Will Man City give Liverpool a guard of honour? Could tradition be scrapped over COVID-19?

The guard of honour has been a long-standing tradition in the Premier League, where the champions walk out to a round of applause from the opposing team after winning the title. Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for league glory last week, with 2018/19 winners Manchester City being their next opponents.

Will Man City give Liverpool a guard of honour?

Liverpool will receive a guard of honour when they meet City at the Etihad on Thursday night.

City boss Pep Guardiola said: “Of course we are going to do it. We are going to do the guard of honour of course.

“Always we receive Liverpool when they come to our house in an incredible way.

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“They cannot complain and of course we are going to do it because they deserve it.”

The guard of honour is not mandatory and it is performed at the opposing team’s discretion, meaning Liverpool could receive one in each of their seven remaining league games.

The Premier League does not appear to have any issue with the traditional taking place this season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he doesn’t need a guard of honour but insists it is a “nice gesture”.

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“I’m not sure if I ever got one, I don’t know that it’s a tradition in Germany but it’s an English tradition,” Klopp said.

“It’s a nice gesture, 100 per cent, but I wouldn’t need it to be honest because we go there to play a football game.

“We want to win the football game, not to celebrate something that happened a week before.”

Earlier this week, former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy described the tradition as “nonsense”.

Speaking to TalkSPORT, Murphy added: “I don’t know where it started and why it started, I would feel uncomfortable doing it.

“I’d do it because you have to do it, but I wouldn’t want to do it, because it’s not done with sincerity.

“If I was a Liverpool player and [Manchester] United won the league, you know they’re better than you, you respect that and you’re trying your best to be like them, so they know you respect them.

“The fans don’t want you to do it, the players don’t really want to do it, it’s all for effect and it doesn’t mean anything.”

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