Soccer

Increased capacity of 57,000 expected at Anfield for Liverpool v Man Utd clash

An increased 57,000 capacity is expected for the visit of Manchester United as the upper tier of the new Anfield Road stand is opened (Peter Byrne/PA)
An increased 57,000 capacity is expected for the visit of Manchester United as the upper tier of the new Anfield Road stand is opened (Peter Byrne/PA) An increased 57,000 capacity is expected for the visit of Manchester United as the upper tier of the new Anfield Road stand is opened (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool expect to have 57,000 fans in attendance for the visit of Manchester United providing the new Anfield Road Stand receives a safety certificate this week.

A test event on Monday evening is set to be attended by 7,500-plus supporters, who will watch a LFC Foundation mini-game and listen to a question-and-answer session from manager Jurgen Klopp.

If everything runs smoothly then on Sunday 7,000 seats in the upper tier will be filled for the visit of their arch-rivals, leaving only facilities for 2,000 hospitality guests and some minor work on the lower tier to be completed next month to bring the capacity up to 61,000.

Work on the £80million upgrade was due to be completed for the start of the season but an initial delay was complicated by contractors Buckingham Group going into administration, leading to a phased reopening which has seen only the lower tier in operation.

A view from a drone of Anfield Stadium, Liverpool.
A view from a drone of Anfield Stadium, Liverpool. The £80million upgrade of the Anfield Road stand is nearing completion (Peter Byrne/PA)

“It’s been really challenging,” said Paul Cuttill, vice-president of Stadium Operations.

“Our priority was to get fans back into the stadium as soon as possible safely. Billy (Hogan, the chief executive) said back in October it would likely be 2024 before we would open so to get ahead of that for the Man United game is a bit of an early Christmas present.

“What it has cost us is the amount of time it has taken.

“Being able to bring in people earlier has been a massive benefit to us, but we won’t know the true nature of the costs until we have got a proper programme in place towards the end of the season.”