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Sport FA Cup third-round predictions – Lawro v Ladhood star Liam Williams


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Sport FA Cup third-round predictions – Lawro v Ladhood star Liam Williams

There will be an upset somewhere on FA Cup third round weekend – but who will be the victims?BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson has taken a look at all 32 of this weekend’s ties and given his verdict on who might spring a surprise.For selected matches, including the BBC’s two televised games – Liverpool…

Sport FA Cup third-round predictions – Lawro v Ladhood star Liam Williams

Sport

sport Lawro's predictions

There will be an upset somewhere on FA Cup third round weekend – but who will be the victims?

BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson has taken a look at all 32 of this weekend’s ties and given his verdict on who might spring a surprise.

For selected matches, including the BBC’s two televised games – Liverpool v Everton (16:01 GMT KO on Sunday) and Arsenal v Leeds United (19:56 on Monday) – BAFTA nominated comedian and Ladhood star Liam Williams has made his predictions too.

Ladhood is based on Liam Williams’ experiences growing up in Garforth. As a Man Utd fan he idolised Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona – “I wasn’t hard in the way Cantona probably is but I could relate to his hot-headedness. Sometimes anger would get the better of me,” he explained. “But there was a certain poetry to what Eric did and I used to love the way he confused everyone. He is still doing it now actually.”

Ladhood is a coming-of-age comedy featuring Liam, who has flashbacks to his adolescence as he deals with situations as an adult in the present day.

The show is based in Leeds, which is where Liam grew up, but he supports Manchester United – despite the best efforts of his parents.

“I think I was a Leeds fan for maybe even a few weeks when I first got into football, when I was about five or something,” he told BBC Sport.

“My dad is from London and supports Tottenham, while my mum was not a huge football fan – but they got me a Leeds kit, so I was kind of into Leeds for a bit.

“But I was never able to get to a game so there was no way of watching them live because they were not on terrestrial TV either while Manchester United were, because they were in the Champions League.

“There was a boy who lived on my street, whose family were from Manchester and he was a United fan and he sort of inspired me to be one too.

“So it was not complete glory-hunting when I chose United, but there was probably a degree of that to it – this was the mid-1990s so I got into them at the right time with the double and treble seasons around the corner.”

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Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd: We were too slow in first half – Solskjaer

It is a much tougher time to be a United fan these days, but Liam thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should have time to prove himself as a manager.

He added: “I am giving him a chance. I am not singing ‘Ole’s at the wheel’ but, since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013, it feels like we have been pretty much the same almost every season.

“So we are performing at the level we have pretty much been at for the past few years now, only Ole is a bit more likeable.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

Premier League v non-league

When? Gap Result Lawro
SUNDAY
Sheff Utd v AFC Fylde 104 x-x 2-0

Gap = how many league positions separate each team

This is the first time AFC Fylde have played a Premier League club and it is going to be a great day for them – this is the biggest game in their history.

I don’t give them much hope of an upset because they are away from home and are in a relegation scrap in the National League, but this tie is a reward for their fans who have followed their rise up the non-league pyramid.

Some people might see Sheffield United as dark horses for the FA Cup this season but I actually think they will have bigger fish to fry in terms of their league position, and focusing on finishing as high as possible in the Premier League.

At the moment the Blades are on course for their best top-flight finish since they finished sixth in 1974-75, and if they stay in the top half then that would be a big achievement in itself.

Premier League v League Two

When Gap Result Lawro
SATURDAY
Man City v Port Vale 74 4-1 3-0

Premier League v League One

Gap Result Lawro
SATURDAY
Rochdale v Newcastle 49 1-1 1-1*
Burnley v Peterborough 35 4-2 2-0
Watford v Tranmere 46 3-3 2-0
SUNDAY
Gillingham v West Ham 39 x-x 1-2

* Away team to win at home in the replay

For all of these top-flight sides playing lower-division teams, it is a case of picking a team that you think is capable of beating the opposition.

That’s different to a lot of Premier League games, because half the time you are only thinking about stopping the opposition. If you are going out to win, then you pick your strongest side.

For various reasons, that is not going to happen this weekend, so the challenge is to get the balance right between resting players and winning the tie.

Premier League v Championship

Gap Result Lawro
SATURDAY
Brighton v Sheff Wed 13 0-1 2-1
Fulham v Aston Villa 8 2-1 1-1*
Southampton v Huddersfield 28 2-0 2-0
Preston v Norwich 9 2-4 0-2
Bournemouth v Luton 26 4-0 2-0
Leicester v Wigan 40 2-0 2-0
SUNDAY
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest 20 x-x 2-1
Middlesbrough v Tottenham 30 x-x 1-1*
Crystal Palace v Derby County 28 x-x 0-1
MONDAY
Arsenal v Leeds 11 x-x 2-0

* Away team to win at home in the replay

Crystal Palace have impressed me this season with the way they keep coming back in games – and they did it again against Norwich on New Year’s Day.

But Eagles boss Roy Hodgson will rest a few players and I just have a feeling that Derby County are going to surprise a few people here.

They have not played well for most of the season but Wayne Rooney will be in the team and he could lift them.

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Burnley 1-2 Aston Villa: ‘The lads wanted it’ – Smith

Tottenham might find it tough against Middlesbrough. They will be without Harry Kane (hamstring) and were not having a good time of it anyway.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho will have to be careful in this tie – I was at Deepdale on Wednesday when Boro beat Preston and they are a strong team physically, with plenty of height in their attack, and they have found a bit of form too.

And, while Chelsea seem to be better away from home at the moment, they should see off Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge.

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Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd: Mikel Arteta reflects on ‘perfect’ first win

I love watching Leeds play and they are good enough to give Arsenal a test too (live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website at 19:56 GMT on Monday).

