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Premier League final-day predictions: Lawro v singer and Newcastle fan James Bay

Champions League qualification is up for grabs when Leicester host Manchester United on Sunday, but who will end up in the top four?

A draw on the final day of the Premier League season will be enough for both teams if Chelsea lose to Wolves but, if the Blues win their game, then Leicester need a victory to overhaul United and claim a place at European football’s top table.

“I don’t see United being beaten,” said BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson. “Leicester were already without James Maddison and Ricardo Pereira through injury but having Caglar Soyuncu suspended is a big miss for them at the back.

“They are not the same without him. Wes Morgan has been great for the Foxes but, at 36, can he really deal with the pace of United’s front three?”

Lawro has made predictions for all 380 top-flight matches this season, against a variety of guests.

This week he is up against singer and Newcastle fan James Bay, whose new track Chew On My Heart is out now.

When Bay took on Lawro in 2018, he explained why he was a Newcastle fan, saying: “When I was six, Alan Shearer played for Newcastle – and that was it, really. I grew up in a town that is sort of near teams like Arsenal and Tottenham, but not near enough for me to feel like that was my club. In the middle of the 1990s, Newcastle were up there, and Shearer had just signed for them. For that reason alone, myself and my brother as well were just like – he is the man, so Newcastle is the team.”

Like most Magpies supporters, Bay is waiting for news on whether a Saudi Arabia-led £300m takeover of the club will be allowed to go ahead.

“We are massively in limbo at the moment,” Bay told BBC Sport. “The fans just want someone to give us a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and tell us whether it is happening or not.

“It is tantalising because we all know what the club would be capable of if we had ambitious owners – but all we really want is the opportunity to buy better players and that has not really been the case for the past few years.

“We already have some great talent in our squad – look at how the fans have got behind Allan Saint-Maximin this season, just as one example – and there is a hunger in so many of our players.

“I would just love for us to be able to build on that next season, to bring in bigger and better signings that will develop the team instead of just treading water again.

“We have been safe from relegation for a few weeks now, but we should be aiming for a lot more than that.

“As a fan, I am always going to think we should be in the top 10 at the very least but, for now, the difficult tale continues.

“To hear us described as a ‘sleeping giant’ is bittersweet because ‘giant’ speaks to the potential and the greatness that is under the surface – but the sleeping bit is so frustrating, because that’s the bit that carries on.”

There has been plenty of speculation about who Newcastle might buy this summer but who would be Bay’s dream signing? “If it was a player who I think we could get, I’d like it to be Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona,” he said. “There has already been a lot of talk about him coming and I wonder if he just really enjoyed it in the Premier League when he was with Liverpool and he could come back to life with us. It almost seems possible we could maybe sign him without a takeover, and I think that’s the most optimistic mindset I can really be in at the moment as a Newcastle fan.”
Premier League predictions – week 38
Result Lawro James
SUNDAY
Arsenal v Watford x-x 2-0 2-1
Burnley v Brighton x-x 2-0 2-0
Chelsea v Wolves x-x 2-1 3-2
Crystal Palace v Tottenham x-x 0-2 0-2
Everton v Bournemouth x-x 2-0 3-0
Leicester v Man Utd x-x 1-2 1-1
Man City v Norwich x-x 4-0 4-0
Newcastle v Liverpool x-x 0-2 0-3
Southampton v Sheff Utd x-x 2-0 2-2
West Ham v Aston Villa x-x 2-0 0-1

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

All games kick off at 16:00 BST.

SUNDAY

Arsenal v Watford

To stay up, Watford need to get a better result than whatever Aston Villa manage at West Ham, because they are level on points and their goal difference is worse by one.

I would not be surprised if the Hornets and Villa both lose on Sunday, so that goal difference could be crucial in the end.

But even if their fate was in their own hands, I would not fancy Watford’s chances of beating the drop from here.

It was very telling when their goalkeeper Ben Foster described the team’s confidence as “crazy low” after they lost 4-0 to Manchester City in midweek, and I don’t see them recovering from that.

I’m sure a few of the Arsenal players remember Watford captain Troy Deeney saying the Gunners lacked ‘cojones’