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Halloween might be over, but the spooks have just begun for Liverpool

Liverpool’s to field seperate teams as schedule begins to cause chaos

2019/11/05 15:37
By Connor Andrews
E0

Both Liverpool and the EFL today announced their decision not to move the club's League Cup quarter- final tie with Aston Villa, which will take place just two days before the Liverpool play their first FIFA Club World Cup game in Qatar.

It was easy to read too much into it, but Jurgen Klopp’s reaction to Divock Origi’s 94th minute League Cup equaliser against Arsenal to make the game 5-5 was almost one of frustration as much as disbelief.

Liverpool will play a game every 2.7 days in December, with the current schedule of nine games three more than November

Since arriving at Liverpool, Klopp has given short-shrift to the domestic cups, writing off the League and EFL trophies in favour of Premier League position, and European glory.

And it paid dividends last season, Liverpool lost in their opening fixtures in both competitions, fielding second string sides against Wolves and Chelsea, as a thin squad went on to achieve a record breaking points total in the league, and achieve the ultimate glory in Europe.

But now, virtue of their shoot-out victory over Arsenal, Liverpool have had to take the only possible solution, playing in both competitions with seperate squads.

"We would like to thank the EFL for their efforts to accommodate us and we can confirm alternative dates were discussed, but ultimately none were considered suitable without compromising the scheduling of the competition itself or placing an undue strain on our playing staff," a club statement read.

"As a result, we will be utilising two playing squads simultaneously, with one squad participating in the Fifa Club World Cup in Qatar and another in the Carabao Cup."

By virtue of their success, the number of competitions Liverpool entered this season has increased from four to seven, with the Community Shield, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup. The first two were over and done with in two early games, but the latter is now causing serious problems.



Liverpool just squeaked through away at in their first November test 2-1 at Aston Villa, and things will only get more difficult next month with the FIFA Club World Cup beginning on the 11th of December in Qatar, and The Reds participation set to begin on the 18th.



The big issue right now though, is Liverpool’s quarter-final EFL Cup tie, also against Villa, is scheduled for the 16th, when the team will already be in Doha.

©Getty /
Klopp gave short shrift to suggestions of Liverpool leaving a youth side in England while the main squad travel, but now that situation has come to fruition and the German will leave a young side in England while likely giving extra responsibility to assistant Pep Lijnders in domestic cup competition, with the Dutchman even taking League Cup press conferences.

Klopp himself though, with his bosses and the EFL deciding there's no suitable date to move the game, has agreed to leave a team in Birmingham, while the seniors travel to Qatar, despite previously saying this would be impossible, it appears there's no other solution.

"We will not be the victim of this problem. We played on Wednesday and we wanted to win. If they don't find a proper date for us then we cannot play the next round and whoever is our opponent will go through - or Arsenal will play it. I cannot change that," Klopp had said.

While Klopp has been consistent in his criticism of the Premier League’s uniquely busy winter schedule- even claiming the lack of a break could be affecting the national team- his complaints have fallen on deaf ears. Money always wins, with Italy’s Serie A also introducing games over the festive period last year, to edge in on the Premier League’s TV money monopoly.

A win tonight at home to Genk with Napoli beating Salzburg would put Liverpool well on course for Champions League knock-out qualification, allowing his side to focus on Manchester City at the weekend before the games start coming thick and fast, but for Klopp, the nightmare he’s been dreading is set to come to fruition.

 

 

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