Jurgen Klopp upset with Ragnar Klavan after Liverpool draw with West Brom

Jurgen Klopp looked annoyed with Ragnar Klavan after Liverpool’s draw with West Brom. (Sky Sports)Jurgen Klopp appeared to be upset with Ragnar Klavan in the immediate aftermath of Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with West Brom on Saturday.

Liverpool looked on course for victory at The Hawthorns after goals from Danny Ings and Mohamed Salah in each half.

But West Brom, who are bottom of the table, battled back to rescue a point following late goals from Jake Livermore and Salomon Rondon.

The result leaves Liverpool third in the table and Tottenham, who have played a game less, could now pull level on points.

After the draw against West Brom, Klopp walked on the pitch and made a beeline for Klavan.

Klopp approached Klavan on the pitch after the final whistle. (Sky Sports)More: Football

And the Liverpool manager looked annoyed as he had a lengthy discussion with his central defender.

But despite singling out Klavan after the final whistle, Klopp claims Liverpool defended well and believes West Brom targeted goalkeeper Loris Karius at set-pieces.

‘We controlled it pretty well, their only opportunity was with set pieces, the rest we defended really well,’ Klopp told Sky Sports.

‘The whole game was a plot on the goalkeeper, everyone loves it in this country, but it makes life difficult for the goalie.’

More: Liverpool FC

Mohamed Salah equals Shearer, Ronaldo & Suarez’s Premier League goal record

The Egyptian’s stellar season in front of goal continued away to West Brom (Picture: Getty)Mohamed Salah has equalled the Premier League record for most goals in a single Premier League campaign thanks to his 72nd-minute goal against West Brom on Saturday.

The Egyptian has been in incredible form this season, scoring 41 goals in all competitions, and has now notched his 31st goal of the Premier League campaign to tie the record for a 38-game season.

Alan Shearer (1995-96), Luis Suarez (2013-14) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08) all shared the record and now Salah has joined them – though they may not be tied for much longer.

Salah is the only player to win three Player of the Month awards in a single season (Getty)Salah is not only targeting one final goal to claim the record outright, but he also wants to break the record for a 42-game season.

Shearer (1994-95) and Andy Cole (1993-94) both netted an astonishing 34 times with Blackburn and Newcastle respectively.

More: Football

Salah has the remainder of Saturday’s clash against West Brom to try and get near that tally, as well as three final league games against Stoke City, Chelsea and Brighton.

Salah has scored, on average, a goal every 86 minutes in the Premier League this season, as well as registering nine assists.

Premier League top scorers 2017-18

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 31 goalsHarry Kane (Tottenham) – 26 goalsSergio Aguero (Manchester City) – 21 goalsJamie Vardy (Leicester) – 17 goalsRaheem Sterling (Manchester City) – 17 goals

Speaking about his pursuit of both this season’s golden boot and the all-time scoring record, Salah told Sky Sports: ‘Honestly as you can see, I have had a great season and still some games to go.

‘For anyone the most important thing is to play good, to perform good, to score goals for your team. I am happy in the city, for the club and for myself for sure. It means a lot.’

More: Liverpool FC

Why Roberto Firmino is benched for Liverpool’s clash with West Brom

Roberto Firmino is on the bench for Liverpool’s clash with West Brom. (Getty Images)Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Roberto Firmino is being rested for Liverpool’s clash with West Brom.

The Brazilian has been a key part of Liverpool’s attack this season but has been replaced by Danny Ings for Saturday’s fixture at The Hawthorns.

Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also drop to the bench following the 3-0 win at home to Bournemouth last Saturday.

Asked if his team selection was influenced by the fact that Liverpool face Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday, Klopp said: ‘Not really but the intensity of the last few weeks and the players we have available.

More: Football

‘We have now Alberto [Moreno], we have Ragnar [Klavan], we have [Danny] Ings, and that already help us a lot of course

‘That’s what we did during the season when we could do it, we changed the team from time to time

‘We rotated a little bit and brought in really fresh legs, okay we had a normal week, but still at the beginning of the week one or two players had a few issues.

