Manchester City are out of the Champions League after Real Madrid’s dramatic comeback on Wednesday, but will that defeat affect their Premier League title chances?
“I don’t think City will suffer any hangover from what happened in Madrid,” said BBC football expert and former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson.
“If anything, they will welcome the chance to play again so soon afterwards when they host Newcastle on Sunday.
“City had to pick themselves up off the floor in 2019 when they lost another dramatic European tie, against Tottenham in the quarter-finals, when the title race with Liverpool was just as tight.
“They recovered to beat Spurs in the league three days later, and won their final four games of the season to take the title by one point. They are the sort of team that just gets on with it.”
Lawro is making predictions for all 380 Premier League matches this season, against a variety of guests.
This week he takes on Bobbie Vylan, drummer with punk-grime duo Bob Vylan and an Arsenal fan.
Their new album, Bob Vylan presents: The Price of Life, was released last week. They start a tour of the UK later in May.
Bob Vylan are frontman Bobby Vylan (left) and drummer Bobbie Vylan. As a wholly independent act with their own label, they control their entire recording and release strategy and even drove round record shops to distribute The Price of Life themselves. Their hard work paid off – it was a new entry in the UK album charts at number 18 this week.Bobbie grew up in east London but chose Arsenal at an early age.
He told BBC Sport: “I remember watching Ian Wright when they played Aston Villa once – I must have been four or five. It felt like he beat their whole team down the right wing and scored.
“I saw that and I was just like ‘that’s my team!’.
“I grew up with some amazing Arsenal sides but I only properly got into football when I was a bit older, just after we reached the Champions League final in 2006.
“I was always into sport, but not really team sports – I was more into boxing and athletics. Since then, though, football has been the main thing for me.
“I didn’t even really start playing until I was about 19. I couldn’t really tell you what changed – I just remember one day really caring what was going on with Arsenal and starting to palm things off to go and watch games. I play all the time now too.”
Bobbie is Bob Vylan’s drummer so it’s perhaps no surprise that he likes to set the rhythm for his team when he plays football – well, when he is allowed to. “I like to play at the base of midfield,” he explained. “But I get sent on the wing a lot, just because I’m kind of quick I guess, or sometimes up front which, again, I’m always fighting against because finishing is not my forte.”Bob Vylan’s first single from their new album was called Health is Wealth and is about how hard it is to eat healthily when the cost of living is going up.
It’s an issue Bobbie is passionate about and he applauds the efforts by Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford to tackle it with his campaign to end child food poverty.
He said: “The important thing about Rashford making his voice heard was not only did he have the resources to do it and the platform as a Premier League footballer, he wanted to do it because he had experienced the problem himself.
“A lot of people who have a platform like he does feel like because they have the platform, they should be using it to change things like this.
“I always think that, yeah, if you can lend your support to something worthwhile then do it. But, if it is not something that you are really committed to, leave it to someone who is, to lead that and influence the change.
“Rashford is so committed, he has done all of that and achieved so much. It’s been brilliant to see, and he’s really changing things, foundationally, which is what we need.”
ResultLawroBobbieSATURDAYBrentford v Southampton3-01-22-1Burnley v Aston Villa1-31-11-1Chelsea v Wolves2-22-02-0Crystal Palace v Watford1-02-13-0Brighton v Man Utd4-00-21-1Liverpool v Tottenham1-12-12-1SUNDAYArsenal v Leedsx-x2-03-1Leicester v Evertonx-x0-21-1Norwich v West Hamx-x1-10-3Man City v Newcastlex-x3-03-1A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
LAWRO’S PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONSAll games kick off at 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated.
Brentford 3-0 SouthamptonLawro’s prediction: 1-2
Bobbie’s prediction: 2-1
Burnley 1-3 Aston VillaLawro’s prediction: 1-1
Bobbie’s prediction: 1-1
Chelsea 2-2 WolvesLawro’s prediction: 2-0
Bobbie’s prediction: 2-0
Crystal Palace 1-0 WatfordLawro’s prediction: 2-1
Bobbie’s prediction: 3-0
Brighton 4-0 Manchester UnitedLawro’s prediction: 0-2
Bobbie’s prediction: 1-1
Liverpool 1-1 TottenhamLawro’s prediction: 2-1
Bobbie’s prediction: 2-1
Arsenal v Leeds (14:00)By the time they play, Arsenal will know how Tottenham got on at Anfield the previous day and whether a win would send them five points clear of Spurs before the north London derby on Thursday.
