He's Evra ready! Race row defender will face Liverpool in FA Cup clash
Into the lion's den: Evra will face the Anfield faithful later this month
Patrice Evra will be pitched into the cauldron of Anfield by Sir Alex Ferguson later this month despite the fall-out from his race row with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.
The Uruguayan is serving an eight-match ban after he was found guilty of racially abusing Evra when Manchester United played at Liverpool in October.
The incident has put further strain on the relationship between the two bitter rivals who have been drawn to meet again at Anfield in the fourth round of the FA Cup on January 28.
The FA have already indicated they will write to both clubs warning them not to inflame hostilities before the tie, but United skipper Evra is certain to be a target for Liverpool fans if he plays – even though Suarez will still be suspended.
Ferguson insisted he is prepared to play the 30-year-old France defender.
'I haven't decided on that but it wouldn't be a problem for me,' said the United boss.
'He's done OK (since the controversy). I think the players look up to him. He's a very popular player with a good personality and you have to have a good personality to be a captain of a club like ours. He's very friendly, has humour and he's a determined lad.
'One of your players who will be playing all the time should be at the forefront to be your captain and that was the case with Patrice. I tend to go for age and experience.
Different characters: Fergie admits Evra isn't as voluble as Ferdinand
'He has different qualities to Rio Ferdinand. He's not as voluble as Rio but he certainly influences a lot of things, and his own performance is very good.'
Asked about the prospect of FA intervention before the tie, Ferguson added: 'I'm not going to discuss that. What I say about the FA Cup is that if you get a home draw, you're the favourite and it's a home draw for Liverpool.'
United can go level on points with League leaders Manchester City, who do not play at Wigan until Monday, if they beat Bolton at Old Trafford today. But Ferguson has warned against underestimating Owen Coyle's side.
He said: 'When you play against a team down at the bottom of the table, as we experienced against Blackburn (in the 3-2 defeat on New Year's Eve), we've got to address it properly. That is the one thing you are guaranteed from these teams down at the bottom – they will fight for their existence and that is what we expect from Bolton.'