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Lawro’s predictions v England rugby league captain Burgess

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson

BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson will be making a prediction for all 380 Premier League games this season against a variety of guests.

Lawro’s opponent for this week’s Premier League fixtures is England rugby league captain Sam Burgess.

Burgess leads England against New Zealand on Saturday (live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website at 14:30 BST) in the first of their Four Nations matches, and also made a prediction for that match – “an England win”.

  • How to watch 2016 Four Nations on the BBC

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Burgess and England play New Zealand on Saturday then take on Scotland (5 November) and Australia (13 November), hoping to reach the final at Anfield on 20 November.

You can make your own predictions now, compare them with those of Lawro and other fans, and try to take your team to the top of the leaderboard by playing the new BBC Sport Predictor game.

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

In the last round of fixtures, Lawro got six correct results, including one perfect score, from 10 Premier League matches. That gave him a total of 90 points.

He was beaten by Olympic kayak gold medallist Joe Clarke, who got four correct results, but with two perfect scores, for a total of 100 points.

LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS

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

SATURDAY

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Sunderland v Arsenal (12:30 BST)

Sunderland have actually played quite well in their last couple of games – at West Ham last Saturday and against Southampton in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night – but they lost them both 1-0.

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Is time running out for Moyes at Sunderland?

The Black Cats only have two points from their first nine league games so it is a massive understatement to say they need a win, but I also think they need a bit of luck.

They will certainly need it to get anything out of this game. Even if they play well against Arsenal, I just don’t see Sunderland beating them at the moment.

I know the Gunners drew at home to Middlesbrough last week, which might have seen a few people saying “here we go again, same old Arsenal”.

But every team in the top seven has had some sort of hiccup this season, and the most important thing for Arsenal when they have days like that is that they do not get beaten.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-2

Sam’s prediction: 0-2

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Man Utd v Burnley

Burnley just kept going against Everton last weekend and got their reward with Scott Arfield’s late winner.

They had been under the cosh in that game and were not seeing a lot of the ball or creating much, but I think one of the positive things for newly promoted teams is that they do not worry about all that.

The Clarets have just come out of a division where it is dog eat dog and you have to fight for every point you get, so they are more than happy to do the same in the top flight too.

Burnley will have the same mentality at Old Trafford but their problem on the road this season has been staying in games – they have been 2-0 down after an hour in all three of their away matches so far.

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Man Utd: Why should Jose Mourinho still be cheerful?

United got battered by Chelsea last weekend and I wish their manager Jose Mourinho had admitted it.

But they did improve against Manchester City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday – Mourinho picked a strong team because he needed a win, and I would expect the same outcome on Saturday.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Sam’s prediction: 2-1

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Middlesbrough v Bournemouth

Middlesbrough played really well in their draw with Arsenal last weekend, but their problem is still scoring goals.

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Karanka praises ‘amazing’ Middlesbrough

It will not be easy for them against Bournemouth, who are unbeaten in their last four games and on a nice little run.

But there cannot be many teams who go out to stop the Cherries, rather than try to out-play them, and I think Boro’s defensive outlook will help them here.

Aitor Karanka will make Boro difficult to break down and, because they are at home, they will create one or two more chances too. It will be tight, but I think they will edge it.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-0

Sam’s prediction: 1-0

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Tottenham v Leicester

By their standards, Tottenham have had a blip by drawing their last two games.

Things did not go their way at West Brom or Bournemouth but, even so, they did not lose and they are still the only unbeaten top-flight team this season.

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Pressure on Spurs to score goals – Pochettino

Tottenham could have Toby Alderweireld back from injury to play at centre-half against Leicester, but Eric Dier looks perfectly happy there if he is not ready yet.

We know the system Spurs will play – that does not change – and the great thing for their manager Mauricio Pochettino is that when the personnel changes, it is still business as usual.

I see them returning to winning ways on Saturdays, helped by the fact that Leicester’s away league form – they have lost four games out of four on the road, conceding 13 goals.

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Ranieri ‘proud’ of Foxes but ‘angry’ about league form

The Foxes’ Champions League form has been outstanding which makes up for the fact they have been inconsistent domestically.

