Chelsea play Newcastle on Sunday in the Blues’ first home game since their Russian owner Roman Abramovich had his assets frozen and his attempt to sell the club was halted.
“The Chelsea players will get a really good backing from their fans at Stamford Bridge,” said BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson. “But like everyone else, they don’t really know what is going to happen to the club next.
“It’s hard to know what kind of performance to expect, because everyone’s future is now so uncertain.”
Lawro is making predictions for all 380 top-flight matches this season, against a variety of guests.
This week’s guest is rapper and Chelsea fan ArrDee.
ArrDee’s latest single, Come And Go, was released earlier this month and the 19-year-old’s debut 11-track mixtape, Pier Pressure, is out on 18 March.
ArrDee was born in Brighton and grew up a Manchester United fan – well, kind of – but it was Chelsea who won him over when a schoolfriend sparked his interest in football.
“It’s funny because my old man always gives me stick about this – he has always been United through and through,” Arrdee told BBC Sport.
“There are photos of me as a baby wearing United shirts but I never really followed them because I wasn’t really into football until I got bit older.
“Then I started watching a lot of Chelsea games because I was always around my mate’s house and his whole family supported them. It just kind of happened naturally!”
ArrDee has met a few Blues players and admits he was starstruck when the Chelsea squad walked into the rooftop bar where he was having a meal, after their Champions League win over Juventus last year.
“Obviously the industry I’m in is music so I’ve met top, top tier UK rappers like Fredo and Stormzy and all these people,” he explained. “Before it happened you think ‘I don’t know how I’ll feel when I see them’, but when it happens it is all just natural.
“But for some reason, with the ballers, it’s different.
“I saw Mason Mount walk in, and I literally just cut off everyone’s conversation. I was with my girlfriend and some mates and it was still big for them but they were saying ‘we’ve met loads of people, why are you all nervous now!?’.
“It’s a weird thing where certain things hit you and others don’t. Mason is a hero of mine and always has been my boy – so I had to go over and tell him. He is an amazing player already but the potential he has got is frightening.
“It’s not just at Chelsea, either, because there are so many players coming through.
“I got even more into my football when I went to some of England’s Euro 2020 games at Wembley and the amount of young players we have got who are smashing it is just crazy.
“Everyone always talks about England bringing it back home and it feels like there is a chance of that happening soon – well, hopefully in my lifetime anyway!”
|Brighton v Liverpool||x-x||0-2||1-2|
|Brentford v Burnley||x-x||2-1||0-1|
|Man Utd v Tottenham||x-x||1-2||1-0|
|Chelsea v Newcastle||x-x||2-0||2-1|
|Everton v Wolves||x-x||1-0||1-2|
|Leeds v Norwich||x-x||2-0||1-0|
|Southampton v Watford||x-x||2-0||1-0|
|West Ham v Aston Villa||x-x||1-1||2-0|
|Arsenal v Leicester||x-x||2-0||2-0|
|Crystal Palace v Man City||x-x||0-3||0-3|
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
Brighton v Liverpool (12:30 GMT)
Brighton drew 2-2 at Anfield at the end of October and could easily have won it. I remember previewing the game for a Brighton newspaper and saying I can’t believe they would go there and go on the attack but that’s essentially what they did.
I don’t think the Seagulls pose the same threat now, though. They have lost four in a row, and only scored one goal in that run of defeats.
Graham Potter’s side have never scored that many goals but they have begun conceding more too.
Yes, they can keep the ball pretty well but I don’t see them holding out for 90 minutes against Liverpool, not with the way Jurgen Klopp’s side are playing at the moment.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-2
ArrDee’s prediction: Brighton are my local team and I know quite a few of their players. I love to see them doing well – to be honest they’ve done better this season than I thought they would – but Liverpool are absolutely monstrous at the moment. 1-2
Brentford v Burnley (15:00)
Burney’s first win of the season came in October in the reverse of this fixture at Turf Moor, but I don’t see them repeating it. To be honest, I am a little bit worried about Sean Dyche’s side at the moment.
I was a bit surprised at how easily they were rolled over by Chelsea last weekend, because it was very unlike them.
