• Owen uncertain about reaction from Anfield crowd
Michael Owen is to pull on the colours of Liverpool for the first time since leaving the club six years ago after agreeing to brave a potential backlash from Manchester United's supporters by playing for his old team in Jamie Carragher's testimonial match. Owen, reviled by some Liverpool fans after crossing one of the game's oldest divides, is said to be uncertain of the reaction he will get from the Anfield crowd but does not have great expectations considering the abuse when he returned last season for the first time since joining their rivals at Old Trafford.The former England striker has given his word to Carragher, however, that he will play in the match at Anfield on Saturday week, swapping the red of United for that of the team where he began his career. Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, has given him permission to play for 45 minutes and Owen will be in attack for a Liverpool XI taking on an Everton XI.
Carragher has also persuaded Jamie Redknapp, Danny Murphy, Jason McAteer and Emile Heskey to play, but he had told Owen he would understand if he thought it was too delicate for him politically bearing in mind the rivalry between Liverpool and United.
There is also the distinct possibility that United's fans will not be too impressed about one of their players being willing to wear a Liverpool shirt, especially with their first encounter of the season to follow only two weekends later.
Owen, though, regards Carragher as one of his closest friends in football and the organisers hope the goodwill felt towards the long-serving Liverpool defender will persuade the Anfield crowd to go easy on their former player and maybe even demonstrate some warmth and appreciation for a man who scored over 200 goals for the club in eight years and has been described by Steven Gerrard as "the best striker in the history of Liverpool Football Club." (HAHA) Nonetheless, it is understood Owen will be given his own security on his way to and from the stadium.
This should be amusing. Aww bless, some people thinking because it's a testimonial, the Scousers will go easy on Owen. No chance. XD