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‘Are we talking soccer?’ – Lawro’s predictions v NFL stars Sanders & Norman

Lawro's predictions

Arsenal’s new-look attack could get its first run-out on Saturday when the Gunners face Everton, but will one of their former forwards steal the show?

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson says: “Theo Walcott must be looking forward to this game against his old team after opening his account for Everton with two goals in Wednesday’s win over Leicester.

“It will be interesting to see how that goes for him on an individual level but, as far as the teams go, I do not see Everton coming out on top.

“Arsenal could look very different now they have done their transfer business – including selling Walcott – and I think they should just chuck new £56m striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in for his debut.

“I am a big fan of Aubameyang and I think he will make the difference in this game – not Walcott.”

Lawro is going for a 2-0 Arsenal win – do you agree?

You can make your predictions now, take on Lawro and other fans, create your own league and try to make it to the top of the table by playing the new-look BBC Sport Predictor game.

Predictor league table - week 25<!–

Lawro scored 130 points in week 25, which leaves him in 1,168th place out of more than 380,000 users.

Lawro will be making a prediction for all 380 top-flight games this season, against a variety of guests.

This week, he takes on Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman.

The pair were in Manchester for an NFL UK Live show and went to visit Manchester United’s training ground, where they swapped shirts with Paul Pogba and met the rest of the squad.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba swapped shirts with Emmanuel Sanders (l) and Josh Norman (r) when they visited United's training ground<!–

Pogba in the NFL? Sanders (left) thinks the United midfielder could play as safety in defense – one of the hardest-hitting positions in the sport

“Those guys are huge, athletically built and they are fast,” Sanders told BBC Sport. “I was looking at Pogba and he could be a safety [a defensive back] in the NFL.

“Could he make it? It depends on his aggression and I don’t really watch soccer like that.

“But it could go both ways – we have got guys in the NFL right now who could definitely come over and play soccer. We are all athletes at the end of the day and we have all got good footwork.”

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World Cup or Super Bowl? NFL stars’ Premier League predictions

You can see their Premier League predictions below but, when it comes to Sunday’s Super Bowl, they are expecting a sixth success for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The BBC will bring you comprehensive coverage of Super Bowl LII across all platforms on Sunday, 4 February.

You can also follow #BBCNFL on Twitter to join the debate during the match.

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

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated.

SATURDAY

Burnley v Man City<!–

Burnley v Man City (12:30 GMT)

Burnley nicked a late draw with Newcastle on Wednesday but they have now gone eight league games without a win.

You know they will sit in against Manchester City – and Clarets boss Sean Dyche would take a point now – but the Premier League leaders have got so many ways of opening teams up that it is hard to see Burnley holding out.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Sanders & Norman’s prediction: (Sanders) Are we talking soccer? Oh I don’t know about soccer!

(Norman) Say that question again. Who is going to score? Who will win the game? Manchester City 1-2

Bournemouth v Stoke<!–

Bournemouth v Stoke

Bournemouth got a great win at Chelsea on Wednesday and played extremely well to get it too.

I always feel the Cherries have got a performance like that in them if they manage to stay on the front foot in a game.

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Howe delight after ‘best’ Bournemouth win

The problem is when they have a bad day, because they struggle defensively when teams put them under pressure.

Stoke picked up another point against Watford in midweek, making it four points in two games for new manager Paul Lambert.

I have a feeling he will set Stoke up to pick up another point here,

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Sanders & Norman’s prediction: 0-0

Brighton v West Ham<!–

Brighton v West Ham

It will be interesting to see how striker Jordan Hugill gets on at West Ham after they signed him from Preston on deadline day.

The Hammers also signed midfielder Joao Mario from Inter Milan, and he looks a decent signing, although it will be a while until we see David Moyes’ side at full strength because of the injury problems they have.

Jordan Hugill<!–

Jordan Hugill has scored 10 goals in 29 appearances this season

That is one of the reasons I am going for a Brighton win here. The Seagulls have been struggling when they play away, and their home form is what is going to give them a chance of staying up, so this game is very important.

