Liverpool facing six neutral-venue games as part of 12 'high risk' PL matchesby Buzz Contributor
Liverpool face playing six games at neutral venues amid concerns over 12 “high risk” Premier League fixtures that could attract large crowds outside stadiums.
Top-flight sides rejected the idea of playing out the remaining 2019/20 fixtures at neutral hubs across the country, with Premier League chief executive Richard Masters admitting “everybody would prefer to play home and away if at all possible.”
But according to the Daily Mail, police have identified six matches of particular concern that will have to be staged at neutral venues when football returns.
The full list of fixtures police hold concerns over are: Manchester City vs Liverpool, Manchester City v Newcastle, Manchester United v Sheffield United, Newcastle v Liverpool, Everton v Liverpool, and the game that sees Liverpool wrap up the title.
Those six fixtures have been identified after authorities were asked which games concerned them.
None of those fixtures relate to relation-threatened sides, although additional fixtures could be added if pivotal relegation encounters that could attract large numbers are created when the season gets back up and running.
The Times are reporting that 12 “high risk” matches are currently being discussed by officials behind the scenes.
That could include Liverpool’s remaining Anfield fixtures before they inevitably become champions, as well as the game that sees them lift the Premier League title.
Along with the three away matches police have identified as a concern, that means the Reds could be forced to play six times at neutral venues - with just two more wins needed to seal the title.
Where neutral games will be staged has not yet been decided, but some of Britain’s 43 police force areas have expressed their willingness to host them.
Premier League chiefs will now discuss that matter with senior football police officers, who today praised the league for their cooperative and positive contribution to security discussions.
Greater Manchester Police have identified three fixtures in their force area of concern, while Newcastle’s huge fan base is clearly a worry for officers.
The Premier League confirmed on Thursday that a plan is in place for the 2019/20 season to restart on June 17 and be concluded by July 25, with 92 games to be held in 39 days.