SOUTHAMPTON could host the upcoming Merseyside Derby that may crown Liverpool champions- a staggering 237 miles away from Goodison Park.
Wembley, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Leicester’s King Power Stadium are also potential neutral venues if Liverpool’s clash away to Everton does not receive the necessary safety certificate.
The game is due to be held at the home of the Blues a week on Sunday.
The Athletic claim the above grounds could all be used if any of the 92 rescheduled fixtures have to be moved from due to health and safety concerns at a club’s regular home stadium.
Police had previously suggested six matches – Manchester City v Liverpool, Manchester City v Newcastle United, Manchester United v Sheffield United, Newcastle v Liverpool, Everton v Liverpool and any game that could see Jurgen Klopp’s side clinch the title – should be played at alternative venues.
But last week it was unanimously agreed that neutral grounds should only be used as a contingency with the Premier League since drawing up plans that will be ratified on Thursday at the next shareholders meeting.
Logistics have come into play throughout the thought process, with it believed it would “be easier and safer” for the Liverpool and Everton squads to fly to Southampton to play instead of driving to Leicester or travelling by train to London.
And that could result in Klopp’s boys winning their first title for 30 years at St Mary’s.
But the chances of it taking place at Goodison increased last weekend when the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson gave the fixture his backing.
A safety advisory group is set to meet today via Zoom before deciding whether or not to recommend a licence for the Goodison fixture.
Despite the willingness on Merseyside for the derby to take place in the city, concerns regarding the coronavirus R rate remain a worry.
One study in the North West revealed the rate of infection had tipped over 1 on Sunday.
The city’s police force have also declared they are not worried regarding policing the game.
But there is a small chance the authorities may delay a decision until they know whether it will be decisive for Liverpool winning the league or not. If Manchester City defeat Arsenal next Wednesday then the Reds will not be able to clinch it against their neighbours.