Writer: Gavin John Day
Date:Wednesday January 30 2013
What scoreline has former Reds defender Mark Lawrenson plumped for in the latest edition of his prediction feature?...
Ex-Liverpool centre-back turned media pundit Mark Lawrenson has expressed his thoughts ahead of his old side's midweek Premier League trip to Arsenal tonight.
Writing in his regular 'Lawro Predicts' column for the BBC, the 55-year-old revealed he expects Liverpool to slip to a second defeat in three days.
Here's what he had to say in full...
"These two sides had contrasting results in the FA Cup at the weekend, though Arsenal had their own scare against Brighton. In the Premier League, the Gunners have been beaten by Chelsea and then put five past West Ham.
"But despite their inconsistency, the English trio of Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott came on and changed the game against Brighton and there are signs Arsene Wenger's men are starting to hit a good run of form at the right time.
"Liverpool have been on a decent run in the league but it was a really poor result to lose at Oldham on Sunday.
"The Latics' centre-forward Matt Smith bullied the Liverpool defence, especially centre-half Sebastian Coates. It was a day to bring in Jamie Carragher in the middle to help the young full-backs, Andre Wisdom and Jack Robinson.
"You cannot take anything away from the League One side, but one or two Liverpool players just looked like little boys lost.
"This is probably Liverpool's biggest game of the season so far. They have not beaten anyone above them and if they can go and win at the Emirates, it will show people that they can beat the better teams.
"Brendan Rodgers will have spent a few quid on new players by the time this season ends. Progress for his side would be to finish sixth."
Lawro's prediction: 2-1
Whilst previewing the trip to The Emirates, Lawrenson also commented further on Liverpool's shock FA Cup exit to Oldham.
Much of the blame for the defeat has been levelled at the defence, and in particular Uruguayan Sebastian Coates, but Lawrenson defended the player saying: "Sebastian Coates will have never played against anything like that before in his life.
"People are jumping on the bandwagon saying, he did not do this, he should have done that, but he was bullied and did not play very well. However, he did not get too much help from his team-mates.
"Playing in the Premier League and playing in the FA Cup at Boundary Park are two completely different situations. Yes, you should be able to cope with both and I don't think he will be a regular for Liverpool. That does not mean I'm saying he doesn't have a career in football."
About this former LFC player
Mark Lawrenson joined Liverpool from Brighton & Hove Albion for a then club record £900k in the summer of 1981. The Republic of Ireland international centre-back soon struck up a formidable partnership with Alan Hansen after injury to club stalwart Phil Thompson. After 332 appearances, Lawrenson left the club in 1989 and after a season playing in the American Soccer League went on to manage Oxford United and Peterborough United. During his time at Anfield 'Lawro' won 5 league titles, 3 League Cups, a European Cup and an FA Cup.
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Date:Wednesday January 30 2013
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