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copyright Martin Rickett-PA WireDaniel Sturridge's early header was enough to secure Liverpool's 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Manchester United at Anfield.

The forward's goal - on his 24th birthday - maintained Brendan Rodgers' side's impressive 100 per cent record in the 2013-14 campaign.

Liverpool's win proved to be the perfect occasion to mark the 100th anniversary of Kop legend Bill Shankly's birth.

The match provided the pulsating start that the day deserved as Sturridge became only the second player ever to score for the Reds in the opening three matches of the Premier League season.

The forward instinctively glanced in Daniel Agger's header from a corner in the third minute, causing an already vociferous Anfield atmosphere to erupt.

Sturridge's header proved to be the catalyst for a flurry of attempts at both ends of the pitch as the rapid tempo of the encounter grew.

Robin van Persie improvised with an acrobatic overhead kick after Patrice Evra nodded across the face of goal before Philippe Coutinho dragged a 25-yard effort wide immediately after.

Danny Welbeck failed to trouble the Liverpool goal with an attempt fired straight at Simon Mignolet but the Reds avoided much more of a scare minutes later.

An Ashley Young corner drew no contact in the six-yard box and took the well-placed van Persie by surprise at the back post; the Dutchman failed to control and finish as the ball fortunately bounced away to safety.

Full report: Official Liverpool FC

 

Sir Alex Ferguson has told Luis Suarez that he isn’t fit to wear the Liverpool shirt.

The Uruguayan striker again ­controversially clashed with Patrice Evra on Saturday.

Suarez, just back from an eight-game ban for racially abusing the ­Manchester United captain at Anfield in October, sparked a pre-match row when he ­refused to shake Evra’s hand.

And despite seeing Wayne Rooney score twice to take United to the top of the Premier League, Ferguson was in no mood to pull his punches when asked about the Uruguayan’s conduct.

“Suarez is a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club,” said Ferguson. “That player should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again. The history that club has got ... and he does that today.

“It could have caused a riot. I was ­really disappointed in that guy. For a club with their history, I’d get rid of him, I really would.

“Liverpool have a player banned for eight matches and they’ve tried to blame Patrice Evra. It’s him (Suarez) they should be bloody blaming. He could have cost them a European place.

“I had a chat with Patrice this morning and he said, ‘I’m going to shake his hand. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I’m going to keep my dignity.’ I couldn’t believe it when Suarez refused to shake his hand.” Liverpool boss Kenny ­Dalglish has been widely criticised for attempting to defend Suarez.

Dalglish decided against attending the usual post-match press conference, but reacted angrily when asked about Suarez’s snub to Evra on television.

Suarez claimed that the racial slurs he aimed at Evra in October were down to cultural differences.

And Dalglish once again seemed to indicate that he felt the 25-year-old had been misunderstood.

He raged: “I didn’t know that Luis ­refused to shake Evra’s hand. I’ll have to take your word for it. I didn’t see it. I wasn’t out there. But it’s contrary to what I was told.

“I think you are very severe and bang out of order to blame Luis Suarez for anything that happened out there...Listen, we’re not in it for ­handshakes.”

The FA last night indicated that they would wait for the report of referee Phil Dowd before deciding whether to act.

Evra embarked on an ill-conceived lap of honour at the final whistle that took him perilously close to Suarez.

Before the game, Greater Manchester Police confiscated thousands of copies of the Red Issue fanzine because it ­carried a mocked-up picture of the ­Suarez wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

And as the Liverpool squad left Old Trafford, forward Craig Bellamy ­became embroiled in an ugly row with United’s head of security.

Later, United defender Rio Ferdinand admitted he refused to shake Suarez’s hand because of the snub to Evra, saying: “If he’s not got the respect that you need to have in these situations, and acknowledge that you’ve made a mistake and say sorry and move on, well I lost all respect for the guy after that.”

Source: Mirror

A human being has every right not to shakes his accuser’s or a liar’s hand, no matter what crime it involved. Wrongfully penalised by a man’s word against another, is that fair? Luis Suarez served his suspension for the accusation by the English FA, so that’s the end of it.

Excuse him for feeling a little aggrieved. The only thing is that if Dalglish and Suarez has had a talk about shaking hands and he said he would, I would have liked him to. Glad he has apologized for that and so has the club. Glad because that at least puts a temporary stop to all the vile written against him although I wouldn’t bet on it. Some rags are already on the ‘Luis to be sold this summer’ bandwagon.

