Manchester United are cutting Liverpool's ticket allocation by 1,000 ahead of next Saturday’s Premier League clash.
The Red Devils have only given 2,100 tickets to their Merseyside foes in an attempt to control the safety of fans and staff. However, the decision could potentially stir bitter feelings between the two sets of supporters as United were dumped out of the FA Cup by Liverpool, last weekend.
United officials have citied persistent blocking of aisles and gangways as the reason for the move.
A spokesman for United said: “The safety of all fans is paramount and a detailed risk assessment of the match carried out by us and agreed by their Safety Advisory Group which includes Greater Manchester Police and Trafford Council has resulted inLiverpoolreceiving a reduced allocation for this specific game.”
In the last two Anfield matches between the clubs, Liverpool dropped the Mancunian away fan’s allocation by a similar amount, which could suggest that United have reacted in retaliation.
For last week’s FA Cup tie, the Reds were handed 5,319 tickets out of a potential 6,400. In October’s league meeting at Anfield, they were given 1,965 instead of the usual 3,015.
Saturday’s match will see the return of Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who has completed his eight game ban for racially abusing United’s defender Patrice Evra.
After both clubs insisted fans behave during last weekend’s fixture, there were still 17 people ejected from the ground and two arrests, including a 59-year-old man who was caught by TV cameras allegedly making a monkey gesture.
Kick off is at 12.45pm with United looking to continue their winning streak in the league.