Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has urged supporters to cheer from home and not gather at stadiums as the Premier League leaders prepare to resume their quest for a first English top flight title in 30 years.
The league is set to return on Wednesday evening after a three-month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Runaway leaders Liverpool need just six points from their remaining nine games to win the title and could even secure it on Sunday if second-placed Manchester City lose to Arsenal and then the champions-elect defeat Everton on Sunday in the Merseyside derby.
Games will be played without fans present in the stadiums and British sports minister Nigel Huddleston told Sky Sports the government could revisit plans to stage some matches at neutral venues if large crowds gather in front of venues.
Aware that fans will be eager to celebrate their long-awaited triumph, Klopp has urged them not to break social-distancing rules by gathering outside Goodison Park or Anfield.
“Football is back,” Klopp said in a video on Liverpool’s website.
“It will be obviously for some reasons completely different but you can still make it really, really special.”
He said that the players would still feel their support despite the empty stands and that it would fuel their drive to the title.
“We’ll use that but the final message (is): stay safe, support us from home,” he said.