Who the hell is Sir Alex Ferguson? A manager who bred and lead many love-rats, thugs and drug addicts in his Manchester squad, came out all guns blazing over a handshakes incident. If any Mancs reading this, do you remember the Cantona’s kung-fu kick on Crystal Palace’s fan? Or Keano career ending tackle on Alf Inge Haaland? Ferdinand was banned for 9 months for missing a routine drug test? Two love-rats still running on the pitch in disguise as Rooney and Giggs?

As far as I’m concern, the Premier League title still haven’t being won by any team in February. What is Evra celebrating for after the match? Isn’t that a riot act from a Manchester United player?

When football has becomes too political, it not just tarnished the reputation of Liverpool FC in general but the English FA itself in taking matters into their own hands are like taking a gun and shoot itself on the foot. I’d loved to see what are the FA going to do next? If Evra doesn’t get banned for his action, then your thoughts and mine would be most likely be the same – the system has been too corrupted and has political agendas written all over it.

Leave your thoughts on the comment box below.

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Team news

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Tom Cleverley will be involved in some capacity this weekend.

The midfielder has been sidelined with an ankle injury since October, but he is expected to make the bench on Saturday.

Chris Smalling is also back in contention, but Nani (ankle), Anders Lindegaard (ankle), Nemanja Vidic (knee) and Michael Owen (thigh) miss out.

The game comes too soon for Phil Jones, but Ferguson is hoping to welcome him back into his plans for United's Europa League tie with Ajax.

Liverpool have no fresh injury or suspension concerns to contend with heading into the game.

Suarez was named on the bench for the goalless draw with Tottenham and Dalglish must decide whether to keep him out of the spotlight or return him to his starting XI.

Spanish full-back Jose Enrique is hoping to return to the Reds fold at Old Trafford and he will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness following a hamstring injury.

Lucas Leiva remains the only long-term absentee in the Anfield camp.

Match notes

Of all the barbs and negativity that have passed between Manchester United and Liverpool in recent months, Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that this encounter is a meeting between a team challenging for the title and one challenging for fourth will hurt Liverpudlians more than anything that has gone on since Patrice Evra reported Luis Suárez for racist abuse last October.

Football is the central issue for both clubs, but until Liverpool meet United as title rivals rather than also-rans, the sense of grievance will linger on Merseyside.

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Red's Fury™ Prediction: MU 1-1 LIVERPOOL

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Liverpool stormed into the FA Cup fifth round in the expense of Manchester United. Those who were unable to watch the match live, here’s the goal highlights.

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Liverpool FC may seems to be wanted to get the case quickly out of their way and focus on the playing field instead. Liverpool announced on Tuesday that they will not appeal the penalty given to Suarez for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, but in a strongly worded statement the club maintained the 24-year-old is innocent of the charge.

By accepting the punishment despite not accepting culpability, Suarez is not scheduled to be eligible again until the Feb. 11 match against Manchester United, whose defender, Patrice Evra, was the target of the striker’s insults. Uruguay international Suarez tonight began his suspension, missing Liverpool's match at Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League.

Despite a public outcry, Liverpool continues to back the player who was signed from Ajax a year ago.

Dalglish also defended the decision of the Liverpool players to wear T-shirts in support of Suarez ahead of their game against Wigan last month – and insisted he is not worried that the former Ajax man will be targeted for the rest of his career in England.

Let us know on your thought about Liverpool FC accepting the FA’s verdict on the comment box below.

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Liverpool Football Club is very surprised and disappointed with the decision of the Football Association Commission to find Luis Suarez guilty of the charges against him.

The Football Association imposed the punishment, suspended for 14 days pending any appeal from the club, and a £40,000 fine after a ruling by an independent regulatory commission.

   “It is key to note that Patrice Evra himself in his written statement in this case said ‘I don’t think that Luis Suarez is racist’.

“The FA in their opening remarks accepted that Luis Suarez was not racist.”

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish was fuming at the decision by an independent regulatory commission following a three-day hearing last week.

Club officials will now study the written findings before formally deciding whether to appeal or not. But if he appeals and loses he risks being handed an even longer ban of up to 10 games. Read Liverpool FC Official statement on Luis Suarez here.

