Despite wider plans for the Premier League to return with teams playing at their home stadiums, there has been plenty of talk in recent weeks about select games—major derbies and potential title-deciders amongst them—to be played at neutral venues.
However, it looks like the first major match that would have been impacted—Liverpool’s derby match against local rivals Everton—will go ahead as planned at Goodison Park on Sunday, June 21st as one of the headlining matches of the league’s restart.
This according to The Mirror’s David Maddock, who says that the police and local council have both thrown their support behind the clubs in the matter and that as a result an official announcement confirming the decision is expected to be made later in the week.
The league and FA have final say on the matter, but until now they have been steadfast in their assurances that any decisions in regard to playing games at home or moving them to neutral venues would be based on the wishes of relevant local authorities.
“We’re in a better place than we were four weeks ago,” said Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson. “Merseyside police have made it clear they support the derby going ahead and they are the ones responsible for policing outside the ground and maintaining social distancing.”
With local authorities supporting the playing of the derby at Goodison—and then future Liverpool home games at Anfield—it leaves Liverpool’s date at Man City on July 2nd as likely the only match on the club’s schedule that could end up at a neutral ground.