Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16.20 26 Nov 2020


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The meeting of West Ham and Manchester United is set to be the first Premier League match with fans present since March. 

As of December 2, up to 4,000 fans will be allowed to attend outdoor sporting events.

The practicality of the ruling is a little more complicated, with England split into three tiers based on their safety relating to coronavirus.

Tier 1 areas are allowed crowds of a maximum of 4,000, Tier 2 is allowed a maximum of 2,000 fans, while Tier 3 areas will keep sport behind closed doors.

Only three areas are currently listed as Tier 1, and none of them are sporting strongholds - Cornwall, Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly.

However, all 32 boroughs of London are deemed Tier 2 areas and so the English capital's clubs can begin welcoming small numbers of fans back to their stadiums.

The Premier League has released its revised fixture list for the month of December, making it clear that West Ham v Manchester United (December 5, 5.30pm) will be the first game in nine months played in front of a crowd.

Games at Aston Villa, Burnley and Manchester City come before that game at the London Stadium, but their regions are all Tier 3, meaning they'll be behind closed doors.

On the same day, 2,000 fans will be inside Stamford Bridge for Chelsea's game with Leeds.

Anfield will have supporters back for the first time since the Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid when Wolves visit the champions on December 6.

Merseyside is listed among Tier 2 areas, but Greater Manchester is not. It means - for now - Manchester City and Manchester United will continue to play home games in empty stadiums.

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