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EPL: Mark Lawrenson predicts results of West Ham vs Arsenal, Chelsea vs Newcastle, others

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Liverpool legend, Mark Lawrenson has predicted Arsenal to defeat West Ham United on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League fixture at the London Stadium.

He also tipped Chelsea to beat Newcastle United in tonight’s Premier League fixture.

According to Lawrenson, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will play a draw with Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

“In the Premier League, the Hammers’ form has been very up and down in recent weeks, but the same could be said about the Gunners,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“I am going for an Arsenal win here, but it is clear that Unai Emery still has a lot of work to do.

“He has only been in charge for half a season and I think that, when they come up against the top teams, the same problems still remain.

“The main issue is at the back. Would I back them defensively? No, absolutely not. Too many of their defenders are not Champions League level, which is the standard they need them to be at.

“Both of these sides are safely into the next round of the FA Cup after beating lower league sides – I was at Blackpool for BBC Radio 5 live to see Arsenal cruise through.”

Commenting on the Chelsea vs Newcastle game, Lawrenson said: “Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez got a great welcome at Anfield when he went back with the Magpies over Christmas, but I don’t think he will get the same sort of reception on Saturday at another of his former clubs.

“Sadly for Benitez, I can see him being on the wrong end of a similar result – although I do not see Chelsea hammering Newcastle the way that Liverpool did.

“It looks like the Blues are going to get a new striker in January, we just don’t know who it will be yet.

“They need one because they have been a bit short of goals recently but, in the meantime, I still think they will be too strong for the Magpies.”

On the Brighton vs Liverpool game, Lawrenson said: “Liverpool have got a problem in central defence with Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip injured, and I suspect Fabinho will play there – I can’t see what else Reds boss Jurgen Klopp would do.

“Ki-Jana Hoever did great when he came on for Lovren against Wolves, but you would not want to chuck a 16-year-old in at Brighton because he would have Glenn Murray to contend with.

“I know the Seagulls are not the most attacking team, and Liverpool turned them over easily at Amex Stadium last season, but Murray against a kid? No, he would have too much experience for him.

“This is a really good test for Liverpool, on the back of their defeat by Manchester City and then their defeat at Molineux after Klopp decided the FA Cup was not in his top two priorities.

“It would clearly be preferable for Liverpool to be at Anfield as they look to bounce back this weekend, especially because the thing about Brighton is that they are very good at stopping teams from playing. Brighton have got a good home record too, which is why I am going for a draw here.

“I don’t know whether this might be a little bump in the road for Liverpool but, if I am right and they drop points on Saturday, I would also back them to return to winning ways in their home games against Crystal Palace and Leicester before the end of the month.

“There are 11 days between the Palace and Leicester matches and, because Liverpool are out of the FA Cup, Klopp will be able to give his players a few days off to rest their bodies, and clear their heads.”

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