Wednesday 22 January 2020

Klopp: Fixture list is criminal

Pool boss slams festive schedule ahead of Leicester showdown

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Pic: PA
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Pic: PA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has lambasted the Christmas fixture schedule as "criminal" - even though his side are by no means the worst affected.

The Premier League leaders travel to second-placed Leicester for an 8pm St Stephen's Day kick-off tonight before hosting Wolves on December 29.

However, many other sides have two matches in three days and the Liverpool boss - an outspoken critic of the congested calendar on numerous occasions - believes the authorities have got it all wrong.

"None of the managers have a problem playing on Boxing Day, but playing on the 26th and 28th is a crime. Absolutely not OK and we still have it," Klopp said.

"This year we play 26th and 29th and it is like a holiday. I understand all those saying it should not happen. They are not moaning.

"It would not be a problem to play 26th and 29th with more teams. There is no reason why more teams do not get more than 48 hours between a Premier League game.

"Obviously we can say what we want but no-one is listening. The body needs a specific amount of time to go again. That is science. But we ignore that completely. We just say, 'Oh, they look strange running around again today'.

"We are not in that situation this year, but I understand each manager who mentions it from time to time - or pretty much always - when we see it coming up because it is just not OK but other people have to decide that."

Liverpool head to Leicester with a 10-point advantage and a match in hand over the Foxes, who are currently in a better position points-wise than when they won the title in 2016.

Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has backed his Leicester to deliver against the Premier League leaders and champions-elect tonight.

"We have to be at our very best level, we're at home so hopefully the intensity of the crowd can really help and when the opportunities come we have to take them," Rodgers said.

"I have a great perspective of where we are and respect the level we are at and the improvement we have to make.

"The likes of Liverpool and Manchester City are a great benchmark for us."


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