The derby between Premier League contenders Manchester United and Manchester City has everyone on edge, including the city police chiefs
The rival clubs are due to clash at the Etihad Stadium on Monday, April 30, in a mouth-watering league fixture which has been touted by many as a potential title decider.
The Red Devils top the standings on 83 points, but their irrepressible hosts trail by three, making the match a must-win for both sides if they’re intent on securing the trophy.
The Greater Manchester Police chiefs are keen to uphold the peace and although they have praised both clubs’ fans for good behaviour in the past, they are aware the fixture can get out-of-hand.
Twenty-nine people were jailed after the Carling Cup semi-final first-leg tie between the two sides two years ago, and police will be mindful that tensions are bound to be heightened on Monday night.
Cops have warned supporters that if they are caught in the alcohol exclusion zone with alcohol it will have to be confiscated and anyone under the influence of excess alcohol will be refused entry to the stadium.
Chief Superintendent John O’Hare told Sky Sports: “As so much rests on this game, emotions will be running high and our main aim is to ensure the game is a safe and enjoyable experience for all fans.
“Greater Manchester Police will have the appropriate number of officers and resources within the ground and the surrounding areas to both deal with any incidents and offer reassurance to the public.
He added: “The rivalry between the clubs really adds something extra to this fixture and should be embraced, but we must also ensure that this is not used as an excuse by some individuals to become involved in disorder.
“We want to make it clear to the minority who may be thinking of causing any trouble that we will clamp down hard on them. We want people to take responsibility for themselves and drink responsibly.
“We want to ensure that the city of Manchester, both of its clubs and its fans are remembered for the right reasons. We should celebrate the fact that the Premier League is coming to Manchester.”