Klopp asks for solution to fixtures pile-up: "We won't be pushed around"
Liverpool have eight matches in a hectic December when they will be juggling games in the Premier League, EFL Carabao Cup, Club World Cup and Champions League.
"We will not be the victim of this problem. We play tonight, we wanted to win it, we did that, and 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 play them". That was Jürgen Klopp's reply when asked about the problem of fitting in the EFL Carabao Cup quarter final against Aston Villa - scheduled for 16 December when his Liverpool side will be in Qatar contesting the Club World Cup. "I'm not concerned, somebody else has to be concerned because we didn't make the fixture list, we didn't make the schedule," the Reds manager continuied. "I've said it already, FIFA told us the Club World Cup will be there [Qatar] and we have to come there and we will do. The Premier League tells us we have to play in the Premier League, which we do obviously. The Carabao Cup, what we did tonight, if they don't find a place for us - an appropriate place for us, not 3 o'clock on Christmas Day or something, then we don't play it. They have to make that decision. You have to think about the fixtures list - and hopefully it starts at some point - as from now".
Merseyside derby, Champions League, Club World Cup...
As it stands, Liverpool have potentially nine games to get through in December - league matches against Everton, Bournemouth, Watford, Leicester and Wolves, the final Champions League group game away to Red Bull Salzburg, the EFL Carabao Cup tie and the Club World Cup semi-final which, if they win, they will progress to the final on 21 December - yet another game in what is already a crowded and chaotic fixtures programme.
“They have to find a proper solution or no solution. That’s how it is, it’s easy. They cannot do what they want with us. They set up all the games, FIFA wants us to play the Club World Cup and if we don’t go this and that happens so we go. And now with the Carabao Cup, we will not go out of the Carabao Cup because nobody finds a date for us – so they have to. That’s how it is and we cannot change that. If no plans things how can something like that happen? In 2019 you set up a competition in which one specific team goes through, who was successful last year, you find no date, that only shows us that the fixtures list is just crazy – that you don’t have time for something like this. That’s the moment when everyone has to start thinking about this. I’m happy that we are in the next round, if they don’t find a proper date for us to play, then Arsenal can play. I don’t know how to say this but nobody can push us around like they want. We are a very ambitious football club but things have to be done in the right way,” Klopp explained.
With December fully booked, the most likely solution would be to play the game in January.
How December is looking for Liverpool
4.12.19 Liverpool - Everton
7.12.19 Bournemouth - Liverpool
10.12.19 Red Bull Salzburg - Liverpool
14:12.19 Liverpool - Watford
18.12.19 rival tbc - Liverpool*
21.12.19 Club World Cup Final*
26.12.19 Leicester City - Liverpool
29.12.19 Liverpool - Wolves
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