Manchester City may have to gi...

Sport

Manchester City may have to give Liverpool guard of honour on their patch

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

2:27 PM - 25 Jun 2020



Manchester City may find themselves in the position of having to give the Liverpool players a guard of honour - on their own patch.

The reigning Premier League champions have been given permission to host next Thursday's league fixture against the champions-in-waiting at the Etihad Stadium.

There were discussions held over the possibility of moving the game to a neutral venue over fears that supporters could gather outside the stadium for the behind-closed-doors match.

However a Manchester City Council safety advisory group (SAG) agreed it could be played at City's home ground.

The executive member for skills, culture and leisure for Manchester City Council, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, explained the reasons for allowing the game to go ahead at City's own ground.

"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 Etihad Stadium as planned at 8:15pm, Thursday, 2 July," Rahman said in a statement.

"As with all other Premier League matches, this fixture will take place behind closed doors, with no fans present."

The Reds could arrive in Manchester next week having already sealed their first English top-flight title win in 30 years, if City slip up tonight.

To avoid that, Pep Guardiola's team must beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight.

If Chelsea even take a point from the game, it is expected that the City players will give the newly crowned champions a guard of honour as they arrive on the pitch.

The gesture is not compulsory but a tradition in England with the first of these to have occurred more than half a century ago.

Liverpool had to do it in 2015 when they faced then-champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge near the end of the season.

All matches since the Premier League restarted have been played without supporters in attendance due to the UK government's Covid-19 restrictions.



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