Evra set for Anfield showdown

Manchester United assistant boss Mike Phelan has confirmed Patrice Evra will not be spared the trial of playing at Anfield on Saturday.

Football News: Patrice Evra

United's FA Cup fourth-round tie with Liverpool will be the first time they have faced their old rivals since Evra levelled racism allegations at Luis Suarez that ended with the Uruguay forward landing an eight-match ban.

Suarez will still be suspended this weekend, a fact that is only likely to heighten the normal antagonism for United from the Kop.

Earlier this season, Sir Alex Ferguson left Wayne Rooney out of his starting line-up to face Liverpool due to the adverse reaction the striker receives in his home city, whilst last season, the United boss did not even take his star forward to former club Everton.

However, it seems Evra, likely to continue as captain in the absence of Nemanja Vidic with a season-ending injury, will be involved.

"It wouldn't be a consideration," said Phelan, when asked by BBC Radio Manchester whether United had thought about leaving Evra out.

"Patrice Evra is a football player who plays for Manchester United.

"If he is fit, he is considered to play like any other player.

"What has happened has happened. What has been said has been said.

"You are talking about a football match now and I think it will be a very good FA Cup tie."

United will head to Liverpool fresh from wins at Manchester City and Arsenal in their last two away games, but beset by injury.

In addition to Vidic, Darren Fletcher and long-term absentees Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young and Michael Owen, Nani is likely to miss out with a foot problem, whilst Rio Ferdinand is not expected to recover from a back complaint.

Of Phil Jones there is better news, with the teenager making a rapid recovery from an ankle problem Ferguson said on Sunday would keep him out for a number of weeks.

It is not certain Jones will be fit for Saturday. However, it would be a major bonus for United given the form he has shown since a £17million summer arrival from Blackburn.

"We are quietly surprised with what Phil has contributed so far this season," said Phelan.

"What we intended to do was blood him in nicely and bring him through bit by bit. But he has hit the ground running."

So good has Jones been that he would be hard to leave out, even if Ferguson had all his senior players fit.

The same is also true with England, even though Fabio Capello is still to select the Chorley-born player in his favoured central defensive role.

"You can't stop the train from moving," said Phelan.

"Phil is definitely pushing in all positions.

"The thing is, teenagers have no fear. It is all brand new to them.

"And when you are fearless, you have a certain amount of time when you can make mistakes and get away with them."



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