London: Manchester United and Liverpool supporters travelling to Moscow for their teams' Champions League matches next week have been advised to expect a "visible police presence" amid fears of violence.
An estimated 2,000 fans from Manchester and Liverpool are expected in Moscow and there are concerns of crowd trouble given the rivalry between the Premier League teams and the growing threat from Russia's highly organised hooligan gangs.
Russian thugs wearing gum shields and mixed martial arts gloves fought bloody battles with drunken English supporters before and after a Euro 2016 fixture in Marseille.
Eastern European hooligans have also been known to hold pre-arranged brawls in secluded forests on non match-days to avoid police intervention.
With Liverpool playing Spartak Moscow on Tuesday and United taking on CSKA Moscow a day later, both clubs have been giving safety advice to their fans.
"The Russian authorities are aware of the fact that LFC and Man United are in Moscow at the same time, albeit overlapping by 24 hours. You can expect there to be a visible police presence wherever groups of LFC and Man United fans congregate," a Liverpool statement to supporters read.
United have told their fans to keep a low profile while in Moscow.
"All supporters must use the official bus service provided, and we ask that you ensure that your behaviour is impeccable at all times," United said in a statement when the draw was made.
"The law enforcement authorities in Moscow are likely to be less tolerant than most other European police authorities, with a police presence expected onboard each bus.
"For your safety and security, you are advised not to wear Manchester United colours when in Moscow, or attract attention to your presence in the city.
"It is also advised that you remain in groups where possible, and do not walk around the city alone."
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Updated Date: Sep 22, 2017 22:19:57 IST