The Clarets had been on a really good run in February and looked like they might kick on the same way they have done before at this stage of the season, but they have now lost two games in a row and I wonder how much that has knocked them back.
This is a big game for Brentford too but, just like their win at Norwich last weekend, I think they will rise to the occasion. Christian Eriksen is already showing his class – when they get him on the ball, he will create chances – and his signing must have lifted everyone at the club.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-1
ArrDee’s prediction: 0-1
Man Utd v Tottenham (17:30 GMT)
Manchester United were decent in the first half at Etihad Stadium on Sunday because they carried a threat but what we saw from them after that was basically a capitulation.
It was back to their own pattern of one good half and one bad half and that second half was arguably their worst of the season.
United just cannot shake that inconsistency off and that tells me loads about the mentality of their players. They were not just outplayed by Manchester City after the break, they lost any competitive edge that they had.
This Tottenham team are not exactly renowned for performing every week either, so I am a little bit wary of backing them to go to Old Trafford and win.
We know Spurs can be flaky but the form that Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are in at the moment makes me think they will cause United all sorts of problems, if they get any sort of supply.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-2
ArrDee’s prediction: United haven’t been playing too well but I’m not giving Tottenham anything! 1-0
Chelsea v Newcastle (14:00 GMT)
Newcastle have got some breathing space above the bottom three because of their run of results in the past few weeks but I don’t see Eddie Howe letting his side take their foot off the pedal.
All it would take is a run of two or three defeats and they could be right back in trouble. The Magpies are not going to win every week, but maintaining their performance levels is important.
I still think Chelsea will win but I’d be surprised if Newcastle play poorly after all the positive work they have done.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
ArrDee’s prediction: I think the Chelsea players will just get on with it despite everything that is happening with the club. As a unit, they always come through and I think the team will come together now. Newcastle are going well but obviously I’m always going to back the Blues. 2-1
Everton v Wolves (14:00 GMT)
This is another game where the crowd are going to play a massive part – if the home fans can get Goodison Park rocking like we know it can be, then of course it will spur the Everton players on.
They will need all the help they can get, too. I think Frank Lampard’s side will win but it will be a nervy afternoon for them because of their problems at the back.
It doesn’t matter what kind of performance Everton produce, they just need a win. They are not getting dragged into the relegation mix – they are already part of it.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-0
ArrDee’s prediction: I want to see Frank Lampard do well but he’s not having a great time of it at Everton. 1-2
Leeds v Norwich (14:00 GMT)
I have a feeling Patrick Bamford will start this game for Leeds, which would be a huge boost for them because they have missed his goals so much.
It’s a massive game for Leeds because, if they lose, then you would start to think they are in real danger of going down.
Norwich already are in deep trouble, of course. They have pulled a couple of surprise wins out of the bag under Dean Smith since the turn of the year, but I don’t see another one here.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
ArrDee’s prediction: Both of these teams are having a bad time at the moment. 1-0
Southampton v Watford (14:00 GMT)
Watford boss Roy Hodgson has come in so late in the season that he is still searching for his best XI and is also unsure about which formation to use, which is far from ideal when you are stuck in the bottom three with time running out to get out of trouble.
The Hornets have won only one of Hodgson’s seven games in charge and it’s hard to see where the improvement they need will come from now.
Southampton have been very strong at St Mary’s this season, so this is another difficult game for Watford. Mind you, most games look hard when you are a run like they are on.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
ArrDee’s prediction: I can’t see a lot of goals in these games. 1-0
West Ham v Aston Villa (14:00 GMT)
Not many teams play with two strikers anymore but using Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings together is working for Aston Villa.
It helps that they put a real shift in off the ball but it is all about getting the balance right in midfield and attack, and giving Philippe Coutinho a more central role is another good move by Villa boss Steven Gerrard.
If Coutinho is playing on the left and cutting in then that is absolutely fine, but if you put him in the middle then he is going to see more of the ball and have even more influence on games. He was brilliant against Southampton last week.
