Premier League predictions: Lawro v SAM the super-computer

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 Boxing Day's Premier League fixtures is a state-of-the-art super-computer called SAM (Sports Analytics Machine).

Ian McHale, professor of sports analytics at the University of Salford, together with his colleague, Tarak Kharrat, has built SAM and one of the things it can do is predict the outcomes of football matches.

SAM the super computer

"We are in the era of big data, and since the 'moneyball' revolution kick-started the use of analytics in baseball, progress in football has gathered pace rapidly," said McHale.

"We have data on results, teams, players and every event in every match - there is no better time to see if man can beat the machine."

Let the battle commence…

Premier League predictions - Week 18
ResultLawroSAM
BOXING DAY
Stoke v Man Utd2-01-10-1
Aston Villa v West Ham1-11-11-1
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace0-01-21-1
Chelsea v Watford2-22-01-0
Liverpool v Leicester1-02-01-1
Man City v Sunderland4-13-02-0
Swansea v West Brom1-01-21-0
Tottenham v Norwich3-02-01-0
Newcastle v Everton0-11-21-1
Southampton v Arsenal4-01-21-1

Our scoring system has changed this season and a correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is now worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

Last week, Lawro got one perfect score and one correct result from 10 Premier League games.

However, his score of 50 points was not enough to beat comedian and Phoenix Nights star Justin Moorhouse, who scored 70 points with one perfect score and three correct results.

We are keeping a record of the totals 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 (at the bottom of the page).

Make your own predictions now, compare them to Lawro and other fans and try to take your team to the top of the leaderboard by playing the BBC Sport Predictor game.

Total scores after week 17
Lawro1,180
Guests890

LAWRO'S PREDICTIONS

All Boxing Day kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated

Stoke v Manchester United

Stoke 2-0 Manchester United

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

SAM's prediction: 0-1

Match report

Aston Villa v West Ham

Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham United

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

SAM's prediction: 1-1

Match report

Bournemouth v Crystal Palace

Bournemouth 0-0 Crystal Palace

Lawro's prediction: 1-2

SAM's prediction: 1-1

Match report

Chelsea v Watford

Chelsea 2-2 Watford

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

SAM's prediction: 1-0

Match report

Liverpool v Leicester

Liverpool 1-0 Leicester

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

SAM's prediction: 1-1

Match report

Manchester City v Sunderland

Manchester City 4-1 Sunderland

Lawro's prediction: 3-0

SAM's prediction: 2-0

Match report

Swansea v West Bromwich Albion

Swansea 1-0 West Bromwich Albion

Lawro's prediction: 1-2

SAM's prediction: 1-0

Match report

Tottenham v Norwich

Tottenham 3-0 Norwich

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

SAM's prediction: 1-0

Match report

Newcastle v Everton

Newcastle 0-1 Everton

Lawro's prediction: 1-2

SAM's prediction: 1-1

Match report

Southampton v Arsenal

Southampton 4-0 Arsenal

Lawro's prediction: 1-2

SAM's prediction: 1-1

Match report

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport's Jonathan Jurejko.

Lawro v Guests
P17W11D4L2
SCOREGUEST LEADERBOARD
110Sam Tomkins
100Wealdstone Raider
90Amir Khan
70Justin Moorhouse, Osi Umenyiora
69Lawro (average after 17 weeks)
60Stuart Broad, Tim Burgess
50Mark Radcliffe, Jack Whitehall
40Neville, Mumford & Sons
30Darren Campbell, Luol Deng, Mark Webber
20Graeme Swann
10Paul Heaton, Kelly Jones

Lawro's best score: 140 points (week three v Jack Whitehall & week four v Darren Campbell)

Lawro's worst score: 20 points (week one v Graeme Swann)

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson
ARROWS & +/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO'S TABLE AND REAL TABLE
POSTEAMPWDLPTSDIFF+/-
1.Man City17133142+2
2.Arsenal171160390
3.Chelsea17115138+12
4.Liverpool17107037+5
5.Man Utd17953320
6.Southampton17102532+6
7.West Brom1786330+6
8.Crystal Palace1775526-2
9.Tottenham1767425-5
10.Newcastle1766524+7
11.Swansea1748520+7
12.Stoke1754819-1
13.Norwich17511116+3
14.Everton1736815-4
15.Bournemouth17431015-1
16.Sunderland1736815+3
17.Leicester1726912-16
18.Watford17241110-11
19.West Ham17241110-11
20.Aston Villa17121450

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