‘That was pretty early in the week that I wanted to choose that line-up.’

More: Liverpool FC

Jurgen Klopp rotates Liverpool side for West Brom clash with Roberto Firmino rested

The Brazilian is on the bench with Tuesday’s tie against Roma in mind (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has once again rung the changes for Liverpool’s Premier League clash against West Brom, with Roberto Firmino notably among the players rested.

The Merseysiders have a Champions League semi-final against Roma to prepare for on Tuesday, and Klopp has named a strong line-up while also shuffling his pack.

With Firmino only on the bench, Danny Ings is picked to lead the line though there is still significant firepower either side of him in the form of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

There’s one change in midfield, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain given a rest, while the defence has been heavily changed.

Joe Gomez returns from injury to start at right-back, Alberto Moreno replaces Andrew Robertson on the opposite flank and Ragnar Klavan partners Virgil van Dijk in the centre of defence.

West Brom, meanwhile, have named an unchanged XI from the side that stunned Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Jay Rodriguez, scorer of the winning goal last Sunday, continues up front alongside Solomon Rondon as the Baggies continue their increasingly doomed fight for Premier League survival.

More: Liverpool FC

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal

It has not been the best of weeks for top-of-the-table Manchester City and things might get even worse for the Champions-elect this weekend given they meet a Tottenham side who are looking to cement their Champions League spot for next season.

Ahead of that match, and the rest of the weekend’s Premier League action, BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen makes his predictions…

Southampton v Chelsea

The opening goal is normally very important in any game but perhaps less so at St Mary’s this weekend, given both sides failed to hang on to a lead last time out. Indeed, Southampton have now failed to win any of the last six Premier League games in which they have opened the scoring!

Southampton lost to Arsenal last weekend despite having been in the lead (Getty)The Saints badly need the points as they look to maintain their Premier League status and if there is to be a winner at St Mary’s I feel it will be the hosts, despite them having lost their last four league games against Chelsea.

Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Chelsea

Burnley v Leicester City

Burnley manager Sean Dyche (Getty)Burnley are looking to win five consecutive top-flight games for the first time since November 1968 and Sean Dyche must be a leading candidate for LMA Manager of the Year irrespective of the outstanding claims of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

Only Mo Salah (21) has scored in more Premier League games than Jamie Vardy (15) so far this season and I fancy the Foxes will pick up a hard-earned point at Turf Moor.

Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Leicester City

Crystal Palace v Brighton

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha (Getty)Palace have not had much luck at Selhurst Park in recent months but that might change this weekend in their ‘derby’ clash with Brighton.

Brighton have failed to score in five of their last seven away Premier League games and I think they will struggle to cope with the pace and flair of Wilfried Zaha. You would have got big odds at the start of the season had you backed Luka Milovejic (10) to be top Premier League scorer for the Eagles this term and it is about time that Christian Benteke stepped up to the plate for Roy Hodgson’s side.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Brighton

More: Football

Huddersfield v Watford

There have been 32 goals in the last seven league games between the sides and I expect to see another entertaining clash in West Yorkshire.

The Hornets have only picked up one point from their last nine Premier League away games and coach Javi Gracia is yet to see his side score a goal away from Vicarage Road in four previous games. A hard game to call but I would be surprised if we did not see goals at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Prediction: Huddersfield 1-2 Watford

Swansea v Everton

Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal (Getty)I was disappointed with Everton, despite them picking up a point, against Liverpool in last weekend’s Merseyside Derby. They were second best for much of the game before suddenly waking up in the last fifteen minutes due to the fact that the Reds were there for the taking.

It might be a long time before they a have a similar opportunity to break their Derby hoodoo such is the respective strength of the two clubs at present.

Carlos Carvalhal has won seven of his nine home matches since taking over at the Liberty Stadium and both defeats have come at the hands of Spurs. I think the Swans might edge a low-scoring contest.

