Lawro’s FA Cup final prediction
Lawro’s FA Cup final prediction
You can watch the FA Cup live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website, with coverage starting at 16:10 BST on Saturday.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho really needs to win the FA Cup final because then he can turn around and say he has had a good season.
If he doesn’t then it has been average. Finishing runners-up in the Premier League is just par for a club the size of United.
With the amount they have spent on players then, if you consider they were a distant second behind Manchester City, it is not the step forward that Mourinho would have wanted for his second year in charge.
United win would set up showdown with City
United need trophies and so does Mourinho. This is the last game of the season and he signs off for the summer by lifting the FA Cup then the fans will look on him in a different light.
Will they still be moaning about the football being dull and boring if they go and beat Chelsea 2-0 on Saturday and play extremely well? No, they will be thinking that next year, with a couple more players, they will be a much better team.
It would also set up a Community Shield tie against Manchester City for everyone to look forward to ahead of the new season and another showdown between rivals Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
A lot of the time the curtain raiser to the new campaign is not much of a contest but that one would be, because it would be another trophy as far as Mourinho is concerned and he would take great pleasure in beating Guardiola too.
Of course United have to get there first, though, and I am not sure it is going to be that easy for them.
Will Lukaku look a little bit leaden?
I presume Romelu Lukaku will start up front for United but he has not played since he came off injured against Arsenal at the end of April.
At his best he is a key player for United, I think he will enjoy playing against Chelsea’s three centre-halves and will cause them problems if so.
But he will not have played for 20 days by the time the game kicks off and I think that will affect his performance.
Big strikers like Lukaku need to be playing every week otherwise they lose their sharpness, which will be very important against the Chelsea defence.
My fear is that the Belgian international will look a little bit leaden, so the key to United’s success could be Alexis Sanchez, who has improved of late.
In the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham he looked like the player we know he can be and United really need a repeat performance from him at Wembley.
United play football with the handbrake on
If United midfielder Paul Pogba has a good game, then he could be the difference – but it is a big if.
Do you actually think Jose will say to Pogba on the day, before a big game against opponents like Chelsea, “go on, just go out and play – get involved absolutely everywhere”.
If he does, United would have a far better chance of winning, but it won’t happen. With Jose in charge they play football with the handbrake on.
When you are on the autobahn and behind the wheel of a Ferrari, you don’t drive at 60mph, do you?
But that is where United are at, which is why I think Chelsea will win.
A chance for Conte to bow out in style
I don’t think the result will make any difference to whether Blues manager Antonio Conte stays in his job, he is likely gone either way.
This is like a farewell party for him, and a chance to go out with a bang on a big occasion.
Chelsea’s performances have been poor recently but come Saturday I think their players will have a real go. Even if you don’t like the manager, if you are in a cup final and there is a medal at stake then you are going to give everything you have got.
Willian has been their best player this season and, if he and Eden Hazard play well, they are going to be difficult to stop.
I am not expecting a thrilling encounter, mind you, I have a feeling this is going to be quite a dour game.
That would suit Mourinho in lots of ways, but I just think Chelsea are going to somehow going to come out on top, and allow Conte to say goodbye the way he wants to.
PREDICTION: CHELSEA TO WIN 1-0
Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
Lawro’s Premier League predictions – the final league table
Lawro made a prediction for all 380 Premier League games this season and the final table based on all of his predictions is at the bottom of this page.
In Lawro’s league table, Manchester City finished as champions and he also got the top six in the correct order, as well as Swansea in 18th.
Liverpool did not lose a game in Lawro’s league table for a second successive season, but the former Reds defender insists there is no bias involved.
Lawro said: “I did not know it had happened again until I was told about it recently – but Liverpool are unbeaten in real life too, aren’t they?
“Seriously, though, I don’t pay any attention to the table when I make my predictions.
“The main reason the top teams often stay unbeaten in my table is that I don’t tip any of them to lose very often full-stop – they don’t, so why would I?”
Lawro’s league tables – 2012-13 to 2016-17
Lawro’s predictions correctly saw Manchester United win the title in 2013 and Manchester City in 2014… and again this season
How did Lawro do last week?
From the final day of Premier League fixtures, Lawro got five correct results, with no perfect scores, from 10 matches for a total of 50 points.
He was beaten by England netball head coach Tracey Neville, who got six correct results, including one perfect score, for a total of 90 points.
|Total scores after week 38|
|Lawro v Guests|
|+/- 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||Noreen Khan, Cesaro & Seamus, Wretch 32|
|90||Lawro (average after 37 weeks), John Bishop, Tracey Neville, Arni and Justin from The Vaccines, Pete Wentz|
|80||John Cena, Darren Campbell|
|70||Plan B, Brendan Foster*, Mark Strong|
|60||Jimmy from Django Django, Will Ferrell, Nish Kumar, Non Stanford, Rick Witter|
|50||Steve Cram, Michael Dapaah, Russell Howard, Channing Tatum, Joe Root, Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, Dario Saric, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell,|
|40||James Bay, Craig David, Ed Lay|
|30||Elis James, Rhys James, Felix White|
|20||Charlie Cooper, 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: 170 points (week 30 v Arni and Justin from The Vaccines)
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)
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May 17, 2018 at 12:36PM