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    Why is Dani Alves in prison?

    ONCE regarded as one of the best right-sided players in the world, Dani Alves is now a convicted criminal.The disgraced football star is now set to spend a lengthy time in prison after being found guilty of a serious sex crime.
    Dani Alves is a convicted criminal who is now in jail
    Why is Dani Alves in prison?
    Brazilian international Dani Alves was accused of raping a woman in a nightclub in Barcelona on December 30, 2022.
    In a trial held in Barcelona in February 2024, the footballer denied the allegations and said the encounter had been consensual. 
    Held at Barcelona’s Audiencia Provincial Court, the trial lasted three days and saw the victim, witnesses, and experts testify.
    Alves had previously confirmed he had sex with a woman in the nightclub’s toilet but insisted it was consensual.
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    His accuser told the prosecution that she had willingly entered the bathroom with him, but that he forced her to stay after she wanted to leave.
    In court she claimed that he was aggressive with her, slapping her and insulting her, and then forced her to have sex with him.
    Following the trial, Alves was found guilty of raping the woman.
    How long will Dani Alves go to jail for?
    Alves was sentenced to four-and-a-half years behind bars for the rape.
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    The court also ordered Alves to pay £130K (150,000 euros) in compensation to the victim.
    The ruling included a nine-and-a-half-year restraining order from the accuser.
    The court said in a statement: “The sentence considers that it has been proven that the victim did not consent and that there is evidence, in addition to the testimony of the plaintiff, to consider the rape proven.”
    Following the sentence, Alves was sent to Brians 2 prison in Barcelona.
    He had previously been held in pre-trial detention since his arrest in January 2023.
    Alves can appeal his sentence.
    Who is Dani Alves?
    Alves’s new life behind bars is a far cry from his career as a footballer, which included him playing as a right-back for La Liga side Barcelona.
    During his time on the pitch, he won six La Liga titles, two Ligue 1 titles and the Serie A.
    Alves also won the UEFA Champions League on three occasions while playing for Barcelona in 2009, 2011 and 2015.
    After a successful spell in Spain, Alves moved to Juventus in 2016 on a free transfer.
    He helped the Turin club to a League title, a Coppa Italia and was an important part of the side that reached the 2017 UEFA Champions League final, losing to Real Madrid.
    After just one season in Italy, Alves joined French side Paris Saint-Germain, where he enjoyed further trophy success.
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    After a spell at Sao Paulo in Brazil, Alves re-joined Barcelona in 2021, playing under former teammate Xavi.
    He left for a second time in 2022 after 17 appearances, signing for UNAM in Mexico, playing 13 games before they terminated his contract in 2023. More

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    Why are the first two F1 2024 races starting on a Saturday?

    WE are set to witness the longest season in F1’s history – and that is not the only major change in the calendar.Max Verstappen is hoping to become only the fourth man to win FOUR consecutive titles after such a dominant performance last year.
    Max Verstappen has won third consecutive title last yearCredit: AFP
    But Lewis Hamilton will be determined to put an end to the Red Bull icon’s reign during his final season behind the Mercedes wheel.
    However, in what is destined to be a long season, both racers will need to slightly alter their preparations due to the opening GP’s taking place on a Saturday instead of Sunday.
    And SunSport can provide F1 fans with information on why this is the case.
    Why does the F1 2024 season start on a Saturday?
    The first race of the F1 2024 season takes place on a Saturday due to the sacred time of Ramadan.
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    Ramadan starts on Sunday, March 10 which means the Saudi Arabian GP has moved forward by a day to Saturday, March 9.
    And to coincide with F1 rules that there must be at least a week between two races, the opening Bahrain GP has also been moved forward from Sunday, March 3 to Saturday, March 2.
    When is the first race of the F1 2024 season?

    The opening F1 Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 2.
    It is expected to get underway from 3pm UK time – 6pm local time.
    Bahrain International Circuit is the allocated track for this opening race and it can host approximately 70,000 fans.
    Max Verstappen got off to a winning start at this exact circuit in 2023.

