The news of the Premier League return after months of no activity has been welcomed with great excitement from the fans. Players are already back to camp for full contact training, with the first game scheduled only days from now. During the first weekend, Liverpool will face Everton on Sunday, hoping to bag the three points in a bid to take their first EPL title in three decades.
According to Liverpool City Mayor Joe Anderson, the Merseyside derby has the go-ahead to take place later this month in Everton. The two rivals will be playing their first match since returning from the three-month international sports break caused by health and safety issues. However, fears of fans gathering outside Goodison Park has led to the speculation that the game might be hosted on neutral grounds.
Despite these speculations, the Merseyside Police department says there weren’t any objection from the force to stage the game at either Anfield or Goodison Park. Previously, Mayor Anderson had expressed concerns over restarting the EPL in their normal home-away matches schedule for the fear that supporters might gather outside stadiums.
While Mayor Anderson continues to insist that fans should keep off the venues, he has withdrawn his earlier complaint about the two stadiums hosting the derby. In his statement to the press, the mayor said he believes that the city is in a better state compared to how it was a month ago. The mayor also revealed that they’ve managed to show the public why nobody must try to congregate or access the stadiums.
Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp has also made it clear that their supporters need to keep of the grounds for safety purposes. As such, Klopp has no objection at the games being played at the Clubs’ home grounds, either at Goodison Park or Anfield.
To this point, Liverpool only needs to get two victories from their remaining nine matches to secure the EPL title this season. However, they might take it all at the Toffees if Manchester City fails to beat Arsenal on 17 th June. That comes as great news to Liverpool fans, though Klopp feels that any title parade might need to be put on hold for several months due to public health concerns.
According to Klopp, it’s sad that people can’t breathe the way they’ve always done due to the ongoing public health crisis. That also affects the manager, as his ideal celebration of a title win doesn’t feature an empty stadium. Nonetheless, that’s an acceptable compromise if you consider the well-being of both the players and the fans.
For this derby, Liverpool comes out as the bookie’s favourite, though it’s quite hard to tell which side will take the game. That’s considering what’s at stake for Liverpool, added to Everton’s injury woes. Everton’s Fabian Delph and Andre Gomes have been missing in training, while Theo Walcott’s minor injuries put him out of commission for at least a month. Additionally, Yerry Mina will be out due to a thigh muscle injury earlier in June.