Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez will come face to face for the first time since Suarez racially abused Evra at Anfield in October.
Suarez only returned from his eight game suspension on Monday night against Spurs and will surely be in for a hostile reception from the Old Trafford faithful when the two sides meet on Saturday.
The big question on everyone’s mind is whether the pair will shake hands prior to kickoff.
Liverpool manager Kenny Daglish has already confirmed that his striker will shake the hands of his opponents.
“But from Luis’s point of view, we have spoken to him and I know he will shake the hand of Patrice Evra and the other Manchester United players before the game.”
The ball seems to be in Evra’s court, with everyone urging the Frenchman to draw a line under this racism row which has been in the headlines for the last 3 months.
It probably would be best for the Manchester United captain to shake hands with the Liverpool man, but could you really blame him if he didn’t? It’s fair to say that the pair will never be friends and any handshake would be nothing more than an empty gesture. It would be completely understandable if Evra did indeed refuse to shake the hand of Suarez after all Evra was the victim of racial abuse, something that a handshake cannot take back.
Kenny Daglish has done nothing to help the matter by claiming Suarez, “should have never been out in the first place.” Daglish needs to realise that it is comments like this that will only heighten the animosity between the two clubs as we head up towards derby day. The Liverpool boss has not exactly handled the Evra and Suarez affair with the most distinction by continually backing his player even after he was found guilty.
Handshake snubs have become increasingly more common in recent years with a number of high profile players declining to shake their opponent’s hands for a variety of reasons, usually involving John Terry it must be said. Famously, Wayne Bridge refused the hand of John Terry after it had been revealed that Terry had an affair with the mother of Bridges’ child. More recently, the pregame greeting was scrapped altogether when Q.P.R. faced Chelsea with a number of the Rangers players said to be unwilling to shake the hand of Terry because of his alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand in a previous meeting of the two West London clubs.
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