Manchester City’s hopes of winning the Quadruple are over after their shock FA Cup defeat by Wigan but can Pep Guardiola’s side secure some silverware this weekend by winning the Carabao Cup final?
BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson says: “I would imagine Arsene Wenger’s reaction to seeing Manchester City lose at Wigan was to think ‘oh dear’.
“I have been in the same position as City during my time at Liverpool where we were trying to win all the trophies and then suddenly went out of one competition and, if anything, it really focused our minds.
“It means the pressure is off because it is so difficult to win everything. You know it would be fantastic but it almost becomes a little bit of a relief when it is over and you also become bloody minded about trying to win everything else.
“So, it is great for City that they have got a chance of winning their first trophy on Sunday, only six days after that defeat at DW Stadium.
“All of their players will be determined to respond to that disappointment, and get their hands on some silverware and I look at Arsenal and think, if City are at their best offensively, I can’t see the Gunners keeping them out.”
Lawro is making a prediction for all 380 Premier League games this season, against a variety of guests.
This week he takes on Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, stars of film ‘I, Tonya’.
Robbie plays Tonya Harding – the controversial figure skater linked to an attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan in the run up to 1994 Winter Olympic Games – and Janney plays her mother LaVona.
The pair have been watching the action on the ice in Pyeongchang 2018, but admit they have not been following English football quite so closely.
“When you say football, do you mean soccer?” said Janney, who was looking for a team to support. “I went to a game here, but I can’t even remember who I watched play.”
Robbie, who says she has “pledged her allegiance to Fulham” because her British husband Tom Ackerley is a fan, tried to persuade her to support the Cottagers… but without success.
|Carabao Cup and Premier League predictions – week 28|
|Result||Lawro||Margot & Allison|
|Leicester v Stoke||x-x||2-0||2-2|
|Bournemouth v Newcastle||x-x||1-1||0-3|
|Brighton v Swansea||x-x||1-1||2-0|
|Burnley v Southampton||x-x||2-1||4-6|
|Liverpool v West Ham||x-x||3-0||0-1|
|West Brom v Huddersfield||x-x||2-0||4-4|
|Watford v Everton||x-x||1-1||4-0|
|Crystal Palace v Tottenham||x-x||0-2||0-2|
|Man Utd v Chelsea||x-x||2-0||3-2|
|Arsenal v Man City (Carabao Cup final)||x-x||0-2||3-0|
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
You can make your predictions now, take on Lawro and other fans, create your own league and try to make it to the top of the table by playing the new-look BBC Sport Predictor game.
All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated.
Leicester v Stoke (12:30 GMT)
Stoke had a free week because they were already out of the FA Cup, so their manager Paul Lambert has used that time to work on their stamina and fitness on the training ground.
Lambert has been in charge for just over a month now and will be starting to get his methods over to his players a little bit.
But the Potters have the worst away record in the Premier League in 2017-18, with just one win and three draws from 13 matches.
They have scored only 11 goals in those games which is the main reason why I cannot see them getting anything at Leicester – I still think that finding the net is a big problem for them.
Riyad Mahrez is back on board for the Foxes and helped them beat Sheffield United to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals last weekend. I think he will will have another win to celebrate on Saturday too.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Margot & Allison’s prediction: 2-2
Bournemouth v Newcastle
There are so many teams involved in the relegation scrap that there are going to be games like this one between struggling sides every week.
Everyone from 10th-placed Bournemouth downwards is in trouble, including Newcastle, and all of the teams involved would need to get on a run where they win, say, four out of five games to reach safety. I don’t see it happening.
The Cherries have strung together some positive results in the past but they are capable of throwing in a performance like they did in their 4-1 defeat at Huddersfield last time out.
Newcastle, meanwhile, beat Manchester United which was a great result for them and showed what a strange division the Premier League is.
The Magpies will move level on points with Bournemouth if they beat them, but a draw is a more likely outcome.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Margot & Allison’s prediction: 0-3
Brighton v Swansea
Here is another meeting of two sides fighting the drop, although they are both in pretty good form.
Brighton are on a good run of three wins and two draws from their past five games in all competitions but they need to pick up as many points as possible now because their run-in does not look easy.
Chris Hughton’s side play each of the top five teams in their final five matches and, especially if any of them have got something to play for, it is going to be tough for them.
I get stick from Swansea fans every time I pick them to lose but they should probably thank me for doing that because, every time I do, they win.
So, the bad news for Swans supporters is that I am backing them to get a draw this time.
Carlos Carvalhal’s side keep surprising me every week, they keep playing well every week and they keep on winning week, so hats off to them – and that’s why I don’t see them leaving the Amex Stadium empty handed.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Margot & Allison’s prediction: 2-0
Burnley v Southampton
Aside from their defeat to Liverpool, Southampton’s form has picked up of late and they will be confident of beating Wigan and reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup, despite the Latics’ impressive record at DW Stadium.
In contrast, it is still a long time since Burnley’s last win – 11 games ago at home to Stoke on 12 December to be precise – but I think they have bottomed out.
Injuries have hit the Clarets hard because they have got a small squad and quite a settled team and boss Sean Dyche does not make changes unless he has to.
They still play at their maximum every week, but the run they have been on shows how they need everyone fit to get a result. The good news is that they are getting some of those missing players back soon.
Robbie Brady and Steven Defour are out long term but it looks like striker Chris Wood will be back on Saturday and goalkeeper Tom Heaton is close to being fit again too.
