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Premier League New Year's Day predictions: Lawro v BGT comedian and Liverpool fan Kojo Anim

[img]https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/480/cpsprodpb/A1B0/production/_98829314_lawronew.jpg" srcset="https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/240/cpsprodpb/A1B0/production/_98829314_lawronew.jpg 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/320/cpsprodpb/A1B0/production/_98829314_lawronew.jpg 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/480/cpsprodpb/A1B0/production/_98829314_lawronew.jpg 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/624/cpsprodpb/A1B0/production/_98829314_lawronew.jpg 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/800/cpsprodpb/A1B0/production/_98829314_lawronew.jpg 800w" sizes="(min-width: 900px) 50vw, (min-width: 600px) 70vw, 100vw" alt="Lawro's predictions" class="">
Sheffield United start 2020 just two points off fifth place in the Premier League table before a first visit to leaders Liverpool for 13 years on Thursday."If I had to name a manager of the year midway through the season then it would be Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder," BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson said. "The great thing about them is they have shown every promoted team that they do not have to spend fortunes if you're well coached, well organised and difficult to beat.
"It's different for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and all the other managers near the top because they have got real quality. Wilder has done a fantastic job."Lawro is making predictions for all 380 top-flight matches this season, against a variety of guests.
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For the first round of Premier League fixtures of 2020, he is up against Britain's Got Talent comedian and Liverpool fan Kojo Anim.Kojo, who is about to embark on a UK tour, is understandably is pretty happy with the way the Reds are doing right now.He told BBC Sport: "Nobody is celebrating anything yet but with what I have been through in the past few years with that team, I think I deserve to enjoy myself at the moment."It does not look like there will be a dramatic end to the title race like there was last season when Manchester City pipped us at the post, but being totally honest, I don't care! "It has been 30 years since we last won it, and I would happily have had it totally wrapped up by Christmas if I could have done."
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Kojo is friends with Liverpool defender Joe Gomez and former Reds striker Daniel Sturridge and is a regular at AnfieldKojo got into football and the Reds when he started watching John Barnes play for Liverpool in the 1980s - and told him that in person when he bumped into him a few weeks ago."I was at the station, on my way to watching Liverpool play Salzburg and I told him that I was left-footed so his position on the wing was always where I played - well, when I could," he said. "Sometimes I was left-back, and sometimes I was on the bench."Could I have made it as a professional myself[/img]
[img]data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7" data-src="https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/{width}{hidpi}/cpsprodpb/1579C/production/_110346978_bot0.jpg" data-sizes="auto" alt="Bottom of the Premier League">
"Then I stopped enjoying it because I used to play with the older guys, who knew I was good but would always stamp their authority on me, and that is how I lost my confidence - then I started telling jokes instead, and I think I am a bit more of a natural at that."I was good at football, but looking back, that bit of bullying I got on the football pitch changed my life."
bbc.comA 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 stated.
