FA Cup: Racism Won't Win Liverpool FC the Game Against Manchester United

Zaakir HoosenAnalyst IJanuary 26, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool tussles for posesssion with Patrice Evra of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on October 15, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

This weekend will again host another spicy encounter when two old foes go head-to-head in what is going to be a mouth-watering clash in Round four of the FA Cup.

The match will bring loads of emotion as it always does when these two teams meet—a return to Anfield will also bring the "Racism Issue" to the table as it did the last time Liverpool hosted United. Patrice Evra claimed Luis Suarez racially abused him—Suarez was subsequently charged with an eight-match ban, which he is currently serving.

Evra, who will wear the captain's arm band as Nemanja Vidic is sidelined till the end of the season, will face a hostile Mersey-side atmosphere.

No doubt Sir Alex Ferguson will prepare the United squad to handle the pressure because they will have to embrace what ever is "thrown at them"—figuratively of course.

Patrice Evra and his United back line will not have to face the quality that Luis Suarez brings, as the Uruguayan is still suspended.

However, Liverpool will be facing their biggest rivals with a lot of confidence following their semi-final victory to Manchester City in the Carling Cup.

In the week Manchester United released a statement—on the issuing of a letter from Sir Alex Ferguson to the supporters attending the match—to behave in an orderly manner.

But can we expect the same from the Anfield host?

While I doubt any direct remarks will be made to Patrice Evra from the crowd in terms of his race, the French left-back will no doubt face the music.

Could these sideline issues backfire on Liverpool since they have already been labeled racist?

Manchester United on the other is known for taking advantage of such situations—using the oppositions' tactics in bringing the team together. When that usually happens—performance is all that matters.

United were very impressive when they visited the Emirates on Sunday, the first half was dominated in the Arsenal half of the pitch—with countless opportunities.

Although they allowed Arsenal to get back into the match, Sir Alex will be happy to see with what freedom the likes of Valencia, Nani and Welbeck are playing with. 

No doubt a visit to Anfield can be one that many look to avoid, but for Sir Alex Ferguson and his troops—these games are the most enjoyed.

When facing a hostile atmosphere at your biggest rivals in a cup-tie that could throw out almost anything, professional players live for these moments.

As expected, Wayne Rooney having grown up in these parts as an Evertonian, will once again look to down his former neighbours.

For Kenny Dalglish, he will have to manage two important factors on Saturday: One will be how to direct the confidence from the mid-week victory and secondly, how to channel the supporters' enthusiasm positively to the players.

If he can do these two things correctly, Liverpool could overcome a hungry Manchester United team. If not, then you could expect the game to slide in United's favour.

Tactics aside—this match has hardly ever failed to live up to the expectations. Importantly, we should hope that come the final whistle, racism has NO part to play in this encounter.


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