An FA statement said:

   “Mr Suarez used insulting words towards Mr Evra during the match contrary to FA Rule E3 (1).

“The insulting words used by Mr Suarez included a reference to Mr Evra’s colour within the meaning of Rule E3 (2).

“Mr Suarez shall be warned as to his future conduct, be suspended for eight matches covering all first-team competitive matches and fined the sum of £40,000.

“The penalty is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or should Mr Suarez decide not to appeal.”

   “Suarez didn’t have to be proven guilty “beyond the benefit of doubt”. This was not English justice, but a sports tribunal. He did not get given the chance to defend himself to a jury of his peers. He faced a small panel, that was not fully independent or without its agendas (such as taking on Sepp Blatter on the issue of racism, and perhaps using this to prove a point). The fact that this was such a tricky issue perhaps made the procedure insufficient; at least John Terry gets to go through a more established process.

“People are wrongly convicted of things all the time, especially with only verbal accusations. Cases are frequently overturned; initial guilty verdicts can be appealed, and are often successful.

“But once tarnished, it sticks.” – excerpt from The Tomkins Times

However, Suarez is available for tonight’s Premier League clash at Wigan but whether he is in the right frame of mind to play remains to be seen.

From an outside point of view looking into this verdicts on Suarez’s charges, it’s only one man’s words against another man. The committee setup by the FA has failed to provide a concrete evidences on the allegation. Luis Suarez will remained “innocent” until be proven guilty of serious offences beyond a reasonable doubt.

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club or Red's Fury™ blog.

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Former Arsenal and England defender, Martin Keown, joins Shaka Hislop and Robbie Earle to discuss the Premier League title race ahead of the festive season fixtures. Plus, the team of the weekend.

Source: ESPN Soccernet Press Pass

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Liverpool FC received notification from the Football Association of their decision to charge Luis Suarez and will take time to properly review the documentation which has been sent to them.

They will discuss the matter fully with him when he returns from international duty, but he will plead not guilty to the charge and they expect him to request a personal hearing.

Luis remains determined to clear his name of the allegation made against him by Patrice Evra.

Liverpool FC remain fully supportive of Luis in this matter.

Source: Liverpool FC Official and YouTube

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There has been a latest twist in the racial saga that blew up between Manchester United's Patrice Evra and Liverpool's Luis Suarez.

The Frenchman had accused the striker of using racist language during a 1-1 draw at Anfield on 15 October, and after a long drawn saga that has lasted a month, the English Football Association have plans to charge the Liverpool star for misconduct.

However, a new twist has emerged, as Evra, who has accused Suarez of uttering a derivative of "negro" at least "ten times", according to reports in the Guardian, has been informed that he may find it tough to prove his allegations.

This is because of a counter-argument that certain variations of the word are not deemed offensive where Suarez grew up, in Uruguay.

It has been argued that the word 'Negrito', which Suarez has said he used, has no derogatory meaning, and is used somewhat as a term of endearment, often in the same way you would call a friend 'pal', or 'mate' in conversation.

Recently Dani Pacheco, a Liverpool player on loan at Rayo Vallecano, sent to Barcelona's Thiago Alcântara a message via Twitter on Friday, which read: "Negrito, enjoy yourself ..."

Suarez has been backed by Liverpool and repeatedly protested his innocence, saying last week what he said was just a "way of expressing myself. I called him something his team-mates at Manchester call him, and even they were surprised by his reaction."

If Patrice Evra are a gentleman and sportsman-liked footballer, he should be the one who issuing the apologizes to the FA and Suarez over this farce.

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Source: ESPN

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Luis Suarez wants an apology from Patrice Evra if he’s cleared of racially abusing the Manchester United defender.

The Liverpool striker has spoken out for the first time about the serious allegations made by Evra and is adamant the claims are untrue.

The Football Association launched an investigation following the 1-1 draw between the sides last month and met with Suarez at Melwood last week.

Both clubs are awaiting the FA’s findings but the Reds’ top scorer, who has the full backing of boss Kenny Dalglish, insists his conscience is clear.

Speaking to reporters following his arrival back home in Uruguay ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Chile.

   “There are things that happen in football, things of the moment, which leave one feeling bad.

“Now it is necessary to hope that this topic is decided and then the Manchester player and I are going to have to clear things up.

“Depending on which way the judgement goes, one of us will have to apologise.

