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West Ham for Europe, predicts Lawro

Filed: Tuesday, 19th January 2016
By: Staff Writer

Mark Lawrenson may have incurred the wrath of West Ham supporters for his dreadfully negative predictions this season - but he still believes the Hammers are on course to qualify for Europe.

Match of the Day pundit 'Lawro' - as he is popularly known - and his predictions are responsible for one of the KUMB Forum's longest-running threads, in which his offerings have been overwhelmingly ridiculed for the past eight years or so.

This season, were his predictions correct West Ham would be residing in the Premier League's relegation zone rather than the upper echelons of the table. However the former Republic of Ireland international insists that he has nothing against West Ham.

Speaking exclusively to the KUMB Podcast, Lawresnson revealed that Hammers fans were just the latest to criticise him. "Southampton fans were on my back the year before last and Swansea were another club whose fans didn't particularly like me," he told Podcast hosts Chris Scull and Bianca Westwood. "Evertonians always give me grief as well, so it is what it is!

"You've never upset me - and I nearly went to West Ham as a kid! Everyone thinks I sit there, look at the teams who I don't like and decide who's going to get beat. But basically, the guy just rings me up and I decide whether West Ham and the other 19 clubs are going to win, lose or draw. So it's nothing personal, I can assure you!"

Lawrenson, who made more than 240 appearances for Liverpool during his career also defended his predilection for being more favourable to his former club. "WHen I'm on the TV and radio, I'm probably Liverpool's worst critic," he insisted. "So it's probably the case that I would like them to win, but they're not doing particularly well at the moment.

"West Ham have got a better team than Liverpool at the moment so happy days, they've done absolutely fantastic. When they appointed Bilic after Sam [Allardyce], I wasn't sure. An old player going back as manager, does it ever really work? Then you had a fantastic start, all those fabulous away wins - then a dip like Sam's team last year.

"But with all those players injured you had a long, unbeaten run so they've done great. And I tipped you to draw last weekend and you got beat 2-1, so I can't be wrong all the time!

"I go to a lot of games and people stop me and say 'last week you predicted this and that' - to which I have a stock answer: if I could predict football results every week in the Premier League do you think I'd be going to Oldham on a cold, wet, Wednesday night - or would I be sat on a boat in the Bahamas?"

Still old habits die hard and when asked by the KUMB Podcast team to predict a winner from West Ham's forthcoming clash with Manchester City, Lawrenson reverted to type. "Ah, you're going to get beat!" he replied in an instant.

"I was at Man City against Palace at the weekend and they didn't play very well in the first half. Palace were good but couldn't score and then gave a stupid goal or two away. But I think City are going to get the it between their teeth now.

"They're not good defensively do I think you're going to score but I'd have to go for Man City. I've a feeling they're going to go on a long run now - and now tjkust because they're playing West Ham."

Yet despite his opinion of West Ham's chances against Manuel Pellegrini's title-chasers, Larwo predicts a happy ending for West Ham fans when the curtain finally falls on the Boleyn Ground at the end of this season.

"This is the year where you can make the Europa League," he said. "I was at Liverpool at the weekend - Manchester United were unbelievably average and they're going to finish in the top four.

"I'd say West Ham have got better individual players than Manchester United, they just don't have as many because of the size of the squads and stuff. But this is the year where Europa League qualification is definitely achievable."

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