    What is the FULL calendar?
    Below are details for every single race in the 2024 calendar:
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    🏁 Complete F1 2024 race calendar – details on every Grand Prix and start time this year 🏁  More

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    Man Utd vs Fulham: Erik ten Hag’s side look to continue superb winning form in Premier League as they host Cottagers

    MANCHESTER UNITED host Fulham in a huge Premier League clash on Saturday afternoon.Erik ten Hag’s side have been in superb form of late as they continue to chase down a Champions League spot.
    Rasmus Hojlund’s quick-fire double secured a 2-1 win for Manchester United against LutonCredit: GETTY
    Rodrigo Muniz was on the scoresheet for Fulham last weekendCredit: GETTY
    The Red Devils got the better of Luton Town last time out – running out 2-1 winners at Kenilworth Road.
    Rasmus Hojlund’s quick-fire double was enough to edge a frantic Premier League clash with the Hatters.
    Elsewhere Fulham are sitting fairly comfortably in mid-table, nine points clear of the bottom three.
    They are looking to get back to winning ways, and their season back on track for a top-half finish.
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    Last time out, Marco Silva’s side were beaten by 2-1 at home to Aston Villa, with Ollie Watkins bagging a brace at Craven Cottage.
    United currently sit sixth, just three points behind Tottenham and five points behind Unai Emery’s men.
    However, they remain fairly inconsistent at Old Trafford with only five teams having scored fewer league goals at home.
    But the Cottagers are one of the Prem’s tamest sides away on their travels, with just a single away win all season and zero in 2024.
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    What is their form like?
    Fulham have recorded one victory since their 2-0 defeat to Newcastle in the FA Cup fourth round.
    Marco Silva’s men ran out 3-1 winners over Bournemouth at home before their defeat to Villa.
    Before that victory, Fulham were held to two successive draws against relegation strugglers Everton and Burnley.
    Erik ten Hag’s side are undefeated in their last seven games in all competitions.
    United have recorded four consecutive league wins, and scored 11 goals across those fixtures.
    Kobbie Mainoo scored a late grasp winner to win 4-3 at Wolves, before a 3-0 victory over West Ham, and 2-1 away win at Villa Park.
    Team news
    Luke Shaw was withdrawn just before half-time during the 2-1 win at Luton last weekend.
    The England left-back was also taken off with a knock the week before against Aston Villa and is a doubt for Saturday’s clash.
    Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Lisandro Martinez, Mason Mount, Anthony Martial and Tyrell Malacia all remain out.
    Fulham will be without midfield stalwart Joao Palhinha as he misses out through suspension after collecting ten yellow cards.
    The Portugal international has made more tackles than anybody else in the top flight this term and is a vital screen in front of the defence for Marco Silva’s side.
    Raul Jimenez will be unavailable with a thigh injury, while Chelsea loanee Armando Broja could return from illness.
    Star players
    Hojlund proved invaluable to United in his last six games
    United forward Hojlund is in red hot form and will be the biggest threat Fulham face going forward.
    Hojlund, 21, now has 14 goals in all competitions, notching all seven of his Premier League goals in his last six outings.
    His goal inside 37 seconds at Luton saw a Prem record smashed.
    He became the youngest ever player to score in six consecutive league games.
    Pereira will be the one to watch for the visitors
    As he normally is, Pereira will be the main problem the Red Devils need to look out for.
    The Belgian midfielder’s electric pace and vision in the final third means he can turn any moment into a dangerous situation.
    The former United man will likely step up to punish his former side.
    After all, this will be a necessity in Palhinha’s absence.
    Predicted line-ups
    Here’s how we think United will line up
    Here’s how we think the away side will line up
    SunSport prediction
    Fulham haven’t beaten United since 2009, with only two draws since 2014.
    Also, other than the most recent meeting between the two, this fixture has had both teams on the scoresheet in every game since 2019.
    But Fulham have been unlucky, suffering a stoppage time goal from Bruno Fernandes in their 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture.
    United are returning to last season’s goal scoring form, but remain vulnerable at the back with a makeshift defence again likely on the weekend.
    United 2-1 Fulham
    When is Man Utd vs Fulham?

    Man Utd vs Fulham will take place on Saturday, February 24.
    Kick off will be at 3pm GMT.
    Old Trafford will host.

    What TV channel is Man Utd vs Fulham on and can it be live streamed?

    Man Utd vs Fulham will not be broadcast on live TV in the UK.
    This is due to the 3pm blackout.
    However, SunSport will have minute-by-minute coverage of the huge match at Old Trafford.

    What are the odds?
    Match result
    READ MORE SUN STORIES

    Man Utd – 1/2
    Draw – 7/2
    Fulham – 9/2

    *Odds courtesy of Paddy Power and are correct at the time of publication. More

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    Why is Man City vs Brentford not on TV?