“The English federation is going to have to clarify it with him because there is no proof at all that I have said something racist to him.
"And I did not say it to him.

“There were two parts of the argument, one in Spanish and the other one in English.

"I did not insult him, it was just my way of expressing myself.

“I called him something that his own companions of Manchester say to him.

“Moreover, even they themselves were surprised by his reaction.”

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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Lille's academy director Jean-Michel Vandamme has claimed Chelsea are paying most attention to £40 million-rated youngster Eden Hazard.

In-demand Lille forward Eden Hazard has alerted clubs around Europe by admitting that he wants to leave the French champions at the end of the season.

Hazard, 20, has been strongly linked with Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea in the past - with other clubs in England and Spain also believed to have followed the Belgium international's progress intently.

Despite being tipped for a move abroad last summer Hazard decided to remain at Stade Lille-Metropole to experience Champions League football with his current club, but he has now made it clear that he wants a new challenge at the end of the current campaign.

Blues manager Andre-Villas Boas has been keen to introduce more youth and flair to his squad at Stamford Bridge, with Romelu Lukaku, Oriel Romeu, Juan Mata and Thibaut Courtois joining the club over the summer.

The Portuguese has already stated his admiration for Genk's Kevin De Bruyne, but it is Lille star Hazard who is currently attracting most attention around Europe. Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Paris St. Germain are all believed to be pursuing the 20-year-old, but it is Chelsea who head the queue.

However the Ligue 1 outfit stood firm, knowing that another year with them would see his stock rise even further.

Hazard has also previously been linked with Real Madrid, and he boosted their hopes of negotiating a transfer by making it clear he has no intention of staying in Ligue 1 - despite the fact Qatari-backed Paris Saint Germain are reportedly prepared to pay around £35 million to secure his signature.

Hazard's agent has already revealed that Arsenal failed in their attempt to sign the playmaker during the summer transfer window.

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Source: ESPN

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scoreline Sir Alex Ferguson described Man United's incredible 6-1 derby day demolition at the hands of Man City as the worst day of his managerial career.

Source: TalkSport

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Kenny Dalglish insisted that Luis Suarez has the full support of everyone at Liverpool Football Club following allegations made in the aftermath of last weekend's clash with Manchester United.

   "The only thing we'll say, and then that is it put to bed, is that this Football club and everyone at the club is totally and utterly behind Luis Suarez.

"There was an allegation after the game about him diving all over the place and then there was an allegation from Patrice Evra.

"Obviously the two things are quite emotive, but we fully support the wee man in both things and everyone at the club does.

"I think the football club came out at the start of the week and made our position known - and apart from what I've said there, we won't be adding to it.

"We fully look forward to a complete, transparent report from the FA and look forward to co-operating 100 per cent fully with what is done." - Dalglish told reporters at Melwood in a pre-match conference.

Source: Liverpool FC Official, FootyTube

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For most Liverpool supporters this is the biggest game of the season, and with the supporters having a newly found belief with Dalglish instrumental in the club’s change of fortunes, this match was going to be a good measure of how far Liverpool has come in their quest to challenge United for the title. Liverpool went into the game with a decent start to the season and on the back of a confidence boosting win over their Merseyside rivals Everton. But Liverpool know they would need to be at their best to beat the Champions as they have been on fire since the start of the season. But Liverpool were trying to make this four wins in a row at home over United as their recent record has been impressive. This match was also going to be Dalglish’s 250 league game in charge of Liverpool. Another milestone was the 160 consecutive league game by Pepe Reina becoming only the sixth Liverpool player in the club’s history to achieve this.

THE TEAM

Kenny made only one change from the side that beat Everton with Steven Gerrard coming in for Andy Carroll. Gerrard was only starting his first match since March which was also against Manchester United. Skrtel and Carragher were again partnered in the middle of defence with Enrique on the left side of defence and Kelly on the right. Downing on the left of midfield with Kuyt on the right and Lucas and Adam once again in the middle. Gerrard supporting Suarez in attack.

THE MATCH

With Anfield at capacity and the atmosphere electric it was Liverpool who had the first attack with Enrique making a great run down the left before whipping in a dangerous cross which evaded everyone.

Then Gerrard had a free-kick headed to safety by Evra as Liverpool tried to gain the initiative. But United came into the game and Evra made a super run to the bye line before crossing to the back post but Jones could only head into the side netting.

