Liverpool fans have been warned by the Merseyside Police that anyone possessing pyrotechnics or flares on April 4 when they face Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals could face prison terms. This came after a message circulated that fans would look to intimidate City players when they arrive on the team coach.
Some Kopites believe the match can be won off the pitch, which seems to ignore the fact that it is a two-legged game, with the second leg at the Etihad Stadium, where City beat Liverpool 5-0 earlier this season. City have also been to numerous cauldrons this season, beating Napoli at the intimidating Stadio San Paolo for example.
And the latest to join in the cult-like behaviour is former Liverpool star John Aldridge, who has bigged up Liverpool fans while disrespecting City fans at the same time.
“Possibly, it’s an advantage for them having the second leg at home but then again their ground doesn’t generate an atmosphere,” wrote Aldridge in the Liverpool Echo, clearly with a selective memory and forgetting City’s matches against Barcelona and Bayern Munich at home in recent seasons.
“We have to make the first leg count. I’ve been lucky enough to experience some very special European nights at Anfield over the years where the place is rocking and we have to add Man City to the list.
“Some of their players will shake when they feel the atmosphere we create. They won’t have heard anything quite like it.”
Liverpool fans and former players seem to be placing more pressure on themselves than City with these public comments, raising expectations of a victory for the former European champions.
They may be wise to remember 2014, when Liverpool fans lined the streets singing “We’re gonna win the league”, only for Steven Gerrard to famously slip against Chelsea, leading to Manchester City lifting their second Premier League trophy in three seasons.
City sit 18 points above Liverpool in the league this season and are on course to win the league again, but the two-legged Champions League tie promises to be a close, hard-fought encounter.