Soccer: Liverpool hoping for peace

Liverpool's Sebastian Coates, right, celebrates his equalizer to 3:3 with teammate Fabio Borini during the UEFA Europa League Group A soccer match between BSC Young Boys and Liverpool. Photo / AP
Liverpool's Sebastian Coates, right, celebrates his equalizer to 3:3 with teammate Fabio Borini during the UEFA Europa League Group A soccer match between BSC Young Boys and Liverpool. Photo / AP

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is confident his side's potentially explosive English Premier League clash against Manchester United on Monday (NZT) will pass off peacefully.

United's visit to Anfield on Monday (NZT) will be an emotionally-charged occasion as it marks Liverpool's first home match since the publication of a new report into the Hillsborough disaster.

A number of tributes are being planned prior to the game to commemorate the 1989 tragedy, which saw 96 Liverpool fans crushed to death during an FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield.

Since the report there have also been widespread appeals to fans of both clubs to cease tasteless chanting about tragedies to have befallen their rivals.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been at the forefront of those calls and Rodgers believes there will no repeat of past taunts relating to Hillsborough.

He is also confident Liverpool fans won't engage in jibes about the 1958 Munich air disaster which led to the deaths of several United players, the famed "Busby Babes".

"There has been dialogue all week. There is respect in terms of the traditions of both clubs," Rodgers said today.

"We want this day to be remembered for the right reasons before the game, and the footballing reasons.

"A lot of work has been done and hopefully Sunday will pass off peacefully and well and we can talk about the tributes and football.

"It is an emotionally-charged game. I wouldn't sit here and tell Liverpool supporters how to behave. I know how they have behaved over many years has been fantastic.

"These are well-educated supporters who value humanity. I have no issues or no problems there, the message has been clear, and from Sir Alex as well, in relation to his supporters.

"I am sure once we pay the tributes to the families we can get on with the football."

-AAP

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