It looks like they will get out of their group and be involved in Europe after Christmas so this is still going to be a good season for them, even if they remain in mid-table in the Premier League.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Sam’s prediction: 1-0

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Watford v Hull

I have tipped Hull to lose all nine of their previous league games this season and this is not a fixture where I am going to reverse that strategy.

Watford are only one place above them in my league table (see below) but in reality they are much better than Hull.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Sam’s prediction: 1-2

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West Brom v Man City

West Brom got a late goal back in their 2-1 defeat by Liverpool last weekend to make for an interesting finish, but until then they had been outplayed at Anfield.

The Baggies did get a draw against Tottenham in their last home match but their goalkeeper Ben Foster was the best player on the pitch.

Not that West Brom boss Tony Pulis will mind how his side keep on picking up points, because they are looking very comfortable in mid-table at the moment.

I will be at this game for BBC Radio 5 live and I am expecting the Baggies to make life difficult for Manchester City, or at least try to – I think Pep Guardiola’s six-game winless run will end at The Hawthorns.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Sam’s prediction: 0-2

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Crystal Palace v Liverpool (17:30 BST)

Liverpool had a patchy recent record at Selhurst Park until last season when they won thanks to a very late Christian Benteke penalty.

The Reds obviously won’t be hoping for the same on Saturday, when they face their former striker.

I think the key to the game will be whether Crystal Palace can stop Liverpool, however.

If you give Jurgen Klopp’s side time and space to play at the moment, then they create enough chances to win two games.

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Liverpool v Tottenham: Reds ‘not close to 100 per cent’ – Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool went top of the league table based on my predictions (see bottom of page) last week, but things are almost as close at the top of my league as it is in real life.

The reason Liverpool are in the mix in the table that matters is their front five. As a team they have got their faults, the same as every side up there, but when their attackers are on form they are difficult to stop, and they play the same way home and away.

You basically have to go and play like Manchester United did last week to stop them, and even then David de Gea had to make two top saves to earn them a point.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Sam’s prediction: Liverpool all day long. 0-2

SUNDAY

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Everton v West Ham (13:30 BST)

Everton made a strong start to the season while West Ham’s problems were well documented, but things are very different on recent form.

The Toffees have only taken two points from their last four league games and also went out of the EFL Cup.

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Burnley 2-1 Everton: Ronald Koeman says football can be so unfair

If you include Wednesday’s victory over Chelsea in the same competition, the Hammers have won three in a row and drew the one before that.

So one team has gone five games without a win, the other four without a defeat. Bearing that in mind, I am going for a draw.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Sam’s prediction: My team-mate James Graham is a massive Everton supporter, so I am going to back West Ham. Sorry James. 0-1

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Southampton v Chelsea (16:00 BST)

Both of these teams are in decent form at the moment.

Southampton continue to do well, helped by the fact they are so strong at the back – I don’t think there is a better central defensive pairing in the Premier League than Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk.

Only Tottenham have conceded fewer goals than Saints in the league this season and Spurs’ regular centre-halves Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have much more protection in front of them.

But Chelsea will be full of confidence on the back of three league wins in a row, including that thumping of Manchester United.

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Match of the Day 3: How has Conte changed Chelsea’s system

By reverting to playing with three at the back, Blues boss Antonio Conte knows he has a formation that works and I think they are capable of doing something no team has done so far in seven matches this season, which is beating Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium.

If they do beat Saints on their home turf, it will be another big statement about Chelsea’s prospects of winning the title.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Sam’s prediction: 0-2

MONDAY

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Stoke v Swansea (20:00 BST)

Stoke made a bad start to the season but have now gone four games unbeaten and look like the team I always thought they were.

With Swansea, I still don’t know what to expect under Bob Bradley. He picked up his first Premier League point against Watford last weekend but now he needs his first win, and I don’t see it coming against the Potters.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Sam’s prediction: 0-1

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

Lawro’s best score: 140 points (week three v Laura Trott)

Lawro’s worst score: 30 points (week four v Dave Bautista)

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37781121