United: Evra part of our plans for big Anfield clash
MANCHESTER United assistant boss Mike Phelan has confirmed Patrice Evra is in line to play at Anfield on Saturday.
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, which 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 end at Anfield.
Earlier this season, 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, while 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 whether United had
thought about leaving Evra out of the clash.
"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, while Rio Ferdinand is not expected to recover from a back complaint.
Phil Jones is making a rapid recovery from an ankle problem, which Ferguson said would keep him out for a number of weeks, but it is not certain if he will be fit for Saturday. Yet, it would be a major bonus for United given the form he has shown since a £17m summer arrival from Blackburn Rovers.
"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."
"Phil is definitely pushing in all positions."