It is a bit left field for me to say Burnley are going to score twice, because they have only managed it four times in 27 league games this season, but that is what I am going with.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-1
Margot & Allison’s prediction: 4-6
Liverpool v West Ham
Both teams had last weekend off and Liverpool used their break to head to Marbella for a few days.
The Reds are unbeaten in the league at Anfield this season and we know how they attack teams in their home games.
We also know that Liverpool’s front players are in excellent form and I don’t see the West Ham defence coping with them.
Lawro’s prediction: 3-0
Margot & Allison’s prediction: 0-1
West Brom v Huddersfield
I hate saying any match is a ‘must-win game’ but I think it is plain to see how important this game is for West Brom.
If another struggling team like Huddersfield come to The Hawthorns and pinch the points then you would not just be looking at the damage that would do to the Baggies’ survival hopes, you would be left wondering what the future holds for manager Alan Pardew, who was only appointed at the end of November.
I think the situation the Baggies are in, plus what happened to some of their players who broke a curfew at their training camp in Barcelona last week, might bring a reaction from the team. They badly need it to.
Huddersfield had a great win against Bournemouth last time out but their away record is poor – they have only won once since the opening day of the season – so this is a game West Brom can win, not just one that they have to.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Margot & Allison’s prediction: 4-4
Watford v Everton (17:30 GMT)
Watford are one of the teams I really worry about when I look at the bottom of the table.
I know it is early days for Javi Gracia, who has only been in charge for four matches and beat Chelsea in one of them, but I don’t see them getting the results they need to climb away from trouble.
Everton have been on a bad run themselves but I think they turned the corner when they beat Crystal Palace in their last game and I would be surprised if they lost this one.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
Margot & Allison’s prediction: 4-0
Crystal Palace v Tottenham (12:00 GMT)
Crystal Palace have only taken two points from their past four league games, a run that has seen them slip back down towards the relegation zone, and they are only one point clear of trouble.
I don’t think Palace’s poor form will improve here, either.
Spurs have been in impressive form in the Premier League and Champions League against some very strong opposition and if they continue playing like that then they will be too strong for the Eagles.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-2
Margot & Allison’s prediction: 0-2
Man Utd v Chelsea (14:05 GMT)
It is going to be very interesting to see the team that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho picks, and watch the way they play.
I was in Spain to watch United in the Champions League on Wednesday and there is no doubt that Mourinho was more worried about the opposition than opposite number Vincenzo Montella was about United.
When you look at United, their two full-backs are basically wingers and they have got loads of attacking options but it appears Mourinho is just reluctant to let them loose.
Consequently, United do not have enough attacking intent – they do not move the ball quickly enough, they don’t break quickly enough or get enough people forward – and they are not an easy watch at the moment.
Chelsea have issues too, of course, which is why I think United will win on Sunday.
The Blues have got some outstanding players and put in a really good performance against Barcelona on Tuesday but there is something not quite right with them at the moment.
I don’t trust them to play the way they did against Barca every week, and I do not see them repeating their win over United in November.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Margot & Allison’s prediction: 3-2
Arsenal v Man City (16:30 GMT)
I won the League Cup with Liverpool on three occasions in the 1980s, and each time we won the league title too.
It is great to be able to tuck it under your belt once you have won it, and it kind of kicks you on for the rest of the season.
That is why I think this game is so important for Manchester City and their bid to win three trophies, because winning it would take a bit of the pressure off them. So far they have had a brilliant season but they have nothing to show for it yet – that can change this weekend.
Will they win at Wembley? Yes. They can start again and really focus on this match after losing to Wigan – and I don’t see Arsenal stopping them.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-2
Margot & Allison’s prediction: 3-0
Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
How did Lawro do last time?
On FA Cup fifth-round weekend, Lawro got four correct results, with no perfect scores, from the eight ties for a total of 40 points and a success rate of 50%.
He was up against YouTube star Tekkerz Kidwho got three correct results, with no perfect scores, for a total of 30 points.
|FA Cup leaderboard after round five|
|Correct result||(Perfect scores)||Success rate|
Those scores do not count towards Lawro’s total for the season from Premier League fixtures or appear on the guest leaderboard.
|Total scores after week 27|
|+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION|
|160||Justin Hawkins, Chris Shiflett|
|130||James Anderson*, Joe Johnson*|
|120||Russel Leetch*, Will Poulter, Moeen Ali|
|100||Cesaro & Seamus, Wretch 32|
|88||Lawro (average after 27 weeks)|
|80||John Cena, Darren Campbell|
|70||Brendan Foster*, Mark Strong|
|60||Jimmy from Django Django, Will Ferrell, Nish Kumar, Non Stanford, Rick Witter|
|50||Steve Cram, Michael Dapaah, Channing Tatum, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell, Joe Root, Dario Saric|
|40||Craig David, Ed Lay|
|30||Rhys James, Felix White|
|20||Richard Osman, Emmanuel Sanders and Josh Norman|
* Shows weeks where Lawro had more than one guest, and only the highest score contributed to the guest total.
Lawro’s best score: 150 points (week eight v Wretch 32 and week 24 v Pete Wentz)
Lawro’s worst score: 40 points (week four v Umenyiora and Bell, week five v Non Stanford, week 21 v Darren Campbell and week 23 v Saric and Baynes)