Liverpool fans direct Luis Suarez chant at Patrice Evra on his debut for West Ham

Patrice Evra was also booed by Liverpool fans at Anfield (Picture: Getty)Liverpool supporters were heard booing and chanting Luis Suarez’s name at Patrice Evra as the defender made his West Ham debut at Anfield.

Suarez, now turning out for Barcelona, was charged with racially abusing Evra during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Merseyside back in 2011.

The Uruguayan striker has since claimed that the suspension he received after the incident is a ‘stain’ on his character and insisted that his use of the Spanish word ‘negro’ was misunderstood.

Suarez was handed an eight-match suspension and fined £40,000 and Evra has revealed that the forward never apologised.

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An FA statement at the time said: ‘It is alleged that Suarez used abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Manchester United’s Patrice Evra contrary to FA rules.

‘It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra.’

Patrice Evra made his debut for West Ham on Merseyside (Picture: Getty)

Luis Suarez was charged with racially abusing Patrice Evra (Picture: Getty)Liverpool controversially issued a statement of ‘total support’ for Suarez and players warmed up wearing T-shirts featuring photographs of the striker ahead of their clash with Wigan in 2011.

The Reds were widely slammed for their response to the incident and fans of the club have been criticised for directing a Suarez song at Evra on Saturday afternoon.

Evra, who completed a move to West Ham in the January transfer window, was making his debut for the London outfit.

Here’s how some reacted to Liverpool fans directing the Suarez song at Evra…

The Liverpool fans singing Suarez at Evra. Trying to taunt him by singing the name of the man who racially abused him? Really? #LIVWHU
— Kenneth Uyabeme (@reallyone) February 24, 2018

Lfc fans chanting suarez to evra is embarrassing for the club!
— Liam Stones (@stonesliam1) February 24, 2018

Actually embarrassed our fans are chanting the Suarez song to Evra. Disgraceful!
— Samuel Ball (@Leumas_7_) February 24, 2018

Those Liverpool fans that are making Suarez chants towards Evra, are a bunch of embarrassing supporters. Honestly.
— Timmy Robson (@WaveyTimz277) February 24, 2018

Liverpool fans chanting Luis Suarez at Evra is effectively racist. Will the FA do anything? Of course they won’t.
Disgusting that in 2018 such thinly veiled racism is still prevalent in football grounds
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) February 24, 2018

I’m hearing reports that Patrice Evra is being booed at Anfield, with fans chanting for Suarez? Can anyone confirm for me? Would be very disappointed to hear this. #LIVWHU #PremierLeague
— Clive Gritt MBE (@TheCliveGritt) February 24, 2018

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Michael Owen’s predictions, including Manchester United v Chelsea and Carabao Cup final

The visit of Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday and the Carabao Cup Final between Arsenal and Manchester City later in the day are the highlights of another wonderful weekend of action.

Brand Ambassador Michael Owen again shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor.

Leicester City v Stoke City

Leicester City have only lost one of their eight Premier League home games under Claude Puel and I expect them to improve on that record against a Stoke City side who begin the weekend just one place off the foot of the table.

Stoke have gone eight away games in the Premier League without a win although they did play well in the first half at the Vitality Stadium in their last away game. Jamie Vardy has scored in three of his five Premier League games against the Potters including in the last two at the King Power Stadium.

Prediction: Leicester City 2-1 Stoke City

Bournemouth v Newcastle United

Eddie Howe’s side host Newcastle at Dean Court (Picture: Getty)Bournemouth have won their last three Premier League home games, but I feel they may have to settle for a point against a Newcastle side who defended well and took their opportunity in a terrific win against Manchester United last time.

The Cherries will make club history – a fourth successive home win in the Premier League – if they beat United but I feel the Magpies will take a point back home from the south coast.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Newcastle United

Brighton v Swansea City

Glenn Murray is one of Brighton’s key players for the remainder of the campaign (Picture: Getty)Swansea have won 14 points in seven games since Carlos Carvalhal took charge at the Liberty Stadium and if there is to be a winner at the Amex I feel the Swans might take all three points.

