Super Bowl LI guide: Patriots v Falcons - Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell's lowdown

Vince Lombardi Trophy
Will it be the players of the New England Patriots or Atlanta Falcons who will be holding this trophy aloft on Sunday?
Super Bowl LI: New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons
Venue: NRG Stadium, Houston Date: Sunday, 5 February Time: 23:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website and mobile app.

The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will battle it out this Sunday for the NFL Vince Lombardi trophy in a game televised in 170 countries around the world.

Lady Gaga is to headline the half-time show, which more than 116 million Americans tuned in to watch last year, with a 30-second US television advertising slot to cost at least £4m ($5m).

But what about the game itself? Why should we watch it? Who are the players to look out for? Who is going to win?

More importantly - how are you going to stay awake beyond the 23:30 GMT kick-off?

BBC NFL pundits Osi Umenyiora - a two-time Super Bowl winner himself - and former Houston cornerback Jason Bell joined BBC Sport to answer all of the big questions about Sunday night's showpiece.

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Super Bowl LI: Jason Bell's three things to look out for

Why should we stay up for the Super Bowl?

Jason: First of all, you are watching the two best teams in their sport play against each other so that's always exciting. It's also about the culture of football, it's an event and it's more than just a game - from the half-time show, all the pre-game stuff, the build-up. It's just excitement - it really is entertaining.

I know how important tea is so have your tea allocation ready. It's also a good thing to watch with a friend. Have some nice food and drinks - just make it an event.

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'Flea flicker' helps Patriots to Super Bowl

Who will you be cheering for?

Osi (who played for Atlanta for two seasons): 100% Atlanta - even if I hadn't played for the Falcons, I'd be cheering for Atlanta because I lived in the city since I was 17. I've been in that environment and know how they feel about the team and it's just something I'd want to see happen for them.

Can Atlanta win though?

Osi: Absolutely, they can. I know that Bill Belichick [head coach of the Patriots] is an outstanding coach who is going to come up with a gameplan to curtail the Atlanta Falcons offence - but they've proved almost impossible to stop in this entire year.

Jason: I'm going to agree with Osi - I'm cheering for Atlanta to win but if I look at the game and I break it down by the numbers and who is better, I think New England could pull it out and win.

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Jones scores spectacular 73-yard touchdown

Which players should we look out for?

Osi: With New England, you want to start with Tom Brady. That's where it all begins - he's been an outstanding quarterback. There's wide receiver Julian Edelman - but also look out for Martellus Bennett, the tight end, as I think he might have a good game.

For Atlanta, there's the running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman - those guys are going to be outstanding in this game. Then there's quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones. On the defence side of the ball, you want to look out for linebacker Vic Beasley and also defensive end Dwight Freeney, who could also have a major impact on this game.

The Most Valuable Player is going to be a quarterback - it usually goes down to that position.

Jason: To really impress your friends, look out for Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan - he has been doing some of the plays that injured tight end Rob Gronkowski used to do. Some of the routes that Gronkowski used to get open at and create match-up problems for opposing teams, he's now doing. That's something that we just discovered recently watching films.

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Ten great plays from Patriots star Tom Brady
Super Bowl LI in Numbers
170 countries set to tune in across the world.
A 30-second TV advert with broadcaster Fox set to cost a reported $5m (£4m).
Americans are estimated to drink 325 million gallons of beer and eat 11.2m pounds of crisps and 1.3 billion chicken wings (which equates to four per American) - during the event.
Celebrity Atlanta fans include Samuel L Jackson, Justin Bieber, Usher, boxing champion Evander Holyfield and Kenan Thompson of Kenan and Kel fame.
Celebrity Patriots fans include Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Affleck, Captain America star Chris Evans and Sir Elton John.
Lady Gaga is set to headline the half-time show. In 2016, 162,000 tweets were reportedly sent in the 60 seconds after the half-time show. Facebook said 60 million people posted 200 million times about the last Super Bowl.

Are you ready for half-time with Lady Gaga?

Osi: I can't wait - I'm such a big fan of Lady Gaga. I can't wait to hear her sing all of her songs. I hope that she doesn't do any of her new stuff - I don't really like it, I like her old songs. I like Just Dance, Paparazzi, Poker Face - that's what I want to hear.

What's it like playing in a Super Bowl?

Osi Umenyiora
Osi Umenyiora (left) and Devin Thomas (right) lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI in 2005

Osi (who won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants): You can't prepare for something of that magnitude. I think what you try as much as possible is to keep all of the emotion out of you and just wait for the game to be over. If you allow yourself to think exactly about what is going on, you won't be able to go out there and perform.

You have to go out there and think that this is just a regular game and you can enjoy all of the emotions afterwards. The coaches do a really good job of keeping things as close to normal as they would be if you were playing just a regular season or play-off game.

What's it like playing in that stadium?

Jason (who played for the Houston Texans): I have great memories there and this venue was kind of the beginning of the state-of-the-art stadium. It has a retractable roof, which was something new when it was introduced, and all the facilities are great and it's in a great location.

It doesn't have a bad seat in the house so everybody attending will feel like they are right there. It's loud, exciting and really amazing - I'm excited to get back there.

Houston Texans' NRG Stadium
The NRG Stadium in Houston holds a capacity crowd of 71,795

Can you see this game ever happening in London?

Osi: In 40 or 50 years, maybe. The problem is it's such an American institution. Soccer is now getting bigger in America but could you see the FA Cup final being played in the United States?

Even though we want the game to keep growing in the UK, it's so American that we would never want to remove that particular game. You could possibly see the Pro Bowl or you could see play-off games, if there is a franchise, played in the UK. But the Super Bowl itself - it's going to be tough.

If human beings figured out a way to put a man on the moon, they'll find a way to bring a franchise to the UK. The NFL is pumping a lot of money into this and fans love it - there's a huge fan base of 13 million people who are fans of the NFL in the UK. I think that the time is coming.

Jason Bell and Osi Umenyiora
Jason Bell and Osi Umenyiora

Jason Bell and Osi Umenyiora were talking to BBC Sport's Chris Visser.

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