The Seagulls have not won in the league since they beat Watford on 23 December, but a victory here would be a huge boost in their battle to avoid relegation.

With strikers Jurgen Locadia and Leonardo Ulloa both joining during the transfer window, it is clear Brighton boss Chris Hughton knows where his side’s shortcomings are.

We will find out over the next few weeks whether it will be enough to keep them up but they are certainly giving it a good go.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Sanders & Norman’s prediction: 0-1

Leicester v Swansea<!–

Leicester v Swansea

Riyad Mahrez is still a Leicester player for now after his move to Manchester City did not happen, but he is someone I can see moving during the summer.

By the sounds of it, if the Foxes get the money they want for him they are prepared to let him go, and the end of the season might be a good time for that to happen because they do not want his situation turning into a problem.

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Mahrez has outgrown Leicester – Murphy to Lineker

If Mahrez knows he can go at the end of the season then I don’t see him causing any issues now, which is important for Leicester in their chase for seventh place.

Swansea got a cracking win over Arsenal on Tuesday, and they played extremely well to get it.

They have given themselves a fighting chance of staying up, which is something I did not see coming, but I think their revival might hit a little blip here.

Their only worry is whether their recent form is down to the bounce effect under Carlos Carvalhal – the challenge for them is to sustain their form, but he has already improved them going forward.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Sanders & Norman’s prediction: 2-1

Man Utd v Huddersfield<!–

Man Utd v Huddersfield

I was there when Huddersfield ran out comfortable winners when these two sides met in October.

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The best team won – Jose Mourinho

It was a strange game because the Terriers stopped United from playing in every single way – but I think Saturday will be very different.

Teams have found out that is what Huddersfield try to do to you, and it has not been working very well for a while. David Wagner’s side are on a run of seven league games without a win and confidence must be becoming an issue.

United had a bad result against Tottenham at Wembley on Wednesday but I think we will see a reaction from Jose Mourinho’s side at Old Trafford.

United were punished for their lapses by Spurs, and I just do not see Huddersfield being able to do the same.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Sanders & Norman’s prediction: 4-0

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders<!–

Sanders was impressed by Pogba’s footwork
West Brom v Southampton<!–

West Brom v Southampton

Both of these teams are in the bottom three, which is something I did not expect at the start of the season.

From what I have seen, Southampton look better equipped to get out of trouble, even if they have gone 12 league games without a win.

Premier League - bottom six snapshot: Brighton in 15th, Stoke in 16th, Huddersfield 17th, Southampton 18th, Swansea in 19th and West Brom 20th<!–

West Brom have kept hold of Jonny Evans, who they could have sold to raise money to sign a striker, and brought in Daniel Sturridge on loan from Liverpool instead.

I think it is a clever move because they have already got Salomon Rondon, who is big and strong and can hold it up, and he brings people into play.

Sturridge is ideal to play alongside him because he can make chances for himself out of nothing as well. Whether his new side stay up or not could be down to whether they can keep him fit.

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Fans and players salute Cyrille Regis ahead of a celebration of his life at The Hawthorns

I think we might see a Cyrille Regis effect on Saturday as well – there will be a celebration of the former Baggies striker at The Hawthorns, and West Brom will wear special shirts in honour of their former striker so there will be a great atmosphere.

It would be fitting if the Baggies marked an emotional day with a victory as well.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Sanders & Norman’s prediction: 2-2

Arsenal v Everton<!–

Arsenal v Everton (17:30 GMT)

Everton have not won at Arsenal since January 1996, when Andrei Kanchelskis scored a late winner at Highbury.

I do not see the Toffees ending that awful run, but their midweek win over Leicester – their first victory of the year at their fifth attempt – was an important one, because at least it stops the rot.

Arsenal are eight points adrift of the top four but I don’t think their hopes of making a Champions League spot through their league position are over yet.