Only three Englishmen (Kane, Sterling and Rooney) have scored more Premier League goals than Brighton’s Glenn Murray (8) has so far this season and the striker has found the back of the net with three of his last four shots.

His goals between now and the end of the season will play a crucial part in the Seagulls’ fight to maintain their Premier League status.

Prediction: Brighton 1-2 Swansea City

Burnley v Southampton

Mauricio Pellegrino is under pressure at Southampton (Picture: Getty)Turf Moor averages just over two goals per game in the history of the Premier League and I expect to see another tight, close affair at the weekend.

If we are to see a goal that might be enough to split the teams and it is worth noting that the Clarets have only picked up five points from the last thirty on offer.

Prediction: Burnley 0-0 Southampton

Liverpool v West Ham

Mohamed Salah will be bursting with confidence ahead of the clash with West Ham (Picture: Getty)West Ham went 45 games without a win at Liverpool before August 2015 but they are unbeaten in their last three ahead of the Hammers’ visit to Anfield.

That said the Reds have scored four in their last two Premier League games against the Irons and it should be noted that West Ham boss David Moyes is without a win in 14 previous visits to Anfield as a manager with Everton, Manchester United and Sunderland. I cannot see past a home win.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 West Ham

West Brom v Huddersfield

Alan Pardew’s side have lost their last four matches in all competitions (Picture: Getty)A must win game for bottom-of-the-table West Brom who go into the weekend five points adrift of Stoke who are one place in front of the Albion.

The Baggies have had their share of Great Escapes in the past and they will never give up, but I think they need to gain all three points to have a realistic chance of survival and I feel they will.

The atmosphere is likely to be a very tense and an early goal might calm the nerves for the locals at the Hawthorns.

Prediction: West Brom 1-0 Huddersfield

Watford v Everton

Everton’s squad have been training in Dubai (Picture: Getty)There were five goals and a missed penalty in the reverse fixture at Goodison back in November and I think both sides will find the back of the net at Vicarage Road.

The Blues have shipped at least four in their last two away league games and you have to go back to February 1961 for the last time Everton conceded four or more goals in three successive away league games. I would suggest Sam Allardyce has been working on the Blues’ defensive shape and system in Dubai where the players enjoyed some warm-weather training last week.

Prediction: Watford 1-1 Everton

Manchester United v Chelsea

Willian has scored three goals in two matches for the Blues (Picture: Getty)Chelsea will be looking to do the double over Manchester United for the fourth time in Premier League history at Old Trafford, but they were beaten 4-1 at Watford in their last away league game and they remain vulnerable at present despite the brilliance of Eden Hazard and Willian.

I do not expect to see many goals in what promises to be a tight tense affair – on and off the pitch.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

Crystal Palace v Tottenham

Can Crystal Palace stop Harry Kane scoring at Selhurst Park? (Picture: Getty)Crystal Palace have lost their last five Premier League games against Spurs and Harry Kane has scored twice and had one assist in his three Premier League appearances at Selhurst Park. Eagles’ boss Roy Hodgson needs to find a way to keep the England striker quiet but that is easier said than done.

Spurs have picked up more league points than any other side so far in 2018 (15) and are the only side unbeaten in the Premier League so far this year. Palace have only kept one clean sheet in their last 27 London derbies and Spurs are likely to be too classy for the hosts on Sunday.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Tottenham

League Cup Final

Arsenal v Manchester City

Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola come face-to-face at Wembley (Picture: Getty)The first time these clubs have met in a major final although Arsenal have beaten City on the two previous occasions they have met at Wembley in the 2014 Community Shield and last season’s FA Cup semi-final.

Pep Guardiola has only lost one of his six previous major finals and I think City can bounce back after their shock reverse to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup earlier in the week.

I expect to see chances at both ends but it is City to land their first but not last piece of silverware this season.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-3 Manchester City

Michael’s weekend wager: Leicester West Brom and Liverpool at 7/2

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

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Ex-Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann slams ’embarrassing’ Manchester United and ‘anti-football’ Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has been slammed by ex-Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann. (Getty Images)Ex-Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has slammed Manchester United’s ’embarrassing’ display against Sevilla and has described the performance as ‘anti-football’.