Prediction: Swansea 1-0 Everton

Liverpool v Bournemouth

Mohamed Salah will be looking to crack the 30 goal mark (Getty)Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 18 home Premier League games and when they take the field at Anfield on Saturday evening against Bournemouth we will just know the winner of the 2018 Grand National – which starts fifteen minute earlier. But more importantly we’ll also know who the Reds will meet in the semi-final of the Champions League.

The Cherries have only won at Stamford Bridge against the ‘Big Six’ sides on the road in the history of the Premier League and I cannot see past another home win for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Mo Salah has scored in 21 Premier League games so far this season and is one goal from becoming just the eighth player in the history of the competition to score 30 league goals in a season. Seventeen of those goals have come at Anfield but his midweek goal at the Etihad again showed just what a great player he is.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth

Tottenham v Manchester City

It’s been a poor week for Pep Guardiola (Metro.co.uk)Manchester City have played two great halves of football against United and Liverpool this week, but they were not able to sustain that brilliance over 90 minutes and it has to go down as a disappointing week for the club.

That should not detract, however, from a magnificent season for the team and they will be fitting champions – even if the champagne is currently on ice.

Spurs have won their last two home league games against City and the visitors would not be human if they did not feel a little sorry for themselves.

As an England supporter, I am concerned that England’s first-choice defender John Stones did not even make the bench for either of the games this week and Gareth Southgate must be a little worried about his lack of regular playing time.

These two sides can only play one way and that is to attack, but I feel the hosts will keep the points in the capital.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Manchester City

Newcastle v Arsenal

Can Rafa Benitez mastermind a win over Arsenal? (Reuters)Newcastle will be well aware that they have lost their last 10 Premier League games against the Gunners but I think they will buck that trend at St James’s Park on Sunday.

United have won their last three league games while the Gunners have actually lost their last four Premier League games on the road. Yes – they have not played an away league game since their 2-1 defeat at Brighton at the beginning of March!

Arsenal have only won thirteen of their 54 points so far this season on their travels and if there is to be a winner on Sunday, I expect United will edge it.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal

Manchester United v West Brom

Manchester United stunned Man City last time out (Getty)Manchester United have kept a league-high 16 clean sheets in the league so far this season and with a trip to Bournemouth to come on Wednesday I expect to see a no-frills success from Jose Mourinho’s side whose confidence must be sky-high after their Etihad derby win.

The Baggies have not won in their last 15 away league games while United have won their last five league games. This looks a banker home win.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 West Brom

West Ham v Stoke City

David Moyes would love to see his side win the Monday night game (Getty)You have to go back to December 2016 for the last time West Ham gained back-to-back home wins and I feel the Potters might take a vital point in the capital on Monday night.

Stoke are fighting for the Premier League lives but do have a good record at West Ham where they are unbeaten in their last five league visits.

Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Stoke City

More: Manchester United FC

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

MORE: Thibaut Courtois ‘very interested’ in Paris Saint-Germain move but Chelsea have plan to block transfer

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Chelsea v Tottenham

The Premier League returns this weekend following the final international break of the season with the visit of Tottenham to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge the highlight of the fixture list.

BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen shares his thoughts on every top-flight match…

Crystal Palace v Liverpool

You have to go back twenty years for the last time Liverpool did the double over Crystal Palace in the Premier League but I will be surprised if the Eagles prevent the Reds from taking the points at Selhurst Park in the early kick-off on Saturday.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool (Getty)Mohammed Salah has scored in 20 of his 30 Premier League games so far this season and he is only one away from the record set by Robin van Persie (2012-13) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08). That statistic shows vividly what a tremendous impact he has had on the Premier League in just his first season.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-3 Liverpool

Brighton v Leicester City

Jamie Vardy scored for England against Italy during the international break (Getty)Brighton have won their last three home league games at the Amex but I feel they may have to settle for a point against a Leicester side who put four past West Brom in their last away game.

Twenty of Leicester’s thirty Premier League games so far this season have seen both sides find the back of the net – more than any other side in the division – and I think we will see goals again at the weekend.

Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Leicester City

More: Football

Manchester United v Swansea

Romelu Lukaku is one goal away from joining the 100 club (Getty)Manchester United have already beaten Swansea twice so far this season and I think they will land the treble at Old Trafford.

Romelu Lukaku has 99 Premier League goals to his name and I feel he will join the 100 club against a Swans side who have won their last two league games against ‘big six sides’ albeit both at the Liberty Stadium.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Swansea

Newcastle v Huddersfield

Dwight Gayle is Newcastle’s top scorer (Getty)Huddersfield have failed to score in their last three Premier League games and I feel they will struggle against a Newcastle side who have won their last two home Premier League outings.

Dwight Gayle is the Magpie’s top Premier League scorer with five so far this season, which highlights the fact that United have struggled for goals this term, but they put three past Southampton in their last game and I expect the hosts to keep the points in a low-scoring contest.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-0 Huddersfield

Watford v Bournemouth

Watford manager Javi Gracia (Getty)Watford have only lost one of their last 16 home games against Bournemouth and the Hornets will be keen to put behind them their five-goal defeat at Anfield last time out. The hosts have a perfect three from three home record under Javier Gracia and they have never lost to Bournemouth in five previous Premier League games between the clubs.

Prediction: Watford 2-1 Bournemouth

West Brom v Burnley

Alan Pardew’s side look doomed (Getty)West Brom have lost their last seven league games but I feel they can take a point at the Hawthorns against a Burnley side who have only conceded 14 times on the road so far this season. To put that into context only leaders Manchester City (10) have shipped fewer.

The Baggies have fond memories of Burnley, however, winning nine of their last 10 home league games against the Clarets. Albion are ten points from safety and look sure to be playing Championship football next term, but they will not lack for commitment and I feel they might take a point.

Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Burnley

West Ham v Southampton

West Ham will be fearful of a repeat of the ugly scenes that marred their last home fixture (Getty)This is a massive game near the foot of the Premier League table and Mark Hughes will have been delighted by the Saints’ win at Wigan in the FA Cup a fortnight ago.

It is well-documented that West Ham have their problems on and off the pitch having lost their last three league games by a three-goal margin. It looks sure to be a tight, tense affair and if there is to be a winner, I feel the Saints might take the points.

Prediction: West Ham 0-1 Southampton

Everton v Manchester City

Man City boss Pep Guardiola (Getty)Everton won the corresponding fixture 4-0 last season and Manchester City have not actually beaten the Blues in their last four Premier League games, having picked up a point at the Etihad earlier in the season.

Pep Guardiola has never beaten Everton in three previous attempts as a manager but feel he will buck that trend at Goodison as City play the first of two very big games on Merseyside over the next week.

Prediction: Everton 1-3 Manchester City

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

Arsenal v Stoke City

Arsene Wenger’s side will be seeking back-to-back league wins for the first time since November (Getty)Arsenal have won their last 15 home games against Stoke in all competitions and it is hard to see past another home win at the Emirates on Sunday.

The Gunners have won their last 24 home league games against sides who started the day in the bottom three but if they beat the Potters at the weekend, it will be the first time they have won back-to-back in the league since November, which highlights their inconsistency this term.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Stoke City

Chelsea v Tottenham

Chelsea have an incredible record over Spurs at Stamford Bridhe (Getty)Chelsea have not lost at home to Spurs in the league since February 1990 – a run of 27 games. Indeed, Spurs have never won at Stamford Bridge in the history of the Premier League – an unwanted record of 25 games and counting.

Sunday’s clash promises to be a quality, full-blooded encounter and I expect to see goals. Spurs have taken the lead but failed to hang on in their last two league games at the Bridge losing 2-1 last term and, famously, surrendering a 2-0 lead back in May 2016 – a result that went down particularly well in Leicester.

