Andrew Cole and John Barnes on Liverpool-Man Utd FA Cup clash

Patrice Evra and Luiz Suarez
Suarez (right) will miss the FA Cup clash due to an eight-game ban

Andrew Cole hopes a memorable match between Liverpool and Manchester United makes the headlines rather than the Luis Suarez-Patrick Evra race row.

Suarez received an eight-game ban for racially abusing Evra during the 1-1 Premier League draw at Anfield in October, and Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at the same venue represents the first meeting between the sides since.

Former Manchester United striker Cole told BBC North West Tonight that he wants the focus to be on events on the pitch - and not any possible abuse that may be directed towards Evra.

Ex-Liverpool winger John Barnes, meanwhile, warned both clubs that taking their eye off the ball could see them knocked out of the FA Cup.


"We should be talking about a great game but now we're talking about other elements of football. We hope it doesn't sour the relations between the clubs. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to walk away and say what a great game it is.

Andrew Cole
Andrew Cole made 275 appearances for Manchester United

"I don't think he [Evra] will be thinking about it. Will it make any difference to Patrice that he's going to get booed more than last time? I don't think so - he is a seasoned professional.

"It will make him puff his chest out even more. He's going to be captain of Manchester United in a great game against Liverpool, so it will make no difference.

"I know how much the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] loves these games. He loves playing at Anfield; he loves it when he gets a positive result there.

"Before the Suarez and Evra thing, it is a great atmosphere. It is somewhere you want to ply your trade.

"We're overdue a good result at Anfield. If it doesn't come in the shape of a win, then I would take a draw and take them back to Old Trafford to finish it there."


"The most important thing is to try and win the football match because if you lose focus on that then you could lose the game.

"We know Evra is going to get booed. Don't get angry and surprised - as long as it's not racist, you are allowed to boo the opposition.

John Barnes
John Barnes scored 108 goals in Liverpool colours

"We're getting a bit caught up in how you can't abuse the opposition - in football you can.

"I hope that they [Liverpool] don't now dip because they've got the consolation of the place in the [Carling] Cup final.

"Manchester United perform consistently well. Liverpool have been inconsistent, which you can see by their performance against Bolton and then Manchester City.

"I know what Manchester United will turn up; they will play with the right attitude and desire. I hope Liverpool can match that."

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