PREMIER LEAGUE

Liverpool v Manchester City to be played at the Etihad

Liverpool will take on Manchester City next week after council chiefs said the Etihad Stadium could stage the fixture rather than a neutral venue.

Liverpool v Manchester City to be played at the Etihad
Shaun Botterill Getty Images

Liverpool's away meeting with Manchester City next week will be played at the Etihad Stadium after council officials decided there was no need to move the game. The 2 July fixture had been earmarked as one that was being considered for being moved to a neutral venue, as Liverpool close in on the Premier League title.

Liverpool fans and social distancing

Concerns that Liverpool fans could gather in large numbers outside the stadium or even at Anfield, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic remains a threat to public health, had led to suggestions some games could be moved. Greater Manchester Police has been carrying out risk assessments of Premier League games in the area, and the visit of Liverpool has now been cleared by Manchester City Council.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, an executive member for skills, culture and leisure, said: “The council's safety advisory group [SAG] for the Etihad Stadium met this morning to review the upcoming fixture between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC. Following the most recent round of Premier League fixtures, which have all taken place behind closed doors, the SAG has signalled it has no objections to the above fixture taking place at the Etihad Stadium as planned at 8.15pm, Thursday July 2. As with all other Premier League matches this fixture will take place behind closed doors, with no fans present."

Premier League title within touching distance for Liverpool

Liverpool have moved to the brink of becoming English champions for the first time since 1990 after a 4-0 home win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday left them needing a maximum of two points from their remaining seven games.

There is a possibility of the title being secured before Liverpool head to Manchester, with City needing to win at Chelsea tonight to delay celebrations on Merseyside. Jürgen Klopp's side would make certain of the title with a draw at City, given Pep Guardiola's team are the only side that can mathematically catch Liverpool.