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Manchester City to avoid Liverpool hotel stay amid fireworks and ‘general tomfoolery’ concerns



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Decision makers at Manchester City have reportedly opted to remain in Manchester on the night before their Premier League showdown with Liverpool over safety concerns.

The Premier League champions travel to Merseyside this weekend knowing that victory would move them to two points clear at the top of the division, in what would be a significant step towards them claiming an unprecedented fourth successive top-flight crown.

Pep Guardiola and his players come into the contest on a run of fine form, remaining unbeaten in their last 20 matches across all competitions in a run that stretches back to mid-December and includes a number of high-profile victories including the FIFA Club World Cup success.

However, Manchester City’s biggest test in that run comes this weekend, and club officials have taken extra steps this week to ensure that their preparations remain undisturbed from supporters of the Anfield club.

That is according to the information of MailSport’s Jack Gaughan, writing in the latest edition of the Man City Notebook, who reports that City have opted to mitigate the risk of ‘potential fireworks or general tomfoolery’ around a hotel by remaining in Manchester on Saturday night.

The usual plan for the Premier League champions would be to travel to the town or city of their opponents the night before a game, before relaxing in a nearby hotel, allowing for a laid back morning in the lead up to their scheduled fixture.

This time however, amid concerns over the behaviour of Liverpool supporters, it is reported that Manchester City will instead have a final session on the Saturday ahead of the Premier League title battle at Anfield, before taking a coach to Merseyside on Sunday morning.

Jack Gaughan speculates that Manchester City are ‘likely’ to spend some time in a nearby Liverpool hotel in the hours before kick-off for a pre-match meal, before making another short coach ride to Anfield.

The extra steps taken to reduce issues around the fixture stem beyond Manchester City and their own plans, with Merseyside Police confirming throughout the week preceding the match that they will be taking precautions to reduce trouble around the visiting coach arrival.

Liverpool and City’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg meeting of 2018 was marred by crowd problems, with supporters of the Merseyside club damaging Manchester City’s team coach with missiles including coins and glass bottles.

Police have reiterated that they will be in force in increased numbers to reduce the threat on Manchester City’s arrival this weekend, whilst also deploying surveillance teams to monitor the route taken by Pep Guardiola and his players.