Manchester United striker Michael Owen has tried to lessen the hostility surrounding his return to Anfield later this month by playing down his comments about being at the biggest club in the world.

Earlier this week the former Liverpool player praised the input of manager Sir Alex Ferguson, adding life at Old Trafford was "everything you would expect of a top team, probably the biggest club in the world".

"I didn't set out to offend anyone," explained the 29-year-old.

"What I said was, in terms of support, revenue and stadium, Man United are probably the biggest in the world but Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are up there with them in other areas.

"In saying that, I'm sure things I've said at different times over the last 20 years will be dredged up and turned into back-page stories over the next two weeks.

"I've been back before with Newcastle a couple of times, so I've played there for an opposing team, but I'm certainly looking forward to this game.

"It will be different, it'll be a bit noisier."

Owen has yet to be on the winning side against his former club but knows, playing for United, that could change this season.

"As usual between United and Liverpool, it'll be a competitive game between two of the world's top teams," he added.

"The teams are more equally matched perhaps than when I went back with Newcastle, so it should be a good game and an exciting day."

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#Michael Owen
#Premier League
#Alex
#Manchester United
#Liverpool
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