I see them going on a run, because that is what Arsenal do. They are capable of winning five or six games on the trot.

Premier League snapshot showing the top of the table: Man City 1st, Man Utd in 2nd, Liverpool 3rd, Chelsea 4th, Tottenham 5th and Arsenal in 6th<!–

I think United will finish second, but then it is the other four teams for the other two places. That battle will go to the end of the season too.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Sanders & Norman’s prediction: (Norman) Everton have got Rooney! If I go against him I am going to get hate-mail – but I think Arsenal are going to pull it out. 3-2

SUNDAY

Crystal Palace v Newcastle<!–

Crystal Palace v Newcastle (14:15 GMT)

Newcastle managed to make some signings at the end of the transfer window, including Leicester forward Islam Slimani and Chelsea winger Kenedy – who are both better than what they had.

But you only have to look at the difference between Crystal Palace’s squad and what the Magpies have got to see the difference between the sides.

Christian Benteke got the Eagles’ goal in their 1-1 draw with West Ham on Tuesday and I just wonder if he is going to go on a scoring streak now – he is the kind of confidence player who does that.

Newcastle do not have a striker of his calibre to lead their line, or game-changers like Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend or, when he is fit, Jason Puncheon. That is why the Magpies are where they are, a point above the relegation zone.

Palace are only one place above them, but I think they will run out pretty comfortable winners.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Sanders & Norman’s prediction: 0-2

Liverpool v Tottenham<!–

Liverpool v Tottenham (16:30 GMT)

Liverpool’s win at Huddersfield on Tuesday was a result the Reds needed in every way – a clean sheet and no mistakes at the back, and they created enough chances to win easily.

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‘Mature’ performance exactly what Reds needed – Klopp

Dejan Lovren did not have a very good day when these two sides met at Wembley earlier in the season, and Tottenham ran out 4-1 winners.

So Liverpool owe them one, but I don’t see them getting their own back on Sunday.

Spurs showed against Manchester United that they are in good shape at the moment, and they have not lost since their defeat by Manchester City in December. I see that run continuing.

I am a fan of Tottenham’s new signing Lucas Moura too. The Brazilian is very quick and gives them something they have not otherwise got down the right.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Sanders & Norman’s prediction: (Norman) I know Spurs are on the road and Liverpool are a good side too but Tottenham are on a roll and Harry Kane has got to at least get me two and Son Heung-min has been balling. 1-3

MONDAY

Watford v Chelsea<!–

Watford v Chelsea (20:00 GMT)

Chelsea were poor in their defeat by Bournemouth in midweek and we never really saw a performance as bad as that from them under Antonio Conte last season, even before he found a shape that worked.

Just as I am expecting Manchester United to respond under Jose Mourinho, I think Conte will rally the troops and probably tell them a few home truths.

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Conte admits Chelsea ‘struggled’ on ‘bad day’

New Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is available and I expect him to feature at some point. I also expect the Blues to win.

Watford should have won at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, when they had enough good chances to beat Chelsea, but a lot has changed since then, starting with their manager.

The worry for the Hornets is not their league position – they have been 11th for about three months now – more that the gap between themselves and the bottom three continues to come down.

Lose a couple more games, and they will be right in the middle of the relegation scrap – and they are a team sinking down into it, not on their way up and trying to climb out. They have got to be very careful.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Sanders & Norman’s prediction: 2-3

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

From the last round of Premier League games, Lawro got four correct results, with three perfect scores, from 10 matches for a total of 130 points.

He was up against Russell Leetch and Ed Lay from rock band Editors, and could not beat both of them.

Leetch also got four correct results, with three perfect scores, for a tally of 130, while Lay got four correct results, but with no perfect scores. That gave him a total of 40 points.

Lawro's League Table<!–

GUEST LEADERBOARD

* Shows weeks where Lawro had more than one guest, and only the highest score contributed to the guest total.

Lawro’s best score: 150 points (week eight v Wretch 32 and week 24 v Pete Wentz)

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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