Both sides came through difficult FA Cup quarter-final away ties before the international break and this could be a dress rehearsal of the FA Cup final in May, although Manchester United and Southampton will have much to say in the semi-finals.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham

More: Manchester United FC

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

MORE: Nine unmissable fixtures still to come during the 2017/18 season

Michael Owen’s Premier League and FA Cup predictions

After a winning Champions League midweek treble, it is back to domestic action and BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen again shares his thoughts on how he thinks things will unfold this weekend.

On the agenda are the FA Cup quarter-finals and four Premier League clashes.

FA Cup

Swansea City v Tottenham – Saturday

Any club side in the world would miss Harry Kane and his goals but Spurs have to show they are not a one-man band at the Liberty Stadium against an improving Swansea side.

Tottenham will look to Son Heung-Min in the absence of Harry Kane (Getty)Spurs are unbeaten in their last 15 games against the Swans in all competitions although the South Wales outfit did pick up a point at Wembley earlier in the season. Son Heung-Min stepped up to the plate in Kane’s absence at the Vitality Stadium last weekend and the South Korean might again be the difference given he has scored nine times in his last 10 FA Cup starts.

Prediction: Swansea City 1-2 Tottenham

Manchester United v Brighton – Saturday

Romelu Lukaku could be the man to lift the gloom around Manchester United (Reuters)I think Manchester United will be stung by their midweek Champions League defeat, and the criticism of their performance against Sevilla, and expect them to bounce back against Brighton.

Romelu Lukaku has scored 11 goals in his last 10 FA Cup appearances and the only tie in that period he failed to score in was against United in the 2016 semi-final for Everton when he missed a penalty for the Blues.

You have to go back to 1986 for the last time Brighton won an away FA Cup match against top-flight opposition and they may have to wait at least another twelve months to buck that trend.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Brighton

Wigan Athletic v Southampton – Sunday

Mark Hughes will take charge of his first game as Southampton manager (Getty)Wigan have already beaten Bournemouth, West Ham and Manchester City en route to the last eight and it will be interesting to see what side new Southampton manager Mark Hughes fields at the DW Stadium given their current position in the Premier League.

There are no replays in the quarter-finals this year and it would be no surprise if the tie went to extra-time or penalties but if there is to be a winner in 90 minutes, I think the 2013 winners might edge out the Premier League side.

Prediction: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Southampton

Leicester City v Chelsea – Sunday

Chelsea will have to bounce back from their defeat to Barcelona (Getty)Chelsea have won twelve of their last 15 games against Leicester but the champions had a tough game at Barcelona midweek and they will have to be at their best against a Foxes side who put four past West Brom last weekend.

Chelsea cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves after they hit the woodwork no less than four times over the two legs against Barca and it is hard not to conclude that Lionel Messi was the sole difference between the sides.

This looks sure to be a close, entertaining affair and I can see opportunities at both ends – but if there is to be a winner in 90 minutes perhaps the hosts can shade it.

Prediction: Leicester City 2-1 Chelsea

More: Football

Premier League (all fixtures on Saturday)

Bournemouth v West Brom

Both of these sides lost 4-1 at home last weekend and West Brom’s defeat at the hands of Leicester was probably their death knell as far as their Premier League status is concerned.

The Cherries played their part in a cracking game against Spurs on Sunday and I would be surprised if they did not get back to winning ways having scored in their last 11 league games.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 West Brom

Huddersfield v Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have lost their last four in a row (Getty)Palace were thrashed by Huddersfield at Selhurst Park on the opening day of the season and the Eagles find themselves back in the bottom three having lost their last four in a row. The hosts start the day four days above the drop zone and a draw would not be the worst result in the world for the Terriers. Palace have only kept five clean sheets so far this season and I expect to see goals at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Prediction: Huddersfield 1-2 Crystal Palace

Stoke City v Everton

Paul Lambert will be targeting maximum points (PA)A massive game for Stoke City who have not won in their last three home games under Paul Lambert. The Potters were no match for City on Monday, but they will have targeted maximum points against Everton – this is a game they simply cannot afford to lose.