Jose Mourinho’s side played out a goalless draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in Spain on Wednesday evening.

United were reliant on another brilliant performance by David De Gea, whose sublime reflex save to deny Luis Muriel shortly before half-time kept the score level.

Mourinho’s attack, meanwhile, struggled to trouble Sevilla and Scott McTominay registered the only shot on target for United during the match.

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David De Gea pulled off a sublime save to deny Luis Muriel (Reuters)‘A good Sevilla performance,’ Hamann told RTE.

‘De Gea came to the rescue a few times, from Manchester United’s point of view, it was dreadful, it was anti-football in a way.

‘For a club the size of United, for the money they’ve spent in recent years, I thought it was an embarrassing performance.’

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Arsenal and Liverpool target Stefan de Vrij wants Manchester United transfer move

Stefan de Vrij wants to join Manchester United (Picture: Getty)Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij is reportedly keen to join Manchester United in the summer transfer window.

De Vrij has made 252 appearances for Lazio since arriving at the club back in 2014 but the 26-year-old Netherlands international is out of contract at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

The Serie A outfit have confirmed that De Vrij will move on in the summer and it’s understood the Premier League’s giants are ready to battle it out for his signature.

Liverpool had an offer rejected last summer and remain interested, while Arsenal are also understood to be weighing up a bid to sign the centre-back.

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However, according to The Daily Mirror, United are in pole position to land the highly-rated De Vrij.

It’s claimed De Vrij, who admits he is looking for a new challenge, is keen on working under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

‘It has been a very difficult period full of speculations on my future to come to this point that nobody desired,’ he posted on Facebook on Tuesday.

‘Unfortunately we were not able to find a satisfying agreement for both parties due to various reasons.

‘I understand the disappointment of the Lazio fans very good and it hurts me leaving in this way.

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‘Even though I am very happy and I feel at home here, sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone to achieve our desired goals.

‘I will be forever grateful to Lazio and to the fans for always being there for me, for the trust and opportunities given.

‘I have always tried to demonstrate that by giving the best of me and I will keep doing that until the end.’

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Manchester United and Liverpool handed major boost in pursuit of Stefan de Vrij

Manchester United and Liverpool are interested in signing Stefan de Vrij (Picture: Getty)Lazio have cleared the path for either Manchester United or Liverpool to sign Stefan de Vrij in the summer transfer window.

De Vrij has made 252 appearances for Lazio since joining the Serie A outfit back in 2014 but the 26-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to England in recent months.

Both United and Liverpool have been closely monitoring De Vrij’s contract situation and the Premier League giants have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of the defender.

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De Vrij’s current deal expires at the end of 2017/18 campaign and Lazio have confirmed that the highly-rated centre-back will become a free agent.

The Dutchman was in talks over a new deal at Lazio but the club’s sporting director, Igli Tare, revealed that these negotiations have ended.

Igli Tare confirmed that Stefan de Vrij will leave Lazio in the summer (Picture: Getty)

Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp are battling to sign the Dutchman (Picture: Getty)‘It’s a decision made after many months,’ Tare said.

‘There’s a limit to everything.

‘We will say goodbye at the end of the season.’

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It’s understood United made enquiries over signing De Vrij in January, while Liverpool reportedly had a £30million bid rejected for the Netherlands star last summer.

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Chelsea preparing to use Michy Batshuayi to sign Manchester United and Liverpool target Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund

Christian Pulisic has become a key player for Borussia Dortmund and USA (Picture: Getty)Chelsea are considering using Michy Batshuayi to beat Manchester United and Liverpool to Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic, according to reports.

Since leaving America in 2016 to sign for Dortmund, Pulisic has become a big player in the Bundesliga, attracting attention from a number of clubs from across Europe.

The United States international has been linked with Premier League giants Manchester United and Liverpool but reigning champions Chelsea have also emerged as potential suitors.

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The Daily Mail say Chelsea have monitored his progress closely over the past year and are keen to bring him to Stamford Bridge before the World Cup starts in the summer.