    MANCHESTER CITY will be looking to get back to winning ways after dropping points last week. Pep Guardiola’s side were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.
    Man City and Brentford renew their rivalry for the second time in three weeksCredit: GETTY
    The visitors looking to get revenge following their 3-1 home defeatCredit: Getty
    This means that City are four points behind table-toppers Liverpool, but they do have a game in hand over their rivals.
    Jack Grealish is ruled out for the game following a muscle injury sustained in last week’s Champions League win over FC Copenhagen.
    The England international didn’t play in Saturday’s draw and is expected to be back in a few weeks.
    A positive for the Treble winners is the return of midfielder Mateo Kovacic to the squad following injury.

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    Why is Man City vs Brentford not on TV?
    Man City are hosting Brentford at 7.30pm on Tuesday night after the fixture was rearranged.
    The match was due to take place on Friday, December 23, but it had to be postponed due to City’s involvement in the Fifa Club World Cup.
    The original fixture wasn’t picked to be shown on TV when broadcasters made their selections for the December fixtures.
    And that meant it was due to be played at 3pm on Saturday – during the nationwide TV football blackout.
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    Therefore, the match cannot subsequently be picked up by Sky, TNT or Amazon Prime Video because the companies have a limited number of matches as part of their deals with the Premier League.

    So the fixture remains untelevised – just like Liverpool vs Brentford 24 hours later.
    Alternatively, highlights will be shown in the UK on Sky Sports Premier League later tonight at 10:30pm or on their YouTube channel.
    Phil Foden scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture at the Gtech Community StadiumCredit: Getty More

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    When is Europa League last-16 draw? Date, UK start time and FREE stream as Liverpool & West Ham learn opponents

    THE draw for the Europa League last-16 will take place this week – and some huge names are in the hat.Liverpool, West Ham, Brighton and Rangers are among the clubs that have already secured their place in the knockout stage after finishing top of their respective groups.
    Liverpool have already secured their place in the last-16 of the Europa LeagueCredit: GETTY
    The eight group winners from this season’s Europa League automatically qualify for the last-16.
    The runners-up face the eight teams that finished third in their respective Champions League groups in a two-legged play-off round.
    Winners of the play-off ties will join the Europa League group champions in the hat for the last-16.
    When is the Europa League last-16 draw?

    The Europa League last-16 draw will take place on Friday, February 23.
    The draw commences at 11am GMT.
    It will take place at the Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

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    What TV channel is the Europa League last-16 draw on and can it be live streamed FREE?

    The Europa League last-16 draw will be FREE to watch on Uefa.com.
    TNT Sports 2 will also broadcast the draw with TNT Sports customers able to live stream on the discovery+ app.
    Alternatively, you can follow SunSport’s live blog for all the latest from the draw in Switzerland.

    Which teams are playing in the Europa League play-offs?
    Here are all the teams battling it out to secure a place in the Europa League last-16:
    *The first leg results in brackets, the second legs take place on Thursday

    Feyenoord (1) vs Roma (1)
    Galatasaray (3) vs Sparta Prague (2)
    Shakhtar Donetsk (2) vs Marseille (2)
    Young Boys (1) vs Sporting Lisbon (3)
    Benfica (2) vs Toulouse (1)
    Lens (0) vs Freiburg (0)
    AC Milan (3) vs Rennes (0)
    Braga (2) vs Qarabag (4)

    Most read in Europa League
    Which teams have already secured their place in the Europa League last-16
    Here are all the team already in the hat:

    Liverpool
    West Ham
    Brighton
    Atalanta
    Leverkusen
    Rangers
    Villarreal
    Slavia Prague

    When will the Europa League last-16 take place and what is the format of the ties?

    Ties take place over two legs, with the group winners at home in the second leg.
    The first legs are scheduled for March 7, with the second legs a week later on March 14.
    No away goals will count after 180 minutes, with penalties played if teams cannot be separated after an additional 30 minutes. More

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    Carabao Cup prize money 2023-24: How much do the winners take home?