Everton have lost their last five Premier League away games and will miss the creativity of the injured Gylfi Sigurdsson, but Cenk Tosun has scored in his last couple of games for the Blues who I feel will take a point.

Prediction: Stoke City 1-1 Everton

Liverpool v Watford

Liverpool will be looking to return to winning ways (Reuters)Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 17 home league games and I expect the Reds to return to winning ways after the disappointment of last weekend’s Old Trafford defeat.

Jurgen Klopp has never lost back-to-back in the Premier League and the Reds put six past the Hornets in the corresponding game last season. The sides shared six goals at Vicarage Road on the opening day of the season and I expect to see goals at Anfield – with Liverpool getting more than their fair share.

Prediction: Liverpool 4-1 Watford

More: Manchester United FC

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

Premier League all-stars: How a North XI v South XI proposed by Romelu Lukaku might look

Romelu Lukaku has suggested a Premier League all-stars clash (Picture: Metro.co.uk)Romelu Lukaku has suggested the Premier League introduce an NBA style all-star game – but what might it actually look like?

Every February in the NBA an exhibition game involving the best talent in basketball is organised and is a major fixture on the calendar.

The proposal put forward by Lukaku is for a North XI v South XI contest.

Here’s an idea for you guys… the nba has all-star game! Don’t you guys think we should organise one in the @premierleague.. The north vs the south! And the fans vote… what do you guys think? @premierleague @FA 😏😉
— R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) February 26, 2018

To start imagining what the two teams would look like, first the 20 Premier League teams would need to be split into those representing the north and those representing the south…

Teams from the north

Man City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Burnley, Leicester, Everton, Huddersfield, Newcastle, Stoke, West Brom

 

Teams from the south

Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal, Watford, Bournemouth, Brighton, West Ham, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Swansea

In the NBA, teams are drafted by two players with the most votes. But wanting to see every team in the Premier League represented, we’re insisting on at least one player from every club.

Based on performances this season and sheer star quality – this is how we imagine the XIs to look…

NORTH XI

The front three of Alexis Sanchez, Jamie Vardy and Mohamed Salah looks lethal, with a ridiculous amount of pace between them.

In midfield there’s enough quality to find the passes, with Kevin de Bruyne the standout player. His Man City team-mate Fernandinho joins him to provide some defensive mindedness to proceedings.

Kevin de Bruyne and Alexis Sanchez are in the XIA defence with Burnley defender Nick Pope commanding them looks a solid bet, with West Brom’s Jonny Evans making the cut despite his recent late night antics.

North team in full…

Man City – Kevin de Bruyne + Fernandinho

Manchester United – Alexis Sanchez

Liverpool – Mohamed Salah

Burnley – Nick Pope

Leicester – Jamie Vardy

Everton – Cuca Martina

Huddersfield – Aaron Mooy

Newcastle – Jamaal Lascelles

Stoke – Xherdan Shaqiri

West Brom – Jonny Evans

SOUTH XI

Harry Kane and Eden Hazard were the two easiest selections for the South XI with the pair consistently tormenting defences over the last few years.

There’s pace and creativity behind them in Richarlison, Wilfried Zaha and Manuel Lanzini while Mesut Ozil will be able to pick out the killer passes.

Harry Kane was the easiest pick (Getty)Marcos Alonso of Chelsea is the standout defender while Lucasz Fabianski goes in goal having impressed for Swansea this season despite their struggles.

North team in full…

Tottenham – Harry Kane

Chelsea – Marcos Alonso + Eden Hazard

Arsenal – Mesut Ozil

Watford – Richarlison

Bournemouth – Nathan Ake

Brighton – Shane Duffy

West Ham – Manuel Lanzini

Southampton – Mario Lemina

Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha

Swansea – Lukasz Fabianski

 

MORE: Ian Wright claims Arsenal players are calling in sick to avoid training

Daniel Sturridge trolled by fans after coming off injured THREE minutes into Chelsea game

Sturridge has an infamous record of being persistently injured (Picture: Getty)Daniel Sturridge hobbled off injured yet again just three minutes after kick-off in West Brom‘s Premier League match against Chelsea on Monday night.