On 21 minutes a short corner allowed Gerrard to whip in a cross towards the near post but Suarez glanced his header just wide of the target. Moments later Suarez hit an audacious 45 yard effort wide of goal with De Gea off his line.

Then in the 34th minute Adam hit a long range drive which broke kindly to Suarez who sidestepped Evans before shooting straight at De Gea. Ji- Sung Park shot wide after robbing Enrique of possession as United rarely threatened in the first half. So both teams went in at the half level with not many chances and the game proving to be as tight a contest as predicted.

Liverpool started the second half on the attack and had appeals for a penalty waved away when Kuyt saw a header come off the arm of Evans. United countered from this and Reina had to be alert to save from Young’s low drive.

The match was continuing to be a tight affair but it came to life in the 68th minute when Charlie Adam made a surging run through the middle of the United half and was then brought down by Ferdinand on the edge of the box. Gerrard fired the resulting free-kick through the United defensive wall and into the net sending the Kop wild.

Ferguson brought on Rooney, Nani and Hernandez to salvage the game and his substitutions worked when with 10 minutes remaining a Nani corner was headed into the roof of the net by Hernandez.

But it was Liverpool who looked to regain the lead in the closing minutes with Kuyt going so close after a superb cross by Downing but De Gea thwarted the Dutch man with a great save. The United keeper made another great save clawing away a brilliant dipping effort from Henderson. From the resulting corner Skrtel fired over after mayhem in the six yard box. Then right at the death Henderson headed just over from a Downing cross leaving Liverpool having to settle for a point.

SUMMARY

A typical tight, and tense affair, with United setting a team out to stop Liverpool playing and in my opinion looking for a draw from the start. The game had very few chances in the first half as both teams cancelled each other out. But Liverpool did have more opportunities and were unlucky not to win especially with the chances at the end. United, hardly threatened, with very few attempts on goal. Ferdinand should have been sent off at the free-kick leading up to the goal as he was on a yellow card, Marriner bottled it. The penalty appeal for Kuyt’s header would have been very soft. Great to see Gerrard back and scoring too, although, he did get lucky with the wall breaking, but who cares. Overall I thought Liverpool were the better team and played very well and can take a lot from this performance.

Man Of The Match - Enrique – Superb defensively and was such a threat going forward with some dangerous crosses.

Written by Jamie McLaughlin, who blogs at Anfield News

 

Source: FootyTube

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The war of words between Liverpool and Manchester United’s Patrice Evra escalated on Sunday night as Luis Suárez strongly denied allegations of racism.

Liverpool are standing firmly behind their South American striker following the Manchester United captain’s provocative claims after Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

Evra-Luis The Football Association have asked to meet Evra to discuss his assertion, that Suárez subjected him to persistent racial abuse.

If it is decided there is no case to answer, Liverpool expect Evra to be subject to disciplinary measures and banned due to the seriousness of his accusations.

Suárez strenuously denies any wrongdoing, and last night released a statement expressing his hurt at being caught up in the controversy.

“I’m upset by the accusations of racism,” Suárez said in a statement released on his Facebook page.

“I can only say that I have always respected and respect everybody. We are all the same. I go to the field with the maximum illusion of a little child who enjoys what he does, not to create conflicts.”

Liverpool have offered their full support to the player and their already frosty relations with Manchester United threaten to deteriorate even further as a consequence of Evra’s statements.

A fresh Anfield statement said: “Luis is adamant that he has not used language of that nature and the club is totally supportive of the player.”

United are making no comment on the affair following the start of the FA investigation.

As a matter of protocol, the FA must first speak to Evra before deciding what action, if any, is required. If the defender repeats the claims he made on a French TV channel to the FA, Suárez will be summoned to provide his version of events.

Match referee Andre Marriner was compelled to report the incident to the authorities after being made aware of the complaints after the full-time whistle.

He was unaware of any inappropriate language during the game itself, but Evra was adamant Suárez was continuously using racist slurs.

The pair could be seen involved in regular verbal and physical altercations during the game, but there was little hint of the extent of the row which was to follow.

Most of Liverpool’s staff and Suarez’s team-mates were completely unaware of any possible racial element to the quarrel until they read about it at the training ground yesterday morning.

“There are cameras, you can see him. He says a certain word to me at least 10 times,” Evra said in his interview with Canal Plus.