West Ham’s top-four hopes have been dented by their recent results – they have only won one of their past four league games – but they actually played well at Anfield last weekend and were very unlucky to lose.
The Hammers’ squad isn’t strong enough to rotate properly so they really miss certain players when they are out, but they will have Declan Rice back in their side on Sunday, which is a boost.
This should be a really good contest, because both teams will think they can win it.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
ArrDee’s prediction: 2-0
Arsenal v Leicester (16:30 GMT)
The other teams going for fourth place have all dropped points in recent weeks, but Arsenal keep on winning.
It looks like their dressing room is a much happier place since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the whole team looks full of confidence too, and they are playing a system that works.
Leicester have won their past two league games, which was important for them after such an up and down campaign, but Jamie Vardy is out injured again and that’s a massive blow.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
ArrDee’s prediction: 2-0
Crystal Palace v Man City (20:00 GMT)
Patrick Vieira is doing a great job at Crystal Palace. They are good to watch going forward too, with plenty of width, and he has changed the formation and mentality of the team since taking over from Roy Hodgson – the focus before was being difficult to beat, but now it is on their attacking play.
The Eagles beat Manchester City at Etihad Stadium earlier in the season and I am sure they will have another good go at City on Monday evening.
I still fancy City to come out on top, though. We saw in the Manchester derby how good they can be and I’d be surprised if their levels dropped here. They know they have got Liverpool breathing down their necks.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-3
ArrDee’s prediction: Palace fans are the loudest I have ever come across, but City will still win. 0-3
Lawro and ArrDee were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
How did Lawro do last time?
In last weekend’s games, Lawro got eight correct results from 10 Premier League matches, with no exact scores, for a total of 80 points.
He was beaten legendary guitarist and Manchester City fan Johnny Marr, who was spot on when he backed City to ‘tonk’ United in Sunday’s Manchester derby, and almost got the score exactly right too when he went for a 4-0 win – City won 4-1.
Overall, Marr got seven correct results but with one exact score, giving him a total of 100 points.
There were four rearranged Premier League games on Thursday night, which saw Lawro and his guests make the following predictions:
|Wolves v Watford||4-0||2-1||0-0||2-0|
Lawro picks up 10 points for a correct result at Molineux, as does Curt from Tears for Fears, but his band-mate Roland scores zero. There is one more game to be played from that set of fixtures – Burnley versus Everton. As things stand, Lawro has 80 points, Curt has 50 and Roland is on 40.
|Leeds v Aston Villa||0-3||1-1||3-3|
Nobody picked up any points from Villa’s big win at Elland Road. It means Lawro is guaranteed the win here as he has 110 points and singer James Arthur has 40 with one game (Everton v Newcastle) still to be played.
|Southampton v Newcastle||1-2||1-1||3-3|
Again, zero points for Lawro and his guest – KAWALA guitarist Dan McCarthy. At the moment Lawro leads 40-30 with one more game from this set of fixtures to be played, Norwich v Leicester.
|Norwich v Chelsea||1-3||0-2||0-5|
Norwich versus Chelsea was brought forward from Saturday, 19 March because Chelsea are playing in the FA Cup quarter-finals that weekend. There is no guest for that weekend yet but this week’s guest, ArrDee, gave his score to be added to the guest total, not his personal tally. Like Lawro, he picks up 10 points.
GUEST LEADERBOARD 2021-22
|150||TJ from Ezra Collective|
|110||Jelani Blackman, Friction, Reuben James, Jeremy Piven, She Drew The Gun, S-X|
|90||Dev from Idles|
|80||Call Me Loop, Tom McFarland|
|74||Lawro (average after 28 weeks)|
|70||Ben Cajee, Elena Cole|
|60||Femi from Ezra Collective, Haydn Craven, James Spence of Rolo Tomassi|
|50||Aqib Khan, Shaun Thomas|
|40||James Arthur, Dan Haggis of The Wombats, Murray & Tav from FUR, Martin Noble, Curt Smith, Taka from Feeder, Justin Young|
|30||Dan McCarthy from KAWALA, Roland Orzabal, Michael ‘Venom’ Page, Roger Taylor, Zuzu|
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