Sturridge, who joined the Baggies on loan from Liverpool in January, looked to have pulled his hamstring as he headed straight down the tunnel.

He was replaced by Jay Rodriguez, who had a glorious chance to put the Baggies ahead just after coming on. However, he couldn’t make the most of Victor Moses’ poor backpass and sent his shot miles wide.

But despite his miss, fans watching the game preferred to discuss Sturridge’s early exit, with Newcastle supporters particularly vocal,  claiming their failure to sign the striker themselves in January was a ‘lucky escape’.

Does anyone feel sorry for Sturridge anymore? I don’t.
— Hersini (@HersiniJunior) February 12, 2018

Sturridge seems a boss lad but his body is made of cheese
— Euphoric Mess (@EuphoricMess) February 12, 2018

Lol Daniel Sturridge injured……… some things never change, no matter who the team. 😂
— J Ellacott (@jon_ellacott) February 12, 2018

Sturridge gone off injured, in other news water is wet
— Robert Tyrrell (@SquizzBFC) February 12, 2018

Daniel Sturridge…. what a joke!
That’s another 6 weeks sat on his arse earning a bastard fortune then
— Thomas Liversage (@TomLiversage) February 12, 2018

A shame for Daniel Sturridge, injured before Alan Pardew got the chance to try him out at left back.
— Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) February 12, 2018

Dodged a bullet with Sturridge glad he went to West Brom injured again by the looks of it 😂 #NUFC
— Rhys Jordan Tullin (@RhysTullin) February 12, 2018

However, there was the odd fan who had sympathy for him…

You’d have to feel sorry for Daniel sturridge a good player struck down by injuries couldn’t be good for him mentally ! As a football fan it’s not nice to see ☹️
— Jason Harkin (@JasonHarkin) February 12, 2018

Don’t think it’s necessary for any banter on Sturridge. And regarding his wages, he didn’t chose to have a career like that.
Feel sorry for him. Was a shrewd scorer when he was fit.
— Ranajit Gopinath (@RanajitG) February 12, 2018

The striker is known for suffering repeat injuries in the past, having not played more than 30 games for Liverpool in a single season since their 2013-14 campaign.

West Brom’s next game is against Huddersfield in the Premier League on February 24.

More: Football

MORE: Owen’s Champions League predictions including Liverpool and City

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Tottenham v Arsenal

Tottenham entertain Arsenal in the North-London Derby on Saturday in what is the pick of this weekend’s Premier League action. Before things get started with that clash at Wembley, BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen makes his predictions for all 10 games…

Tottenham v Arsenal

Spurs lost the reverse fixture 2-0 at the Emirates earlier in the season but I think they can get revenge for that loss against an Arsenal side who still have to prove they can be as effective on the road as they are at home.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made a promising home debut against Everton last weekend and has scored four goals in his four previous games against Spurs when with Borussia Dortmund.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on his Arsenal debut (Getty)Premier League leading scorer Harry Kane has six in six against the Gunners and I think it will be the hosts who keep the points in what promises to be an entertaining clash with plenty of opportunities at both ends.

Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Arsenal

Everton v Crystal Palace

Does Sam Allardyce know his best XI? (Getty)Palace have not lost at Everton in their last four Premier League visits and the Eagles have actually won more times at Goodison (4) than at any other ground in the Premier League. The Blues need to bounce back after an abject performance at the Emirates and, worryingly, I am not convinced Sam Allardyce knows what his best XI is.

Two former England managers in opposition and I feel they will share the spoils at Goodison.

Prediction: Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace

Stoke City v Brighton

Brighton have only scored six times away from home in the league this season, three of those came at West Ham, and haven’t scored a goal in their last four visits to Stoke. I would be surprised if there were many goals in the Potteries but suggest my old club will edge a low-scoring affair.

