Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has criticized the tough scheduling of fixtures amid the busy Christmas period calling it 'criminal' and saying that it is 'absolutely not okay'. Klopp was speaking ahead of Liverpool's Boxing day clash against Leicester City.
Liverpool will be playing Leicester on December 26 and will next play Wolves on December 29. Defending champions Manchester City will be playing Wolves on December 27 and will face Sheffield United on December 29. He was asked about City's scheduling as well, and said, "It is absolutely not ok. None of the managers has a problem playing on Boxing Day, but playing on the 27th and 29th is a crime. 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. They are telling, It is not for the spectacle. 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."
Klopp's team has been on a run of frequent fixtures as well, with the team traveling to Qatar last week to play in the FIFA Club World Cup. Klopp said that his players will not be jaded, but would rather be 'focused'. In the pre-match presser he said, "Whenever I ask the players, we are all in a situation where everybody wants to be constantly fit so I don’t have to ask them. So, I can only judge myself; the way to Qatar, sleeping-wise, was difficult to get used to, for me. On the way back it was completely normal. Since then, all good – we had a day off yesterday, I’m pretty sure the boys slept as much as they could and they should be completely fine today. From that point of view, the way there – change of climate and all that stuff – was really kind of intense and we needed days, maybe nearly the full week, to get used to it."