Liverpool v Man Utd: Ferguson and Dalglish call for calm

FA Cup fourth round

  • Venue: Anfield
  • Date: Saturday, 28 January
  • Kick-off: 1245 GMT

Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and coverage on BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio Manchester, Final Score

Ferguson makes Liverpool favourites for FA Cup tie

Managers of Liverpool and Manchester United have urged players to act responsibly during Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Anfield.

It is the first time the teams have met since Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Patrice Evra in the 1-1 draw in October.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish said: "We have a responsibility to behave."

United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson added: "We want to make sure we are talking about the game, nothing else."

Ahead of Saturday's 1245 GMT kick-off, he continued: "There is a responsibility on the players to behave properly and both sets of fans."

However, Ferguson refused to discuss whether he would select Evra, simply saying: "I am not getting involved in that."

Dalglish also called for the focus to be on events on the pitch.

"Obviously everybody has a responsibility to hold up the name of their respective clubs," he added.

"For us, we want to concentrate on playing football and any other sideshow is purely that - it's just a sideshow.

"I'm sure everyone will be determined to make sure what's done has been done. Whatever the grievances , keep it to yourself, and lets get on with the game."

Ferguson also claimed the FA may want the tie to be settled at Anfield rather than having a replay.

If there is to be a replay it would take place just days before they meet in the Premier League on 11 February with Suarez then available for selection.

"It could be a replay," added the United boss. "That would get the FA going."

Earlier this week, Ferguson wrote to all United's supporters who have a ticket for the game and has made a further call for co-operation between fans, the police and stewards.

"It is a massive game for both clubs. There is a tremendous profile on it," said Ferguson.

"I am confident. We want to talk about the game of football. It is something you want to look forward to. That is what I intend to do.

Best of enemies

Liverpool and Manchester United have been drawn together in the FA Cup on 10 occasions, with United coming out on top seven times, including the finals in 1977 and 1996

"Our fans were terrific there this season. The stewards have a difficult enough job as it is. We should be helping."

Despite his warning, Ferguson wants United's supporters to be "positive, witty and loud".

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre, meanwhile, wants "rivalry not hatred" with Manchester United.

Ayre said: "We mustn't detract from fans chanting and singing at each other but it needs to be a rivalry thing rather than a hatred thing."

There have been fears that the bitter relationship between the two sets of fans could reach new levels after the Suarez suspension, resulting in an ugly atmosphere at the match.

Following the ruling on Suarez, who could return from his ban at Old Trafford on 11 February, the Football Association called on the two clubs to get together to smooth relations before the Cup tie.

Ayre is also hoping that Saturday's clash produces a memorable football match in a lively atmosphere.

He told BBC Radio Merseyside: "It is the FA Cup, a great competition in English football and one we have a great history in and we want that to be what everyone focuses on.

"We have massive rivalry with Manchester United but those who are respectful also have respect for them because they are a great footballing side and team and, like us, they have been very successful.

"It is about a great spirit and a match between two great teams and it is certainly not hatred - there is no place for hatred in football.

"The banter on the terraces is great, both managers feel that as do the players. Far from trying to neutralise it we want our fans to be as vocal as they normally are against Manchester United.

"We definitely don't want to detract from that but both clubs have histories which have some things in people don't want to hear being sung about and so we want the fans to get behind the team, have a bit of fun and enjoy the game."