Liverpool call for calm ahead of Utd clash

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Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has asked fans to show “rivalry not hatred” when the Reds meet Manchester United at Anfield in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Intensity at the game is expected to be heightened in the aftermath of the Luis Suarez/Patrice Evra racism row.

Although Suarez is suspended for the game, Evra is expected to play and receive the full blast of the Kop, with many fans believing the Frenchman made up and exaggerated allegations against Suarez.

Ayre told the BBC, “We have massive rivalry with Manchester United but those who are respectful also have respect for them because they are a great footballing side and team and, like us, they have been very successful.

“It is about a great spirit and a match between two great teams and it is certainly not hatred – there is no place for hatred in football.

“The banter on the terraces is great, both managers feel that as do the players. Far from trying to neutralise it we want our fans to be as vocal as they normally are against Manchester United.

“We definitely don’t want to detract from that but both clubs have histories which have some things in people don’t want to hear being sung about and so we want the fans to get behind the team, have a bit of fun and enjoy the game.”

Liverpool vs Man Utd gets underway at 12.45pm tomorrow afternoon.

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