Last updated : 31 January 2006 By Ed


'The BBC's probable request that Liverpool's fifth-round FA Cup tie against Manchester United be staged in the early evening is likely to be blocked by Merseyside police and the Football Association.

The BBC have first choice of matches for the weekend of Feb 18-19 and will go for the tie-of-the-round clash of the North West rivals.

Prime slots would be either 5.15pm on Saturday or 6pm the following day. The police and authorities may, though, consider an earlier kick-off preferable.

Last season, United were given a Saturday tea-time kick-off for their fifth-round tie at Everton, a match given added spice by the first return to Goodison of Wayne Rooney. Thirty-three supporters were arrested and five police officers injured in running battles following United's 2-0 win.

Trouble began when a missile - thought to be a coin - injured United goalkeeper Roy Carroll. A number of other missiles were also hurled, including a mobile phone.

Sports minister Richard Caborn called for a review of kick-off times for high profile games. This match would have fitted that bill even before Gary Neville's taunting of Liverpool fans after a late winner when the sides met in the Premiership at Old Trafford this month.