Whatever Spurs do, though, Arsenal have just got to look after themselves from here on in. The derby doesn’t matter yet – for now, this game against Leeds is their biggest game of the season.
Leeds have also got plenty to play for, because they have been dragged right into the relegation scrap.
They certainly haven’t been short of effort since Jesse Marsch took over, but Arsenal showed against West Ham last week that they can scrap for the points when they have to.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Bobbie’s prediction: I don’t know why Manchester City had to beat Leeds so badly last week – it’s just a headache because when that happens you always think they will try to prove something in their next game. They will attack us, which will leave us some space. We will probably still beat them, but I don’t think we will keep a clean sheet. 3-1
Bobbie on Arsenal’s season and their future: It’s an exciting time for us at the moment. We knew how good this group of young players were but it’s been amazing to see them all come good and make that step up at the same time. We are a very young team and every once in a while we still wobble, but most of the time they play with so much maturity. I think we’ve got a bright, bright future – if we can hold on to them. Getting in next season’s Champions League would definitely help there, and also mean we can attract better players and keep on improving. That’s the key, really. Mikel Arteta has turned the team around. Last season wasn’t great but he has always been so explicit in saying we are rebuilding, and that is going to take time.
Leicester v Everton (14:00)Leicester have had a difficult season, playing Thursday-Sunday for most of it because of their European involvement, but they have only just dropped out of the top half of the table.
It is injuries to key players that have affected the Foxes the most during this campaign, and that’s the reason they have been so inconsistent.
They don’t have much to play for in the league now, so I just have a feeling Everton will nab the points here, despite having the worst away record in the top flight in 2021-22 with just one win and three draws from 16 games.
All Toffees manager Frank Lampard has to do is tell them before kick-off is ‘same as last week’. If they play like they did against Chelsea, they will win this game too.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-2
Bobbie’s prediction: Leicester seem to be in a really odd patch of form. As bad as Everton have been away from home, I think they will get something here. 1-1
Norwich v West Ham (14:00)Norwich were relegated last week but I don’t think they will just roll over in front of their own fans.
West Ham won’t have their strongest team out after Thursday’s Europa League semi-final with Eintracht Frankfurt, but whatever side David Moyes puts out they will be difficult to beat.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Bobbie’s prediction: Norwich will still be playing for pride but West Ham are just too good for them. 0-3
Manchester City v Newcastle (16:30)There will be an absolutely cracking atmosphere at Etihad Stadium for this game.
There is no way the City fans will let their team be down about what happened to them against Real Madrid – plus the title is still at stake and their full focus is on that now.
As good as Newcastle have been to climb into the top half of the table, there is still a gulf in class between the two teams. I’m expecting City to win comfortably.
Lawro’s prediction: 3-0
Bobbie’s prediction: I reckon Newcastle will put up a fight, but City are just too good. 3-1
Lawro and Bobbie were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
How did Lawro do last time?Last weekend, Lawro got six correct results from 10 Premier League matches, including two exact scores, for a total of 120 points.
He beat Will from electronic duo Chase & Status, who got eight correct results, but with no exact scores, giving him 80 points.
TEAMPWDLPTS+/-1Man City3430409402Liverpool3426808603Chelsea3425818304Man Utd36254779+25Tottenham3423747606Arsenal341681056-27Aston Villa33159954_68Leeds341641452+99Leicester331391148+210West Ham3512101346-311Wolves341261642-3=12Brighton351071837-3=12Southampton351071837+314Newcastle35962033-4=15Brentford351022332-1=15Everton33881732+317Crystal Palace34592024-518Burnley34582123-219Watford34362515020Norwich342527110GUEST LEADERBOARD 2021-22190TJ from Ezra Collective130Jamie Webster120Jeremy Piven110Jelani Blackman, Friction, Reuben James, She Drew The Gun, S-X100ArrDee, Dev from Idles, Johnny Marr81Lawro (average after 35 weeks)80Will Kennard from Chase & Status, Call Me Loop, Tom McFarland70Austin Brown, Ben Cajee, Elena Cole, Tom from Blossoms60Femi from Ezra Collective, Haydn Craven, James Spence of Rolo Tomassi50Aqib Khan, Jim Piddock, Joe from Blossoms, Shaun Thomas40James Arthur, Dan Haggis of The Wombats, Murray & Tav from FUR, Martin Noble, Curt Smith, Taka from Feeder, Justin Young30Dan McCarthy from KAWALA, Mez, Roland Orzabal, Michael ‘Venom’ Page, Roger Taylor, Zuzu20Joe Elliott10Tom Hughes
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