Rooney likely to miss Anfield tie

Striker has not trained since picking up calf and ankle problems in victory at Arsenal

Wayne Rooney may play no part in Manchester United's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Anfield today, after he was unable to train yesterday.

Rooney is unlikely even to feature on the bench, as ankle and calf injuries sustained at Arsenal last Sunday are believed to have prevented him from training this week. Sir Alex Ferguson's anxieties about the injuries that have afflicted his side led him to decline any discussion of the subject yesterday.

The absence of any pre-match injury discussion from the United manager is rare in the extreme and Ferguson's uneasiness was obvious. Ferguson was also displeased to be asked about Patrice Evra – a reasonable question, considering the reception that the left-back is likely to receive at Anfield.

"I'm not getting involved in that, right?" he replied. It was clear that he would tolerate no further discussion of the player, whom his assistant, Mike Phelan, has already indicated will play.

Asked by the BBC if leaving Evra out was an option, Phelan said: "Looking at the injury list, we haven't got many options. No, I don't think so – because Patrice Evra is a football player, he plays for Manchester United and if he is fit he is considered for any game of football. What's happened has happened. What's been said has been said. We are talking about a football match now."

The United manager has sanctioned Darren Fletcher – who has been ruled out for the rest of this season by a bowel condition – to undertake a coaching role with United's reserves, with duties resembling those that Paul Scholes was carrying out before his return to playing earlier this month. Fletcher is understood not to be at United's Carrington training complex every day but the part-time role is an opportunity to keep him mobile and in touch with the club.

Ferguson appealed to fans and players to ensure there is no attempt at retribution following the Liverpool striker Luis Suarez's suspension for directing the word "negro" at Evra. Ferguson said: "As Steven Gerrard said yesterday, there is a responsibility on the players to behave properly. That is what I expect my players to do. Both sets of fans have got to make sure we are talking about the game and nothing else."

Danny Welbeck is likely to start in Rooney's absence, though the involvement of Anderson and Ashley Young is in doubt. Phil Jones is understood to have made a good recovery from the ankle injury he sustained at Arsenal, though a back spasm may keep Rio Ferdinand out. Nani may be out for at least a month with a foot injury he picked up at the Emirates Stadium.

Of the Welbeck, Ferguson said: "We were always aware of Danny's ability as a kid. The issue is addressing his physical being. At 16, he had problems with his knee, because he was growing, and thigh problems. We see the signs now. The stats are showing there is a bit to come before he is the complete adult."

Regarding the behaviour of supporters, the Merseyside police match commander, Chief Superintendent Jon Ward, said: "We know feelings will run high but... don't let emotions overspill and take over because the message is very clear. As at Old Trafford, the CCTV at Anfield is excellent and if there is any misbehaviour we will try to track you down through CCTV. The message is that if you do come with that attitude you will regret it as you will not be able to go and watch football again."

Liverpool and United: Five Famous Fixtures

21 May 1977

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

Stuart Pearson's early second-half goal put United ahead in the FA Cup final only for Jimmy Case's volley to level matters almost immediately. Jimmy Greenhoff's deflected shot put United back in front as three goals were scored inside four minutes and Tommy Docherty's side held on.

4 January 1994

Liverpool 3-3 Manchester United

Steve Bruce, Ryan Giggs and Denis Irwin had Sir Alex Ferguson's champions three up inside 24 minutes at Anfield, before two from Nigel Clough and a late Neil Ruddock header secured an unlikely point for Graeme Souness's side. United still went on to retain their title.

24 January 1999

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

Michael Owen put Gérard Houllier's side ahead in the FA Cup fourth-round tie only for United to score twice in the last three minutes through Dwight Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a trend that became familiar in that treble-winning season.

14 March 2009

Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool

Liverpool surprised 10-man United to give momentum to the Merseyside club's title challenge. Fernando Torres shrugged off Nemanja Vidic to equalise Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty before Steven Gerrard's penalty gave the visitors the half-time lead. Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena secured the win after the break following Vidic's red card.

15 October 2011

Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United

Javier Hernandez equalised a Gerrard free-kick to rescue a point but the main talking point became Luis Suarez's contretemps with United's Patrice Evra. The Frenchman accused the forward of racial abuse, and the Uruguayan was eventually banned for eight games, the seventh of which he serves today.

News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003