Evra set for Liverpool showdown

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Manchester United defender Patrice Evra won't be shielded from facing Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend.

The two sides meet for the first time since Evra lodged allegations of racial abuse against Reds forward Luis Suarez, who was subsequently banned for eight matches by the Football Association.

While the Uruguayan is still suspended, Evra is set to take his place in the United team, and according to assistant manager Mike Phelan, won't be spared the trip to Anfield.

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

"It wouldn't be a consideration,"Phelan added. "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."

Even if Sir Alex Ferguson had the intention to protect Evra, his defensive injury crisis, which was added to by Phil Jones, following his fall in Sunday's win over Arsenal, will have prevented him from doing so.

Evra is likely to captain a United team still without Rio Ferdinand, Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Ashley Young and Michael Owen, while Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher are long-term absentees.

Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Nani are also doubts for the trip to Merseyside, and Phelan admits the team aren't in the best shape as they enter a crucial period of the season.

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

"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."

United currently trail Manchester United by three points in the Premier League title race, while their Europa League campaign gets underway in three weeks when they travel to Ajax.

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