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(Reuters) - Manchester City's clash with league leaders Liverpool next Thursday will take place at the Etihad Stadium and not at a neutral ground, despite concerns the venue may attract supporters.
Liverpool could seal their first English league crown in 30 years against City next Thursday, and authorities were concerned that fans might congregate outside the stadium to celebrate their success, flouting restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The match was one of five that police had requested be played at neutral venues but Manchester City Council’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) said that it had no objections to the game taking place at City's Etihad Stadium.
"Following the most recent round of Premier League fixtures... the SAG has signalled it has no objections to the fixture taking place at the Etihad Stadium as planned," Luthfur Rahman, executive member of the Manchester City Council, said in a statement.
"As with all other Premier League matches this fixture will take place behind closed doors, with no fans present.”
If City fail to beat Chelsea on Thursday then Liverpool will be crowned Champions. Should City win at Stamford Bridge, however, then Liverpool can seal the title with a draw against Pep Guardiola's side next week.
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)