In a shocking update, Liverpool and Manchester City are set to face off in a lunchtime kick-off at 12.30pm (UK). It surely is deviating from the typical scheduling influenced by television broadcasting preferences.
Contrary to the wishes of Sky Sports, who had proposed a 5.30pm kick-off, the local safety advisory group, which includes the police, has intervened, citing concerns about fan safety.
This decision comes in the wake of previous incidents surrounding matches between Liverpool and Manchester City. Surely, safety taking precedence over television scheduling.
A bottle from the Liverpool section struck a 15-year-old girl, prompting authorities to consider an earlier kick-off.
The timing of the match, traditionally a factor influenced by broadcasting companies, has become a subject of contention.
Liverpool and early kick off, a bitter story
Liverpool, under Jurgen Klopp, has experienced lunchtime kick-offs 39 times, winning just two of their last eight in that timeframe.
The local safety advisory group’s decision not to grant Sky Sports’ preferred evening kick-off suggests a heightened awareness of potential safety issues associated with this fixture.
Notably, the clash between Liverpool and Manchester City has broader implications for both teams in the current season. With more key internationals on duty than their counterparts, Liverpool could see the early kick-off time as a potential advantage.
Manchester City, mysteriously witnessing several players returning ‘injured,’ might find themselves in a challenging position with an earlier start.
On the pitch, the match holds significant importance for both teams. A victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side would propel them to the top of the table, surpassing Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
However, a loss could see Liverpool finishing outside the top four, underscoring the competitive nature of the Premier League.
In a ripple effect of the scheduling changes, Arsenal’s match against Brentford will now take place at 5.30pm.
This adjustment effectively swaps time slots with Liverpool, emphasizing the intricate balance between fixture scheduling, safety concerns, and the television broadcasting landscape.
As the footballing world turns its attention to this high-stakes clash, the decision by the local safety advisory group adds a unique layer to the narrative, highlighting the delicate balance between the passion of the fans, the safety of the participants, and the logistical intricacies of scheduling in the modern football landscape.