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Klopp: I’ll talk to Van Dijk ahead of Southampton return

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Virgil Van Dijk should expect a “loud, not nice” reception from Southampton fans when he makes his return to St. Mary’s Stadium on Sunday (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com), but he mustn’t let it affect his focus or performance, urges Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

[ PL PREVIEWS: Tottenham vs. Arsenal | Man City vs. Leicester ]

Given the nature of Van Dijk’s $100-million move from Southampton to Liverpool last month, no one is under any illusion that the 26-year-old Dutchman will be welcomed back with open arms. As such, Klopp has said he’ll speak with Van Dijk ahead of Sunday in an attempt to properly prepare the most expensive defensive signing of all time — quotes from the Guradian:

“I will talk to Virgil about it. With other players I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t know or look at where they were coming from. But I will talk to him. We are all human beings. We are influenced by circumstances. It will not be a normal game — how can it be? It was a special story for him most of the time, really positive, and then not that positive at the end.

“I know how football fans are. They want to disturb everything we do to help their team and they will whistle. Is it nice? I don’t think so. Will it have influence? I don’t think so, but we will see. We cannot make it too big, and I don’t make it too big. Yes, it is quite special, but that’s all. We think much more about the game and what we have to do and not about how we can avoid situations from outside because we don’t have influence. We have to accept it how it is — loud, not nice, maybe, but still we have to play football.”

While Saints fans are undoubtedly salivating ahead of their opportunity to jeer Van Dijk, the Reds are loving life since his arrival and Jan. 5 debut, during which he scored the winning goal in the Merseyside derby. 10 days later, Manchester City were handed their first loss of the season; back-to-back losses to Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion were a massive speed bump; Huddersfield were thrashed and Tottenham Hotspur were fortunate to get a point last weekend.

Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham: Davies stuns Spurs late

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A valiant effort from a League One side has rewarded the minnows with a replay set to be played at Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur looked on its way towards the FA Cup sixth round on Sunday, but a late finish by Steven Davies gave Rochdale a 2-2 draw with the Premier League club at the Spotland Stadium.

[ MORE: Willian stars as Chelsea routs Hull in FA Cup ]

Harry Kane — who scored his 34th goal on the season in all competitions — converted from the penalty spot in the 88th minute, however, Davies had the final say deep into stoppage time to send the two sides towards a replay.

Ian Henderson’s finish in the 45th minute gave Rochdale a gift at the conclusion of the first stanza, after the hosts capitalized on a Spurs giveaway near midfield.

Meanwhile, Tottenham managed to level the match at 1-1 on the hour mark when Lucas Moura calmly slotted his close-range shot past goalkeeper Josh Lillis after a timely through ball from Moussa Sissoko picked out the former PSG man.

The visitors began pressing on in the second half, with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side having trailed at the halftime break.

The two sides will now meet on either Feb. 27 or 28 in the reverse fixture to decide which team advances. The winner will either meet Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the quarterfinals.

Scholes: Pogba didn’t earn Man United spot in 2012 before Juve stint

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Paul Pogba‘s young career has been bright, but a former Manchester United legend suggests that there was a time where the Frenchman struggled to find his way at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Man United draws Brighton, Chelsea gets Leicester in FA Cup quarters

The 24-year-old Pogba is now in his second stint with the Red Devils, after spending four seasons in Italy with giants Juventus.

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes says though that back in 2012 — prior to Pogba’s move to Juve — that the physical player wasn’t pleased with the fact that he wasn’t getting regular minutes with the first team.

“Ferguson wanted me initially to come back and coach the reserve team with Warren Joyce,” he told BT Sport. “I said in September I’d come back. So I started helping Joycey, and I was training with the reserves.

“I was training every day with the likes of Pogba, Lingard, all these types of players. They were a really good side and I was really enjoying training. I was getting fit, I felt great, and it got to December time and the team was struggling a bit.

“They had a load of injuries, no central midfield players were fit. They ended up playing Phil Jones and Fabio da Silva in central midfield in a game against Blackburn at Old Trafford.

“Funnily enough that was the end of Pogba, because he thought he should have been playing instead of them. But he wasn’t doing well enough.”

Scholes, who had retired briefly in 2011, came back after just six months for the Red Devils, and ended up playing a year-and-a-half more following the decision to end his playing career.

It is widely believed that Pogba’s decision to head to Juventus was largely due to the impact of Scholes in the United squad.

Video: Rochdale puts Tottenham on upset alert at the half

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It’s been a tremendous season for Ian Henderson, particularly in the FA Cup, and now he and his side are one half away from upsetting one of the Premier League giants.

Henderson’s finish on the brink of halftime has put League One side Rochdale up 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur, as the minnows aim to become the first non-PL side to advance to the quarterfinals in this season’s tournament.

A sloppy giveaway from Spurs near midfield created the attack for the hosts, and allowed Rochdale to capitalize on one of its few attacks during the opening stanza.

Benfica routs Boavista 4-0 to take lead in Portugal

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Benfica routed Boavista 4-0 to move ahead of FC Porto at the top of the Portuguese league on Saturday.

Benfica is one point in front of Porto, which has two games to play.

[ MORE: Man United gets Brighton in FA Cup quarters, Chelsea draws Leicester ]

Ruben Dias opened the scoring for Benfica in the 18th minute when he headed in a pass from Jardel.

Jardel added a goal just before halftime. Boavista’s Nuno Henrique also scored an own goal before Raul Jimenez polished off the victory in the 90th.

Jonas had a penalty saved by Boavista goalkeeper Vagner with the score 0-0.

Porto hosts Rio Ave on Sunday. Sporting Lisbon is three points behind Benfica before visiting Tondela on Monday.