MANCHESTER City have held a series of meetings with Merseyside Police in a bid to avoid a repeat of last season’s shocking bus attack.
And the champions are likely to keep their route to Anfield SECRET to ensure they arrive unscathed for Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash with Liverpool.
In April, the bus carrying Pep Guardiola’s team to their Champions League quarter-final was ambushed by Reds fans.
The planned assault — which had been organised weeks in advance on social media — saw the vehicle pelted with bottles, cans and stones, with flares also set off in the streets.
Police even publicised the route Guardiola’s side would take from their hotel to Anfield.
Two officers were injured and the bus was so badly damaged it was declared unfit to take City back to Manchester.
Liverpool were fined £17,600 (A$32,078) by Uefa but City officials were annoyed that no one was arrested despite extensive video footage being available.
Since then the club have been in regular contact with Merseyside cops.
And the league leaders have no choice but to trust the police will protect them this time.
Superintendent Dave Charnock said: “Everyone involved is working hard to ensure there is no repeat of the events that occurred outside Anfield before the Champions League fixture in April.
“There will be additional officers on duty at the ground, both uniformed and plain-clothed and we will have a city centre policing plan in place throughout the day.
“This will ensure this game can be enjoyed safely by all, as well as minimising any disruption to local residents.”
The Giants Parade street theatre is also taking place in Liverpool at the weekend, meaning more police will be on duty.
On the pitch, City will be looking to end their Anfield hoodoo as they have failed to win there in 15 years.
Skipper Vincent Kompany said: “It’s too early in the season for it to be a defining game but it feels a lot more than just three points at stake.
“This City side has shown in the past we are always up for these games.
“I think most teams at the top are firing on all cylinders at this moment in time and this makes this league exciting.
“I don’t agree with just putting Manchester City and Liverpool as title contenders.
“Chelsea have shown so much already this season and Arsenal and Tottenham are coming back.”