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Football Reporting


‘Waste of time’ attempting to get match schedule review

Jurgen Klopp has said it is a “waste of time” attempting to persuade the football authorities and broadcast rights holders to review the match schedule after Liverpool were handed two games in less than 72 hours in the December fixture list.

Klopp has been a vocal critic of the demands placed on players by the scheduling of games this season, blaming the television companies for failing to consider the need for rest and recovery when selecting games for live broadcast.

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With Liverpool travelling to Brighton on Saturday for the early kick-off, Klopp made several changes to his team for Wednesday’s Champions League Group D defeat at home to Atalanta in order to safeguard against injury and burn-out within his squad.

But with the Premier League confirming on Thursday that Liverpool will play Tottenham at Anfield on Dec. 16 before travelling to Crystal Palace for an early kick-off on Dec. 19, Klopp has said that his attempts to force a change have been pointless.

“When I speak about it, it is about issues that affect all teams and players, not only ours,” Klopp said at a news conference on Friday. “But at the moment, it is only us and it’s like that until the end of the year — it is only us for the Wednesday games [followed by the early Saturday game].

“So yeah, obviously whatever I say doesn’t help, so I will stop talking about it. That’s how it is, they change nothing, so why should you speak? It’s just a waste of time.

“The last thing I want to do is create a headline and you say: ‘I give up.’ Look, I speak about these things in a general way because it is a general problem.

“My problem now is to prepare a team, but that we have the only other spot [early kick-offs] in December is a fact.

“You have to ask other people why they do that, but I don’t have the answer because we are not involved in these decisions.”

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Liverpool travel to Brighton with midfielders Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita all ruled out due to injury.

But captain Jordan Henderson could return after being sidelined since being injured on international duty with England earlier this month.

“Hendo trained yesterday, part of team training and then an individual session,” Klopp added. “But all the other players are still in recovery. That’s how it is with so few days of recovery.”

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