Belfast Telegraph

Suarez to start United clash

Luis Suarez was named in the Liverpool starting line-up for today's Premier League encounter with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

It was the first time Suarez will have started a game since serving an eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra in the reverse fixture at Anfield in October.

And it raised the potential for a pre-match handshake between the pair as the Premier League have not followed the FA, who scrapped the traditional pre-match greeting last month when John Terry and Anton Ferdinand faced each other.

Although Liverpool remain aggrieved at the way Suarez was treated, United have largely kept their counsel on the matter. However, in his programme notes for today's game, Sir Alex Ferguson broke his silence to an extent as he defended his skipper.

"As always, we can expect a feisty match this afternoon, and this time it will have the hangover of the issue between Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra," Ferguson told United Review. "My own feeling is that it is time to move on.

"Right from the start we have tried to avoid aggravating the situation. As far as we are concerned, it is over.

"My biggest regret is the way that Patrice has been castigated in some quarters for standing up to racism.

"He can't have enjoyed the booing he endured at Anfield the other week but he kept his dignity and his concentration on football.

"Patrice has, in fact, displayed exactly the kind of strength of character that I have been talking about.

"He has got through it because he wanted to get through it and hopefully now we can all get on with the game."


From Belfast Telegraph