Prediction: Stoke City 1-0 Brighton

More: Football

Swansea City v Burnley

Swansea have improved out of all recognition under Carlos Carvalhal and they will certainly not be lacking in confidence having beaten Liverpool and Arsenal at the Liberty in recent weeks.

The Swans put eight past a hapless Notts County in the FA Cup on Tuesday and Burnley are without a win in their last nine games.

The Clarets did show against City at Turf Moor last week however that they are capable of giving anyone a game and I expect to see a tight, close affair, but if there is to be a winner I think the Swans might keep the points.

Prediction: Swansea City 2-1 Burnley

West Ham v Watford

Watford impressed in a 4-1 win over Chelsea on Monday (Getty)West Ham are unbeaten in their last four home games but Watford were sensational against a below-par Chelsea on Monday and I feel they can get a point at the London Stadium.

I enjoyed watching the Hornet’s mix of pace and power at Vicarage Road earlier in the week, but Watford have only picked up five points from the last 30 on the road and this game has a draw written all over it.

Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Watford

Manchester City v Leicester City

Jamie Vardy is in a fine run of form (Getty)City are unbeaten in their last 25 home league games, but they have had their share of injuries of late although both Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane are likely to be available to Pep Guardiola sooner rather than later.

Jamie Vardy has scored in his last three league games. He has some way to go to match his record run of 11 in the Foxes’ title season of 2015/16 but I feel Claude Puel’s side will score at the Etihad. That said it might not be enough to take a point.

Prediction: Manchester City 4-1 Leicester City

Huddersfield v Bournemouth – Sunday

Huddersfield have lost their last two home games by a three goal margin and go into the weekend in the relegation zone for the first time this season. Only Spurs and Manchester United (12) have picked up more points in 2018 than Bournemouth but I expect the Terriers to show their true colours against the Cherries in a game of few opportunities.

Prediction: Huddersfield 0-0 Bournemouth

Newcastle United v Manchester United – Sunday

Paul Pogba will hope to return to the starting XI (Getty)Two of my former clubs go head-to-head and I feel United will take the points at a ground where they have won more away Premier League games (12) than at any other club.

The Magpies are without a win in their last eight Premier League home games but, surprisingly, Jose Mourinho has never won a league game at St James’s Park in six previous attempts.

Paul Pogba was left out of the United side against Huddersfield at Old Trafford last weekend but I expect the Frenchman to be back in the starting XI and a winning side at the weekend.

Prediction: Newcastle United 1-2 Manchester United

Southampton v Liverpool – Sunday

Mohamed Salah is now up to 20 in the Premier League (Getty)Congratulations to Mo Salah on reaching 20 goals in his debut season in the Premier League with the promise of many more to come.

Virgil van Dijk returns to St Mary’s for the first time following his big-money January move and is likely to start. Liverpool have won both Premier League games he has not played in since he became eligible for the Reds, however, and not won either game he has started.

Saints begin the weekend just two points above the relegation places despite winning at the Hawthorns on Saturday. Sadio Mane is another former Southampton player and the striker has scored six goals in his last five games at St Mary’s. I expect to see goals with Liverpool getting more than their fair share and giving Jurgen Klopp his 50th Premier League win in his 95th game in charge of the Reds.

Prediction: Southampton 1-3 Liverpool

Chelsea v West Brom – Monday

Antonio Conte saw his side well beaten by Watford last time out (Getty)Chelsea have won all three-league games against the Baggies since Antonio Conte took over and a month ago, you would have thought this was a banker home win. The champions have conceded seven goals in their last two league games against Bournemouth and Watford, however, and looked completely out of sorts at Vicarage Road on Monday.

Conte will demand his side bounce back against an Albion side who go into the game bottom-of-the-league. The Chelsea faithful will demand three points and an emphatic victory and I think the Blues will keep the points.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 West Brom

More: Manchester United FC

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

MORE: Lionel Messi has shirt literally ripped off by Francis Coquelin during Copa del Rey tie for Barcelona