Premier League predictions: Lawro v comedian & actor Elis James

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 the midweek Premier League fixtures is comedian and actor Elis James.

James has been a Swansea City regular since discovering football through the 1990 World Cup and, after following them home and away over years of failed qualifying campaigns, is also eagerly anticipating watching Wales at Euro 2016 this summer.

"My dad was such an insane rugby man that football was not much part of my life until I was nine or 10," James told BBC Sport. "He had sort of kept the fact that Wales had a football team from me, and there was basically no football in my house.

"After watching Italia 90 and loving Paul Gascoigne, I thought England were kind of like a British Lions side - I must have been very confused.

"Then I remember watching Wales beat Belgium 3-1 later that year. Mark Hughes, Ian Rush and Dean Saunders scored, and it was our first game in our new Umbro kit at Cardiff Arms Park.

"I genuinely did not realise Wales had a football team until then, but I have loved football ever since - and I have got zero interest in rugby."

James - and his collection of retro Wales and Swansea football shirts - star in BBC Three sitcom Josh

James frequently shows off his favourite football shirts when he plays Owen in BBC Three sitcom Josh, but laments that he is not able to wear all of them.

"That 1990 Wales kit was my first football shirt - I got it for my 10th birthday - but my favourite is the Adidas one Wales wore from 1984-87," he explained.

"That was framed in the living room of Josh because, although I was able to wear it initially, there were so many biscuits on set that I put on weight. Those shirts are not too forgiving and it was decreed that it would be off-putting if I squeezed into it.

"I chose my greatest Wales XI for BBC Radio Wales last year and on the picture they use on the iPlayer I am wearing that shirt and just about get away with it. Sadly, 250 biscuits later, it was just too tight."

Premier League predictions - Week 21
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace1-00-20-3
Bournemouth v West Ham1-32-12-2
Newcastle v Man Utd3-31-10-1
Chelsea v West Brom2-22-02-0
Man City v Everton0-02-03-1
Southampton v Watford2-02-10-2
Stoke v Norwich3-12-02-1
Swansea v Sunderland2-41-11-0
Liverpool v Arsenal3-31-11-2
Tottenham v Leicester0-12-01-0

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.

This week, Lawro is also up against a state-of-the-art sports-forecasting super-computer called SAM (Sports Analytics Machine). You can see SAM's scores below.

On FA Cup third-round weekend, Lawro correctly predicted the outcome of 12 of the 31 ties that were played.

Scores from those FA Cup ties do not count towards the totals for Lawro and his guests (below). There is 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 20


All kick-offs 19:45 GMT unless otherwise stated


Aston Villa v Crystal Palace

Aston Villa 1-0 Crystal Palace

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Elis James: 0-3

SAM's prediction: 0-1

Bournemouth v West Ham

Bournemouth 1-3 West Ham

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Elis James: 2-2

SAM's prediction: 1-1

Newcastle v Man Utd

Newcastle 3-3 Man Utd

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Elis James: 0-1

SAM's prediction: 0-1


Chelsea v West Brom

Chelsea 2-2 West Brom

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Elis James: 2-0

SAM's prediction: 1-0

Man City v Everton

Man City 0-0 Everton

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Elis James: 3-1

SAM's prediction: 1-1

Southampton v Watford

Southampton 2-0 Watford

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Elis James: 0-2

SAM's prediction: 1-0

Stoke v Norwich

Stoke 3-1 Norwich

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Elis James: 2-1

SAM's prediction: 1-1

Swansea v Sunderland

Swansea 2-4 Sunderland

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Elis James: 1-0

SAM's prediction: 1-0

Liverpool v Arsenal

Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Elis James: 1-2

SAM's prediction: 1-1

Tottenham v Leicester

Tottenham 0-1 Leicester

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Elis James: 1-0

SAM's prediction: 1-1

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

SAM was built by Professor Ian McHale, Dr Georgi Boshnakov and Tarak Kharrat from the Centre for Sports Business at the University of Salford.

Lawro v Guests
110Sam Tomkins, SAM Super Computer (average after 3 weeks)
100Wealdstone Raider
90Amir Khan
75Lawro (average after 20 weeks),
70Osi Umenyiora, Guy Mowbray
60Stuart Broad, Tim Burgess
50Mark Radcliffe, Jack Whitehall
40Neville, Mumford & Sons
30Darren Campbell, Luol Deng, Mark Webber, Steve Wilson
20Graeme Swann
10Paul Heaton, Kelly Jones

Lawro's best score: 160 points (week 19 v Guy Mowbray)

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

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson
1.Man City20154149Up arrow+2
2.Arsenal20146048Down arrow-1
3.Liverpool20137046Up arrow+4
4.Chelsea20136145Up arrow+10
5.West Brom20116339Up arrow+7
6.Man Utd20107337Down arrow-1
7.Southampton20112735Up arrow+6
8.Tottenham2087531Down arrow-4
9.Crystal Palace2086630Down arrow-2
10.Everton2066824Up arrow+1
11.Newcastle2066824Up arrow+7
12.Norwich20711222Up arrow+3
13.Swansea2049721Up arrow+4
14.Stoke20551020Down arrow-4
15.Sunderland20461018Up arrow+4
16.Bournemouth20441216Side arrow0
17.Leicester20271113Down arrow-15
18.Watford20251311Down arrow-9
19.West Ham20251311Down arrow-13
20.Aston Villa2013166Side arrow0

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