Football: Finally, they clash in Singapore

Football: Finally, they clash in Singapore
LEGENDS: Man United’s Andrew Cole (above) will feature in the Battle of the Reds in November.
PHOTO: Reuters

They are age-old rivals and no stranger to facing off in front of 50,000-strong crowds.

Come Nov 14, former players of Manchester United and Liverpool will renew their rivalry in Singapore, at the 55,000-capacity National Stadium.

The Castlewood Group Battle of the Reds 2015 will feature the likes of former Manchester United winger Lee Sharpe, Andrew Cole and Paul Parker.

The trio were part of the Manchester United double-winning team from the 1995-96 season famously inspired by Eric Cantona and peppered with youngsters who would go on to be christened "Fergie's Fledglings".

The Reds' legendary former striker Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and winger Luis Garcia, who was part of the 2005 Champions League-winning team, will be among those who will fly the Liverpool Masters flag and try to upstage their traditional rivals.

The Liverpool Masters took on a team of ex-Singapore internationals at the Jalan Besar Stadium last year, with the Reds winning 3-1.

This year's 11-a-side clash, organised by Masters Football Asia and Castlewood Group, will last 80 minutes and promises to be bigger and better.

Said Castlewood Group CEO Chris Comer: "The 'red rivalry' between Liverpool and Manchester United has been well-documented over the years, and we are excited to bring this to our doorstep in Asia.

"With both teams being extremely popular in Singapore, the event has been upsized to the National stadium so we can expect this match to be bigger than ever."

The two clubs are the most successful in English football and their particular meetings each season are among one of the most storied occasions in the UK calendar.

The Reds and the Reds Devils are the two most popular sides in Singapore, and with pride at stake, local fans could well be looking forward to wearing their favourite colours and turn out for the match.

Sharpe, known for his pace and wing wizardry, warned that the pressure would be on.

"I think the competitive edge never leaves you ... we don't like losing to Liverpool and they don't like losing to us," he said.

"They got the better of us the last few times we played them and I don't know if revenge is the right word, but we certainly owe them one, that's for sure."

Tickets are priced at $30 and $45, with concession tickets available at $19.

Family packages for two adults and two children are also available.

All 11,000 tickets are now on sale via www.sportshub.com.sg, and The New Paper understands that organisers may consider releasing more tickets if there is overwhelming demand.

"Singaporeans are great fans of football, and we're hoping the fans will come out in full force to support their respective teams this November," said Ian Holahan, the director of Masters Football Asia.

"Should the response be more than positive, we will look into the possibility of releasing more tickets."

cnicole@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 24, 2015.
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