But they have seen previous promotion challenges fade in the second half of the season and I don’t think Marcelo Bielsa will want a cup run.

Leeds will still come and have a go at Emirates Stadium, but I don’t think they will do it with their first XI.

Liam Williams: I genuinely like to see Leeds do well. Obviously most people in Leeds hate Manchester United but I always enjoyed going to see Leeds and felt sad about their decline.

These days my brother in law is a big Leeds fan and I do want them to get promoted. I actually dislike Arsenal more than Leeds – perhaps irrationally – so poetically I will go for a 2-1 Leeds win here.

Premier League v Premier League

Gap Result Lawro
SATURDAY
Wolves v Man Utd 2 0-0 2-1
SUNDAY
Liverpool v Everton 10 x-x 2-1

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Watch: The last time Liverpool & Everton met in the FA Cup in 2018

Liverpool against Everton (16:01 GMT KO and live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website) is quite a difficult one to call.

We already saw Reds boss Jurgen Klopp make a load of changes for the league match against Everton and I would not be surprised if he gambled again.

That would be a risk against this Toffees side, who already look a different proposition under Carlo Ancelotti. It will be lively too – because there will be a different atmosphere, there will be a lot more Everton fans inside Anfield for this one – but I still think Liverpool will get through it.

Liam Williams: An exciting Merseyside derby would be very enjoyable, so that’s what I am hoping for. I think it will mean more to Everton than Liverpool – so I am going for them to get a 2-2 draw, then win the replay.

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League One Tranmere come back from 3-0 down at Watford to earn replay

Championship v League Two

Gap Result Lawro
SATURDAY
Millwall v Newport County 55 3-0 2-0
Cardiff v Carlisle 56 2-2 3-0
SUNDAY
Crewe v Barnsley 27 x-x 2-1

Championship v League One

Gap Result Lawro
SATURDAY
Bristol City v Shrewsbury 27 1-1 2-0
Rotherham v Hull 18 2-3 0-1
Reading v Blackpool 20 2-2 2-0

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FA Cup: Fulham 2-1 Aston Villa highlights

Championship v Championship

Gap Result Lawro
SATURDAY
Birmingham v Blackburn 5 2-1 2-1
Brentford v Stoke 18 1-0 2-0
SUNDAY
Charlton v West Brom 17 x-x 1-1*
QPR v Swansea 9 x-x 1-2

* Away team to win at home in the replay

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Birmingham sub sent off & concedes penalty 98 seconds after coming on

Charlton have had a lot of injuries to contend with and I think West Brom will get the better of them, eventually.

QPR versus Swansea will be tight too – the Swans are generally one of the most difficult sides to play against in that division, and I think they might sneak it.

League One v Non-league

Gap Result Lawro
SATURDAY
Oxford Utd v Hartlepool 59 4-1 2-0

League One v League Two

Gap Result Lawro
SUNDAY
Burton Albion v Northampton 18 x-x 0-1

I’ve not predicted many upsets so far, but I am going to go for a minor one here.

Northampton are in the third round for only the second time in the past 14 seasons, and they have not been any further since 2004 – but I think they can keep the flag flying a little longer for League Two this year.

League One v League One

Gap Result Lawro
SATURDAY
Fleetwood v Portsmouth 2 1-2 1-0
SUNDAY
Bristol Rovers v Coventry 5 x-x 0-2

I’ve been impressed by Coventry when I’ve seen them this season. Sky Blues boss Mark Robins has got goals in his side, and I think they can go to Bristol Rovers and win.

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FA Cup: Ipswich Town 1-2 Coventry City highlights

How did Lawro do last time?

From the Premier League games on New Year’s Day and Thursday, Lawro got four correct results, including one perfect score, from 10 matches, for a total of 70 points.

He drew with comedian Kojo, who also got four correct results, with one exact score.

+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION
TEAM P W D L PTS +/-
1 Man City 21 20 0 1 60 +2
2 Liverpool 20 18 2 0 56 -1
3 Tottenham 21 16 4 1 52 +3
4 Chelsea 21 14 4 3 46 0
5 Arsenal 21 10 7 4 37 +5
6 Man Utd 21 10 6 5 36 -1
7 Leicester 21 9 5 7 32 -5
8 Watford 21 9 3 9 30 +11
=9 Burnley 21 8 3 10 27 +6
=9 West Ham 20 8 3 9 27 +7
11 Aston Villa 21 7 4 10 25 +6
12 Everton 21 6 6 9 24 -1
=13 Bournemouth 21 7 2 12 23 +5
=13 Newcastle 21 7 2 12 23 0
=13 Wolves 21 7 2 12 23 -6
16 Southampton 21 5 3 13 18 -4
17 Brighton 21 5 2 14 17 -3
=18 Crystal Palace 21 3 5 13 14 -9
=18 Sheff Utd 21 4 2 15 14 -10
20 Norwich 21 1 7 13 10 -10

GUEST LEADERBOARD 2019-20

Score Guest leaderboard
160 Gabriel Luna
140 Arnold Schwarzenegger
100 Adam Peaty
90 Avelino, Helen Housby, Jo Harten, Bobby Seagull, Geraint Thomas
80 Andy Murray, Stephen Graham
77 Lawro (average after 21 weeks)
70 David Baddiel, Richard Hawley, Kojo, Michael Johnson, Craig Mitch, Alex Scott
60 Sonny Bill Williams, Serge from Kasabian, Stefan Ratchford
50 Chelcee Grimes, Reece Parkinson, Sam Warburton
40 Stephen Fry, Neil Jones, Tommy O’Dell
30 Seth Rollins
Total scores after week 21
Lawro 1,610
Guests 1,480

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