"He put it literally right where he had said. He did it again, and it ripped through the back of the net and broke a window in the barracks where we were filming. I went 'are you kidding me?' I found a new kind of respect."

Stallone has only attended one Premier League match - Everton's 1-1 draw with Reading in 2007 - but teases De Niro for his lack of football knowledge.

De Niro: "I have played it, and my kids played it but not much. I am not into the sport."

Stallone: "So you are not ready to go pro?"

De Niro: "No, not unless there is a part in a movie for me."

Stallone: "We could do a film called 'Sludgematch' about the slowest soccer players in the world."

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson
PredictionsScoreLawroDe Niro/Stallone
Hull v Chelsea0-20-2No prediction made
Cardiff v West Ham0-22-0No prediction made
Everton v Norwich2-02-017-0
Fulham v Sunderland1-42-0No prediction made
Southampton v West Brom1-02-0No prediction made
Tottenham v Crystal Palace2-02-0Palace to win
Man Utd v Swansea2-02-0Man Utd to win
Newcastle v Man City0-20-2Newcastle to win
Stoke v Liverpool3-51-1Liverpool to win
Aston Villa v Arsenal1-21-1Villa to win

A correct result is worth ONE point. A correct score earns THREE points.

In his FA Cup third-round predictions, Lawro got nine results right out of the 20 ties he looked at, with four perfect scores. His score of 17 saw him beat Matthew Hanlan, the bricklayer who scored the winner when non-league Sutton United famously shocked Coventry in 1989.

Hanlan got 11 correct results, with two exact scores - the upsets that saw Sheffield United beat Aston Villa and Coventry see off Barnsley - giving him a total of 15.

These FA Cup scores will not count towards the league averages or totals for Lawro or his guests.

We're keeping a record of the total scores for Lawro and his guests (below), and showing a table of how the Premier League would look if all of Lawro's predictions were correct (also at the bottom of the page).

Total scores after Week 20



Hull City v Chelsea

Hull 0-2 Chelsea

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Match report

Cardiff v West Ham

Cardiff 0-2 West Ham

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Match report

Everton v Norwich

Everton 2-0 Norwich

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Stallone: 17-0

Match report

Fulham v Sunderland

Fulham 1-4 Sunderland

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Match report

Southampton v West Brom

Southampton 1-0 West Brom

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Match report

Tottenham v Crystal Palace

Tottenham 2-0 Crystal Palace

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Stallone: Crystal Palace to win

Match report

Manchester United v Swansea City

Man Utd 2-0 Swansea

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Stallone: Manchester United to win

Match report


Newcastle v Man City

Newcastle 0-2 Man City

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Match report

Stoke City v Liverpool

Stoke 3-5 Liverpool

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Match report


Aston Villa v Arsenal

Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

De Niro: I'm going for Villa.

Match report

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

Lawro v Guests
12Nicky Wire
11Susanna Reid
10Usain Bolt
9Charlotte Green, Camp Bastion troops
7.7Lawro (average after 20 weeks)
7Danny John-Jules, Steve Wilson
6John Bishop, Kevin Clifton, Gaz Coombes, Alistair McGowan, Joe Montana, Greg James
5Sam Tomkins, The National
4David Cameron, Guy Mowbray, Jason Sudeikis
2Cal Crutchlow, Jim Kerr, David Schneider
1Michael Palin

Lawro's best score: 13 points (week seven v David Schneider and week 20 v Steve Wilson)

Lawro's worst score: 4 points (week two v Sam Tomkins)

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson
1.Man City20173054+1
2.Man Utd20146048+5
8.Southampton 2084828+1
9.West Brom2075826+5
15.West Ham20551020+4
16.Aston Villa2038917-5
17.Hull City20271113-7
18.Crystal Palace203413130

Top Stories