Man Utd's Patrice Evra will play if fit at Anfield - Phelan

Patrice Evra & Luis Suarez
Evra was shown a yellow card after clashing with Suarez at Anfield in October

Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan insists that Patrice Evra will not be spared playing against Liverpool in Saturday's FA Cup clash.

"If he is fit, he is considered to play like any other player," said Phelan.

It is the first time the two rivals have met since , who ended up being handed an eight-match ban.

Suarez will still be suspended this weekend, a fact that is only likely to heighten the tension at Anfield.

But, especially bearing in mind their injury problem, United will not countenance the idea of leaving out Evra for Saturday lunchtime's Cup fourth round tie.

"It wouldn't be a consideration," said Phelan. "Patrice Evra is a football player who plays for Manchester United.

"If he is fit, he is considered to play like any other player.

"What has happened has happened. What has been said has been said.

"You are talking about a football match now and I think it will be a very good FA Cup tie."

Earlier this season, Sir Alex Ferguson left Wayne Rooney out of his starting line-up to face Liverpool due to the adverse reaction the striker receives in his home city and, last season, the United boss did not even take the England frontman to former club Everton.

Already without Rio Ferdinand, Anderson, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, Michael Owen and long-term absentees Darren Fletcher and Nemanja Vidic going into Sunday's 2-1 win at Arsenal, United lost Phil Jones with torn ankle ligaments, Nani left the stadium wearing a protective boot and Rooney, Evra and Michael Carrick also suffered knocks.

Rooney limped out of the stadium, Carrick tweaked a hamstring and Evra suffered a blow to the head, while Nani reportedly spent the train journey back to Manchester with his injured limb raised and his foot still protected.

But, although admitting that United are stretched by injuries as they bid to overhaul Manchester City in the title race, three points behind the Premier League leaders, Phelan remains defiant.

"We're not in the greatest state that we could possibly be in," said the United number two.

"However, we can call on all our experience and resources we have at this football club and we'll have to do that in the coming weeks."

Despite now facing a fixture list swelled by FA Cup and Europa League matches, the United assistant manager is optimistic that the versatile Jones can return to the side sooner rather than later, because of his sheer determination.

"He's that type of lad," Phelan told BBC Radio Manchester. "His character's very good in and around the place.

"He's disappointed that, over the last few weeks, he seems to have limped around the football field quite a bit, but he manages to recover, so we're optimistic he can do the same again."

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