Dortmund are reluctant to lose Pulisic, 19, but could be tempted to strike an agreement with Chelsea if Batshuayi is incorporated into the deal.

Michy Batshuayi is enjoying a fine run for Dortmund (Picture: Getty)

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Belgian striker Batshuayi joined Dortmund on loan last month and has impressed for the German club, scoring five goals in three games, including braces against Cologne and Atalanta.

It is claimed Dortmund are already plotting a permanent move for the 24-year-old and their desire to secure his signature could give Chelsea an opportunity to sign Pulisic.

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The Blues refused to sell Batshuayi in January but Antonio Conte has shown little faith in the player since he arrived in west London from Marseille.

He failed to become a regular for the Italian boss last season, with Diego Costa impressing as the club’s first-choice striker, but scored the goal that clinched the Premier League title in May.

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Manchester United players dominate most popular shirt sales in 2018, with Alexis Sanchez top

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hardly played this season (Getty)Manchester United players have dominated the most popular football shirts sold in 2018, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic a surprise inclusion in the top 10.

Data from SportsDirect.com reveals the top 20 names sold on the back of football shirts since 1 January.

It is perhaps unsurprising that Alexis Sanchez, who made a high profile switch from Arsenal to Old Trafford, tops the list. Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward recently revealed that the excitement around the Chilean’s arrival helped the club set a new record for shirt sales in January – three times the previous best.

Sanchez’s team-mate Paul Pogba ranks second on the list, despite him enduring a difficult start to 2018.

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Alexis Sanchez has proved popular in terms of shirt sales (Getty)Ibrahimovic is the only other Manchester United player in the top 10, with the Swede’s inclusion something of a surprise. The 36-year-old has managed to play just seven games this season due to injury. There have also been reports that he could soon be leaving for LA Galaxy.

The figures, which represent online sales through Sports Direct’s UK website, show Barcelona shirts featuring Philippe Coutinho on the back have proved popular.

Philippe Coutinho moved to Barcelona in January (EPA)Also in the top 10 is Mesut Ozil, who recently extended his contract with Arsenal.

Top 20 names sold on the back of football shirts since 1 January 2018

Alexis Sanchez – Manchester United
Paul Pogba – Manchester United
Harry Kane – Tottenham
Mohamed Salah – Liverpool
Eden Hazard – Chelsea
Philippe Coutinho – Barcelona
Kevin de Bruyne – Man City
Mesut Ozil – Arsenal
Roberto Firmino – Liverpool
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Manchester United
Alexandre Lacazette – Arsenal
Sergio Aguero – Man City
Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United
David De Gea – Manchester United
Heung-min Son – Tottenham
Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool
Dele Alli – Tottenham
Marcus Rashford – Manchester United
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Arsenal
Christian Eriksen – Tottenham

Data provided by Sports Direct, ‘the home of football’. Shop now at SportsDirect.com

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Liverpool fans love Virgil van Dijk’s reaction to hearing Manchester United’s defeat to Newcastle

Virgil van Dijk couldn’t hide his delight after hearing Manchester United’s defeat. (LFCTV)Virgil van Dijk couldn’t hide his delight after hearing about Manchester United‘s defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho‘s side were beaten 1-0 at St James’ Park, which gave Liverpool the opportunity to close the gap on second place.

And Jurgen Klopp’s side seized their chance as goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah sealed a 2-0 win over Southampton.

The victory means Liverpool are now only two points behind United, and Klopp’s side could potentially overtake their rivals with a win at Old Trafford next month.

Van Dijk, however, had not known United’s latest setback before he faced his former club in Sunday’s final Premier League fixture.

And when told about the result after Liverpool’s win, the Dutch centre-back looked pretty pleased.

VAN DIJK’S INTERVIEW

Interviewer: Were you aware of Manchester United’s result, did that put any added pressure on getting three points today?

Van Dijk: What did they do?

Interviewer: They got beat.

Van Dijk: Did they? Oh… unlucky. I didn’t know, it’s good for us, obviously.

