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Adding fuel to the Red fire

All eyes at Old Trafford today will be on Manchester United's Patrice Evra and Liverpool's Luis Suarez should the two players meet for the first time since a race row. Man United vs Liverpool: How they stack up

sports Updated: Feb 11, 2012 01:37 IST
Manchester United

All eyes at Old Trafford on Saturday will be on Manchester United's Patrice Evra and Liverpool's Luis Suarez should the two players meet for the first time since a race row.

Uruguay forward Suarez was banned for eight games after being found guilty of racially abusing the United defender in a 1-1 draw at Anfield in October. The incident stoked the bitter rivalry between the north-west giants, with Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish -- who has continued to insist Suarez should never have been banned at all -- steadfast in support of the striker. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/11-02-pg22b.jpg

"It's time for all of us to draw a line under what happened and move forward,” Dalglish said.

However, the clubs have met since October's clash, with Liverpool knocking United out of the FA Cup at Anfield last month, and Dalglish, who along with opposing manager Sir Alex Ferguson has called for calm, believes that tie has helped defuse tensions between the sides.

Reigning Premier League champions United go into the match two points behind leaders Manchester City and 16 ahead of Liverpool.

But for League Cup finalists Liverpool their Premier League goal this term is a top four finish that will guarantee Champions League football next season. And given they are just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, that aim remains within their sights.

Last season United's record 19th English title took them one above Liverpool and Old Trafford veteran Ryan Giggs said even though the Anfield club were last crowned champions of England in 1990, they remained a key test.

"We're the two most successful teams in the country, so we know we've got to perform and play well to get anything from any game against them, he said. "It's the club we tried to catch for so long and now we've caught them, the challenge is to stay ahead."