The biggest rivalry in English football is back.
And as far as Sir Alex Ferguson is concerned, he has insisted Manchester United will “keep their dignity” when they face Liverpool in a potentially fiery game in the 2011-12 English Premier League season at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The latest match between the bitter rivals is set to be the first time Liverpool striker Luis Suarez will come face-to-face with Patrice Evra since the Uruguay international was hit with an eight-game ban for racially abusing the Manchester United defender in a game at Anfield in October.
Suarez only returned from the ban on Monday when he appeared as a substitute in Liverpool’s goalless league draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur. After the match, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish fanned the flames of controversy by saying Suarez should never have served a ban at all.
Ferguson, asked at a press conference in Manchester on Friday whether he was content with the way Liverpool had handled the matter, replied: “Well, they’ve said plenty haven’t they?”
“We’ve kept our counsel and I think that is the right thing to do in these situations. We’ll keep it that way too.”
Ferguson also played down the pre-match handshake between Evra and Suarez—a gesture abandoned when Chelsea played QPR last month in their first meeting since Chelsea skipper John Terry was accused of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, brother of United’s Rio.
“I’ve never really thought about it,” Ferguson added when asked whether he had spoken to Evra about the pre-match pleasantries.
“I’m not really bothered about it. It’s never been an issue because we’ve been concentrating on training, and this week it’s been really good.”
“We are chasing the league and Liverpool are chasing a Champions League place. It’s an important game for both clubs. We’ll just get on with our job.”
“We’ve kept our dignity throughout and we’ll just concentrate on the game.”
Which team will win the 2011-12 English Premier League? Bodog sportsbook has the odds.
Manchester United 2.88
Manchester City 1.53