“I was very upset. In 2011 you can’t say things like this. He knows what he said, the ref knows it, it will come out.

"I won’t repeat what he said, but it was a racist word, and he said it more than 10 times.

"He tried to wind me up. I won’t make a huge deal out of it, but it’s very upsetting and disappointing.”

Evra is due to fly to Bucharest today with the rest of the Manchester United team for tomorrow’s Champions League tie, and the FA will not impose any timescale to resolve the issue.

They are acutely aware of the sensitivities surrounding the furore, particularly given the rivalry between the clubs involved and the potential for further antagonism.

A statement from the FA said: “Referee Andre Marriner was made aware of an allegation at the end of the fixture and subsequently reported this to the FA. The FA will now begin making enquiries into the matter.”

Liverpool initially released a statement on the player’s behalf on Saturday evening making it clear he rejected Evra’s comments.

“The first thing we did, as you would expect, is ask the player and he has categorically denied using any language of that nature,” it said.

The club’s stance toughened even more over the following 24 hours with the more emphatically supportive statement on Suárez’s behalf.

Evra has been caught up in similar rows before, although he has never made allegations himself.

Three years ago he was at the centre of a race row when Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethel was accused, and later exonerated, after a member of United’s staff said he used racist language against the French full-back.

Five years ago, Liverpool’s Steve Finnan was also subjected to a police investigation, and then cleared, after TV viewers suggested they had lip-read a racist insult aimed at Evra.

The latest incident comes as the anti-discrimination body Kick It Out promotes its weeks of action, which began last Thursday and runs through to October 31.

Indeed, Liverpool’s home Premier League match against Norwich on Saturday was marked in the calendar as offering high profile support for Kick It Out’s 'One Game, One Community’ campaign.

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Source: Telegraph

Stay tune for more news and follow me on Twitter. Get the LIVE match day PTT banter on Loudtalks.

Steven Gerrard marked his first start of the season with a goal as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United at Anfield on Saturday.

On his return to the starting XI for the first time since March, the Reds captain netted with a brilliant free-kick on 68 minutes to break the visitors' resistance in a tense contest.

But with 10 minutes left to play, substitute Javier Hernandez rescued a point for United when he headed home from a corner to ensure the spoils were shared in L4.

Gerrard was the main focus of the pre-match chatter after it emerged the captain had been handed his first start since March in what was Kenny Dalglish's 250th league game in charge of Liverpool.

Read more: Liverpool FC Official

Source: FootyTube

With the latest round of international fixtures out of the way, attention turns to Anfield at Saturday lunchtime with Liverpool hosting Champions and bitter rivals Manchester United.

It is a clash which will be a huge test of the title credentials of Kenny Dalglish's side as the Reds look to put down a marker and derail United's own title bid.

Liverpool fans will be looking for a repeat of last seasons Anfield victory over United in a match where Luis Suarez fully announced himself onto the Premier League scene with a fantastic display as he ran the United defence ragged.

As much as Liverpool fans would like to believe they can genuinely challenge for the title, the reality is that Manchester City are likely United's main rivals for the title. However, no matter who is competing with them for the title, their rivalry with Liverpool will always be the biggest, especially now with Sir Alex Ferguson's rival Dalglish - with whom he's never seen eye to eye - back in the hot seat.

All eyes this lunchtime will be on Wayne Rooney who has just been dealt the hammer blow of being ruled out of England's entire Euro 2012 group campaign, a result which may even put his inclusion in the squad in doubt.

With fresh question marks being made about his temperament, it will be very interesting to watch how he handles the intense pressure that is associated with this fixture. Although it could of course work the other way and he could put in the performance of his life.

Despite the financial muscle of Chelsea and Manchester City, these two giants remain England's biggest clubs and between them they sell more football shirts around the world than any other combination of clubs.

It's one of the toughest matches to call between the side in recent years with Liverpool's rather inconsistent form making it difficult to judge which team will turn up. But with Steven Gerrard back in the fold and Andy Carroll's confidence improving after his recent winner at Goodison Park, I'm tipping Liverpool to pull off a narrow 2-1 victory.

It's likely to be a token gesture in the wider title picture this season, but would be a sure-fire sign that Dalglish has his troops marching in the right direction.

Written by Colin Hill, a sports blogger who writes about football gifts.

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4 April 2015
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