FA Cup predictions: Lawro takes on judo star Gemma Gibbons

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson

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

His opponent on FA Cup fifth-round weekend is Olympic silver medal-winning judo player Gemma Gibbons, a Charlton fan.

Gemma Gibbons with her judo silver medal from the London 2012 Olympics
Gemma Gibbons with her judo silver medal from the London 2012 Olympics

Gibbons, one of Team GB's stars at the London 2012 Games, had to choose between judo and the Addicks at the start of her sporting career.

"I loved football and played for my school," Gibbons told BBC Sport. "I went along to a training session with the Charlton women's team when I was 13 and they wanted me to come back, but by then I was already doing four nights of judo a week and I had to decide which sport to do.

"I chose judo, and that was kind of the end of my football career!"

Gibbons followed Charlton to Wembley for their thrilling play-off win over Sunderland in 1998, their victory on penalties securing promotion to the Premier League.

And she returned to the stadium in September 2012, joining other London 2012 medallists on the pitch at half-time of England's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.

"That was pretty cool," Gibbons added. "It was very surreal to be out on the Wembley pitch in front of 80,000 fans.

"But I also took my silver medal out on to the pitch at The Valley during a game that season and that was probably an even better experience because they are my hometown club and I had my uncle and cousin, who are die-hard Charlton fans with season tickets, watching the game anyway. That was very special."

Charlton are struggling near the bottom of the Championship this season, but they are still in the FA Cup and will be hoping to take another step towards Wembley when they play Sheffield Wednesday in the fifth round on Saturday.

Gemma Gibbons
Gibbons hopes to compete for Team England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer

Gibbons is backing the Addicks to see off the Owls and is also predicting a win - eventually - for Liverpool, whom her husband Euan Burton supports.

This weekend is not the only time they will be backing different teams: while 27-year-old Gemma is an ambassador for Team England ahead of this summer's Commonwealth Games, fellow judoka Euan will be fighting for Scotland at Glasgow 2014.

You can follow @weRengland on Twitter for news on the England team.

Sunderland v Southampton1-00-21-2
Cardiff v Wigan1-22-11-0
Sheff Wed v CharltonP-P2-10-2
Man City v Chelsea2-01-1*2-2*
Everton v Swansea3-12-11-0
Sheff Utd v Nott'm Forest3-10-20-3
Arsenal v Liverpool2-11-21-1*
Brighton v Hull1-12-01-2

* Away team to win replay at home

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

For the midweek Premier League games, Lawro got three results right, with no perfect scores. His score of three was his lowest of the season so far, but will be revised when the two matches which were postponed are played. For now, though, Team Sky cyclist Geraint Thomas, who got three correct results including one perfect score, wins with a score of five.

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 (at the bottom of the page).

Total scores after Week 26


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


Sunderland 1-0 Southampton

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Gemma's prediction: 1-2

Match report

Cardiff 1-2 Wigan

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Gemma's prediction: 1-0

Match report

Sheff Wed P-P Charlton

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Gemma's prediction: 0-2

Man City 2-0 Chelsea

Lawro's prediction: 1-1 (Chelsea to win replay)

Gemma's prediction: 2-2 (Chelsea to win replay)

Match report


Everton 3-1 Swansea

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Gemma's prediction: 1-0

Match report

Sheff Utd 3-1 Nott'm Forest

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Gemma's prediction: 0-3

Match report

Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool

Lawro's prediction: 1-2

Gemma's prediction: 1-1 (Liverpool to win the replay)

Match report


Brighton 1-1 Hull

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Gemma's prediction: 1-2

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

Lawro v Guests
12Nicky Wire
11Susanna Reid
10Usain Bolt
9Charlotte Green, Camp Bastion troops
7.84Lawro (average after 26 weeks)
7Danny John-Jules, Steve Wilson
6John Bishop, Kevin Clifton, Gaz Coombes, Alistair McGowan, Joe Montana, Greg James
5Geraint Thomas*, Sam Tomkins, The National
4David Baddiel, David Cameron, Guy Mowbray, Jason Sudeikis
3Robert de Niro, Sylvester Stallone
2Cal Crutchlow, Gail Emms, Jim Kerr, David Schneider
1Michael Palin, Vic Reeves
0Josh Franceschi

* Does not include scores for postponed games

Lawro's best score: 16 points (week 21 v Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone)

Lawro's worst score: 3 points (week 26 v Geraint Thomas, before postponed games are played)

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson
1.Man City26233072+2
2.Man Utd26187161+5
8.Everton 2699836-2
12.West Ham26851329-1
15.West Brom26771228+2
16.Aston Villa265111026-4
17.Crystal Palace26651523-2
18.Hull City26481420-5

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