WEDNESDAY, 1 JANUARY
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Brighton v Chelsea (12:30 GMT)
Brighton fans might think I've suddenly fallen out of love with them but I haven't. They're going to be absolutely fine this season but I feel Chelsea have a better side and are decent on the road.Chelsea were good in their last game as they came from behind to win against Arsenal. Frank Lampard deserves praise for changing his tactics mid-match. All of a sudden everybody started pouring forward and they looked a completely different team. Lawro's prediction: 0-2Kojo's prediction: You never know what you are going to get from Chelsea this season. 2-2
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Burnley v Aston Villa (12:30 GMT)
Burnley have lost three of their last four home games, which is very unlike them. I think they'll be ready for Aston Villa, who are too easy to score against.I listened to Villa's complaints after their loss to Watford but they need to stop worrying about things that have gone against them and start winning some games.Villa need to show a little bit of backbone. Lawro's prediction: 2-0Kojo's prediction: 1-2
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Newcastle v Leicester
Newcastle are very difficult to predict. They don't lose many games at home but against Everton last time out they were outplayed before coming back - only to be undone by a sucker punch.In fairness to Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, he made nine changes in the last game at West Ham and still got a win. That's good management. He knows he has got players who can come in, win games, and not seriously weaken the side. However, I fancy Newcastle to bounce back in this one.Lawro's prediction: 2-0Kojo's prediction: Leicester have had a tough Christmas but Jamie Vardy has still got his tail up. 1-3
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Southampton v Tottenham
Tottenham are a bit of a conundrum.It's taken Jose Mourinho a lot longer to mould Spurs into the team he wants - and it may only really happen when he has brought in players he wants.I feel they do have so much quality that if they get it right against Southampton, who are on a nice little run, then they will win comfortably.Lawro's prediction: 0-2Kojo's prediction: Jose Mourinho has brought a bit of stability and discipline to a very talented squad. 0-3
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Watford v Wolves
Watford's players are enjoying life under Nigel Pearson. I watched his first game in charge at Liverpool and they created more chances than any other team I have seen visit Anfield this season. Wolves have a bunch of good players - not just four or five. They caused Liverpool problems last time out in a game overshadowed by VAR, which is turning into a bit of a farce.
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MOTD2: 'VAR is affecting spirit of the game'
Watford, though, are full of confidence after two wins and a draw in their last three matches.Lawro's prediction: 2-1Kojo's prediction: 0-2
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Man City v Everton (17:30)
Carlo Ancelotti has had a really good start as Everton boss. In the last match at Newcastle, the Toffees looked a really good and full of confidence for half an hour - before revisiting their old mistakes from this Premier League season.Manchester City are inconsistent like lots of teams in the Premier League. They look a little bit flat but Sergio Aguero is back and scoring again. I do think City will go on a good run and their eyes might possibly be on the cup competitions - especially the Champions League. Lawro's prediction: 2-0Kojo's prediction: I don't see Liverpool going the whole season undefeated, but I think Manchester City are going to lose again at some point as well. They could easily drop points here because Everton are full of confidence under Carlo Ancelotti. 1-1
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Norwich v Crystal Palace (17:30)
There's a real spirit about Crystal Palace. Roy Hodgson's side have come from behind to pick up points against Brighton and West Ham recently.Norwich are not playing badly and are creating lots of chances. They're also due a win and went close to beating Tottenham on Saturday. Lawro's prediction: 2-1Kojo's prediction: 3-1
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West Ham v Bournemouth (17:30)
The return of David Moyes is just what West Ham need. He'll get them organised and difficult to beat. All this 'the fans aren't happy he's coming back'... the fans have got to be realistic. He's been appointed to make sure they stay up. His record is very good and if you look at how many times he has been a manager in the Premier League, he knows all about it and how it works.
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David Moyes' record at West Ham in his first spellI know Bournemouth have been hit by injuries but they look flat. I think West Ham will get a bounce because of the new manager.Lawro's prediction: 2-0Kojo's prediction: 1-0
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Arsenal v Man Utd (20:00)
Arsenal are the poorest I have seen them for many, many years. They simply cannot defend and their defensive issues are not going to be resolved anytime soon. Mikel Arteta has his work cut out trying to sort it all out.That said, I think this will be an open game and I see them getting something against Manchester United.United have had a good festive programme so far but they have their own fragilities.Lawro's prediction: 2-2Kojo's prediction: Mikel Arteta has got a lot to fix at Arsenal, and it is not going to happen overnight. 1-3
THURSDAY, 2 JANUARY
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Liverpool v Sheff Utd (20:00 GMT)
Sheffield United are heading to Anfield on the back of their first away defeat of the season, while Liverpool just keep churning out results. I have been impressed with the Blades this season. They have been fabulous - long may it continue. But I cannot see beyond a home win. Lawro's prediction: 3-0Kojo's prediction: We won at Sheffield United in September but it felt like the only game this season that we could have lost. So, even though we are at home I am a bit wary, and I am expecting a tough evening. 1-1
How did Lawro do last week[/img]
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