Liverpool, United set for emotional EPL match

2012-09-20 10:30

Handshakes could overshadow football for the second straight Premier League weekend when Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra meet for the first time since an angry pre-match clash last season inflamed tensions between English giants Liverpool and Manchester United.

Sunday’s match between the country’s two most successful clubs will already be an emotional occasion, given that it’s Liverpool’s first at Anfield since the release of the Hillsborough report that revealed damning new evidence about Britain’s worst sporting disaster.

A series of tributes are planned and with players under orders to respect the occasion, all eyes will be on whether Evra and Suarez shake hands in the traditional pre-match protocol following their racism feud that erupted last year.

The last time they came face to face – at Old Trafford in February – Suarez shunned the outstretched hand of Evra, the player he was found guilty of repeatedly racially abusing during a Premier League match four months earlier.

An already-hostile atmosphere ratcheted up a few notches, with Evra initially physically confronting the Uruguay striker before the pair clashed again outside the dressing rooms at halftime – forcing police to intervene.

United manager Alex Ferguson called Suarez “a disgrace” and said he shouldn’t play for Liverpool again, while then-Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was ridiculed for failing to condemn his player for his actions.

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