The Merseyside Derby will take place at Goodison Park after both Everton and Liverpool were given the green light to host home games.
Everton will host Liverpool on June 21 (Watch live, 2 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) and the venue was left as TBC when the new schedule was released last week and the game was expected to be played at a neutral venue.
That was due to concerns over fans congregating outside Goodison Park, as Liverpool could potentially win their first English title in over 30 years by winning at their bitter rivals in the Merseyside Derby.
However, after a meeting of the local Ground Safety Advisory Group (GSAG) they granted a safety certificate for games to be played in empty stadiums at both Goodison Park and Anfield. Talks between Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police, Spirit of Shankly, Everton Football Club and Blue Union resulted in the decision, as all parties have committed to doing everything possible to playing the final games of the 2019-20 season in a safe environment.
In a statement confirming that both clubs are now able to hold games at their home stadiums, councillor Wendy Simon, deputy mayor of Liverpool and chair of the GSAG, said:
“We are satisfied that the considerable evidence and guidance provided by the Government, Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs, Public Health colleagues and Merseyside Police will ensure that the outstanding fixtures for the 2019-20 Premier League season can be safely and securely played at both Goodison Park and Anfield,” Simon said.
“A lot of factors have been taken into consideration by the GSAG, especially the safety of the players, match officials and staff in attendance at both stadia. We are confident the measures in place will allow the matches to be held behind closed doors without any detrimental impact to all concerned and recommend to the city council that the safety certificates for both grounds be amended to allow this to happen.”
Assistant chief constable Rob Carden added: “We are still in unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and there are strong concerns in Merseyside, and the wider north west, due to the fact that the R rate here is still higher than the rest of the country.”
For now, neutral venues will not be needed for home games for Everton and Liverpool, however Liverpool’s trip to Man City in early July still has a venue TBC note next to it and other away games could see the venue switched as the Reds may seal the title on numerous occasions.