Senior police officers have advised the city council that a march would be easier to contain than a “static protest,” which they cannot prevent from taking place even if a march was banned.
The city council will therefore not approach the Home Secretary for a ban on the planned march, unless the EDL refuses to agree with the proposed route and conditions.
A counter demonstration is also planned by opposition group Leicester Unite Against Fascism (LUAF).
It too has been offered a set route for a march and its response is also awaited.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “None of us wants these marches to take place but looking at what happened in Leicester and other cities last year, we believe the marches will cause less disruption than the static demonstrations of October 2010.”
The proposed routes begin outside the city centre but would allow both groups to march past landmarks – the Clock Tower, in the EDL’s case, while the LUAF march would take in the Town Hall.
Over the past two weeks, some opponents of the EDL have been calling for the council to apply for a ban on the march – as it did in October 2010.
That protest degenerated into violence as people within a cordoned-off area reserved for the EDL threw bricks, bottles, coins and fireworks at police.
Police said yesterday they were preparing for up to 1,100 EDL supporters, while the strength of support for LUAF protest is unknown.
The group mustered about 700 people in 2010.
Up to 2,000 police officers, drawn from more than a dozen forces, will be in the city centre on the day.
The marchers will be surrounded on all sides as they make their way through the city. The protests are expected to pass through the city centre between 12.30pm and 2pm.
Chief Superintendent Rob Nixon, the city’s senior officer, said: “We have used our experience of policing football and rugby matches, the disturbances in the summer and the protest in October 2010 in the planning for Saturday and are putting together a plan to ensure that there is as little disruption as possible to normal city centre business.
“Both the EDL and Leicester UAF came to us with a plan of where they would like to march.
“These were both carefully risk assessed and it was this which formed the basis of any negotiations with the event organisers.
“There has been lots of dialogue between the organisers, the police and the city council to get to this point.”
Beat officers will also be on duty in their neighbourhoods.
All police leave has been cancelled.
The city centre was brought to a virtual standstill in 2010 when the EDL staged a protest in Humberstone Gate East.