Liverpool could win the Premier League title against neighbours Everton next month at the home ground of either Manchester United or Manchester City. England’s top tier is set to restart on June 17 with reigning champions City hosting Arsenal and Aston Villa taking on Sheffield United, subject to government approval.
After that, all 20 teams in England’s top flight will have played the same amount of matches, with a full round of fixtures then following on the weekend of June 19-21.
And that first full weekend could see a free-to-air Merseyside derby held in Manchester on Saturday June 20.
Police remain concerned that fans will gather outside of stadiums for big matches, a category which Everton vs Liverpool would certainly fall into, especially given the circumstances.
The Reds are 25 points clear of City as they look to win their first league title in 30 years and there is potential for them to win the league against the Toffees.
That can be crowned champions of England in the first game back after the coronavirus-enforced break, which will have spanned three months, if City lose to Arsenal days earlier.
Liverpool head into the restart needing six points from their last nine games to be handed the trophy.
And so instead of the derby being held at Goodison Park as normal, it could take place at either United’s home Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium, where City play their matches.
There are particular fears that Liverpool fans would gather outside of Goodison to celebrate their title triumph if the scenario arose.
Liverpool and Everton are both thought to be trying to convince the authorities that they can safely play their home matches as normal, and they have the support of the other 18 clubs in the league.
The league will follow up on its plans in the next meeting of the 20 clubs next Thursday.
The police are however arguing that there are 10 to 12 ‘high risk’ matches which should be played at neutral venues, also including London derbies such as Tottenham vs Arsenal.
Liverpool released an angry statement in April blasting Mayor Joe Anderson for claims that “thousands of people” would gather outside Anfield and that the idea of the season restarting is “a non-starter”.
The Reds declared that they were “disappointed” by the comments, insisting Mayor Anderson had “a lack of evidence to support such claims”.
- Premier League TV schedule: Full list of fixtures – When is it back?
And the club’s hierarchy do not want their fans to be singled out as potential rulebreakers and are keen to see their final matches played at L4.
But Jurgen Klopp’s charges may have to play all of their remaining home games – against Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Burnley and Chelsea – away from Anfield until they mathemetically win the league.
Outside of the selected ‘high risk’ matches, however, most are expected to be played in a home and away capacity as with the German Bundesliga.
Sky Sports will broadcast Everton vs Liverpool for free, as one of 25 games they have committed to showing for non-paying customers.
Their package gives them the rights to show 64 of the remaining 92 fixtures of the season, likely starting with Tottenham’s clash with Manchester United on Friday June 19.
All 92 fixtures of the campaign will be shown live on either Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport or Amazon Prime.
BBC Sport have also confirmed that they will air four matches in total. It will be the first time a live top-flight football match will be broadcast by the BBC since 1987-88.
But the Premier League’s chief executive Richard Masters has warned: “Today we have provisionally agreed to resume the Premier League on Wednesday June 17.
“But this date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority.
“Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches.
“The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home.
“We will continue to work step-by-step and in consultation with all our stakeholders as we move towards resuming the 2019/20 season.”
Premier League revised kick-off times
Friday – 8pm
Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm, 5.30pm, 8pm
Sunday – 12pm, 2pm, 4.30pm, 7pm
Monday – 8pm
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