Van Dijk’s interview clearly went down with Liverpool fans, who couldn’t get enough of the defender’s reaction to United’s loss at St James’ Park.

Just seen VVD reaction when he found out united lost. Absolutely epic, I love him just for that 😂👌— liana busby (@libuzbusby) February 11, 2018

@AnfieldEdition @adamgottalent The spirit of Lucas lives on!— VorsprungdurchJürgen (@happydobbin44) February 11, 2018

Vvd unlucky > lucas unlucky

#LFC— My Surname is Khan™ (@ejaz_k) February 12, 2018

VVD being smug is my fave thing, the smirks when he was booed today, laughing when he turned into a left winger for… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…— n (@heytaarnold) February 11, 2018

Vvd unlucky scum lost 😆😆😆— mighty kopites 1892 (@AFGHAN1972) February 11, 2018

That video of Van Dijk when he finds out Man U lost is the best thing ever 😂😂😂😂😂 “unluckaaaay”— Rebecca (@rebecca_Jxx) February 12, 2018

@AnfieldEdition HAHAHAHA— TMS” 🇪🇬 (@TikkaMohSalah) February 11, 2018

@AnfieldEdition Laddddd— 🔴🇫🇮 (@PaceManMane) February 11, 2018

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Chelsea and Arsenal most likely to miss out on the top four, predicts Phil Neville

Arsenal were beaten 1-0 by Tottenham on Saturday (Getty)Phil Neville has predicted Arsenal and Chelsea will be the sides most likely to miss out on a place in the top four following the latest round of action.

Defeats for Arsenal and Manchester United and impressive wins for Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham have shaken up the top six over the weekend.

Man City beat Leicester 5-1 and coupled with a shock defeat at Newcastle for Manchester United, Pep Guardiola’s side look more certain to win the title than ever.

‘Obviously first position 16 points clear is Man City – the league’s done,’ Neville told Match of the Day’s Facebook page.

‘It shows the gulf in class between Man City and the rest of the league.’

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Sergio Aguero scored four at the weekend (Reuters)Neville then went on to place Manchester United second, Liverpool third and Tottenham as his favoured choice for the final Champions League qualification place ahead of reigning champions Chelsea.

‘Because of Manchester United’s defeat today, Liverpool’s good form and Tottenham’s good form the second to fifth positions have been really condensed. It’s really tight. One point between United and Liverpool now. It’s a difficult one to call.

‘Arsenal [who were beaten 1-0 by Spurs on Saturday] are out of it for me.

‘Chelsea in fifth, they’ve got a big game against West Brom on Monday.

Antonio Conte’s side take on West Brom on Monday (Getty)‘I’ve said all season United will finish in the top four and finish second and I’m not going to change my mind now.

‘I think Liverpool are going to be the next best team in third position and then it’s between Tottenham and Chelsea.

‘It’s whether Chelsea can get their ship in order I suppose as we know Tottenham have got quality, they’re a settled team, they’ve got a good system, a great manager.

‘It looks at this moment in time that Chelsea are the team that are going to have to fight hardest to finish in that top four.’

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Chelsea, currently fifth, take on West Brom on Monday evening when they will have the chance to move a point above fourth-place Spurs.

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Liverpool ahead of Manchester United in race to sign Deportivo La Coruna winger Pinchi

Pinchi is wanted by Manchester United and Liverpool. (Getty Images)Liverpool are leading Manchester United in the race to sign Deportivo La Coruna winger Pinchi, according to reports.

The 22-year-old made his La Liga debut last season but has made only one substitute appearance in the Copa del Rey this term.

Pinchi, whose full name is Oscar Garcia, is a regular for Deportivo’s B team and has scored six goals in 22 appearances this season.

The Sun claims that Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham have all expressed an interest in signing the winger, but it’s Klopp’s side who are ahead in the race as it stands.

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Jurgen Klopp is reportedly leading the race to sign Pinchi. (AP Photo)Pinchi’s contract with Deportivo expires this summer, which means he could leave for a small compensation fee.

The report also claims that Pinchi is being monitored by several Premier League scouts and has impressed representatives from United.

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