    THE Carabao Cup is sometimes a disrespected tournament – but winning it comes with many benefits – such as collecting prize money.Last year, Manchester United took home the jackpot after they beat Newcastle in a thrilling final at Wembley.
    Manchester United beat Newcastle to win the Carabao Cup last yearCredit: PA
    This season will see Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea go head-to-head at the home of English football.
    Jurgen Klopp’s Reds will be aiming for a record-extending tenth League Cup win, while the Blues are hoping to lift their first EFL Cup since the 2014/15 season under Jose Mourinho.
    The winner is guaranteed a place in Europe as well as dipping their hands in the prize pot.
    SunSport takes a look at how much money clubs can earn from participating in the tournament.
    Read more on Carabao Cup
    How much is the Carabao Cup prize money?
    Here is a breakdown of the prize money on offer:

    First round winners – £5,000
    Second round winners – £7,000
    Third round winners – £10,000
    Fourth round winners – £15,000
    Quarter-finalists – £25,000
    Semi-finalists – £25,000
    Runner-up – £50,000
    Winner – £100,000

    How to watch the Carabao Cup final
    The Carabao Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea will take place on Sunday, February 25 at 3pm GMT.
    Sky Sports Main Event and Football will broadcast the match LIVE with coverage starting from 2pm GMT.
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    Sky Sports customers can live stream the game via the NOW/Sky Sports app.
    Alternatively, you can keep up to date with all the action by following SunSport’s live blog. More

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    Why is Liverpool vs Luton Town not on TV?

    LIVERPOOL were triumphant again with another win at Brentford – but were left counting the cost of yet more injuries.Liverpool fans’ joy at being clear at the top could only be short lived as injuries keep piling up for Jurgen Klopp.
    Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones sustained what looked like pretty severe injuries with the Portuguese forward carried off on a stretcher.
    Darwin Nunez – who scored a brilliant lob to set Liverpool on their way – was also taken off at half time, although that is expected to have been a precaution.
    Jota and Jones could miss out against Luton Town on Wednesday, with the likes of Alisson Becker, Thiago Alcantara, Joel Matip, Dominik Szoboszlai also potentially missing.
    Why Liverpool are playing on Wednesday
    Liverpool are hosting Luton Town on Wednesday night after the fixture was rearranged.
    The Hatters were meant to visit Anfield on Saturday, February 24 at 3pm but this fixture had to be brought forward because of Liverpool’s participation in the Carabao Cup Final.
    Liverpool and Luton Town drew the last time they met in NovemberCredit: Reuters
    Despite being the only Premier League game being played on Wednesday, it will remain OFF of British TV screens.
    This is because of the Saturday 3pm blackout – Premier League rules dictate that if a game was originally arranged to take place at that time, a rescheduled game cannot be shown on TV.
    After their game against Luton, Liverpool will be hoping to overcome Chelsea in the highly anticipated Carabao Cup Final this Sunday at Wembley.
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    Klopp’s men will go into the final as heavy favourites given how many places separate the two in the league table. More

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    Porto vs Arsenal – Champions League last-16: Gunners look to continue good form as they face Portuguese giants

    ARSENAL travel to Portuguese giants Porto for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.The Gunners have been in superb form of late, winning their last five games and scoring 21 goals in the process.
    Arsenal have scored 11 goals in their last two gamesCredit: ALAMY
    Porto beat Estrela Amadora 2-0 last time outCredit: GETTY
    Arsenal are flying high in the Premier League and are two points off Liverpool at the top of the tree.
    Mikel Arteta’s men booked their spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League after finishing 1st in Group B with 13 points from a possible 18.
    Elsewhere, Porto finished runner-up to Barcelona in Group H to secure their place in the last-16.
    However, the Portuguese giants have had an underwhelming season domestically and are currently 3rd in Liga Portugal.
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    When is Porto vs Arsenal?

    Porto vs Arsenal will take place on Wednesday, February 21.
    Kick off will be at 8pm.
    The Estadio do Dragao will host.

    What TV channel is Porto vs Arsenal on and can it be live streamed?

    Porto vs Arsenal will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 1.
    TNT Sports customers can live stream the match on discovery+.
    Alternatively, you can keep up to date with all the action by following SunSport’s live blog.

    Team news
    The hosts will be without centre-back Zaidu Sanusi after he sustained a serious injury in his first game back from Afcon.
    Striker Mehdi Taremi could return to the starting line-up after being left on the bench against Estrela da Amadora.
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    The 31-year-old has reportedly agreed to join Inter Milan on a free transfer in the summer.
    For Arsenal, Fabio Vieira could return to action after having surgery to face his former side in his home country.
    Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and Takehiro Tomiyasu could all play a part in Porto following their respective injury layoffs.
    Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and Jurrien Timber remain all remain out.
    What are the odds?
    Match result

    Porto – 21/5
    Draw – 27/10
    Arsenal – 4/6

    *Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes and are correct at the time of publication. More