Jurgen Klopp confirms Fabinho, Virgil van Dijk, Thiago and Curtis Jones are back for Liverpool’s clash with Leicester… as he again hits out at festive fixture scheduling claiming teams shouldn’t play on both Boxing Day and the 28th
- Liverpool will have a number of key players back for their clash with Leicester
- Their Boxing Day clash with Leeds was postponed due to Covid-19 cases
- Klopp though has reiterated his belief that teams shouldn’t play 26th and 28th
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has again hit out at festive scheduling claiming teams should not play on Boxing Day and the 28th.
It’s a subject which the German has previously spoken very strongly about, though in the end, the Reds did not play on Boxing Day as their scheduled opponents Leeds returned a number of positive Covid cases leading to the game getting postponed.
Liverpool have had their own Covid issues, but Klopp has confirmed that Fabinho, Virgil van Dijk, Thiago and Curtis Jones are all back in time for their clash with Leicester.
Jurgen Klopp has again hit out at the festive schedule ahead of his clash with Leicester
Key players including Fabinho (left) and Virgil van Dijk (right) will be back for the Leicester game
Klopp described every morning as a ‘lottery’ to see if anybody tests positive, and confirmed a young player and two members of staff are currently isolating.
Despite not having to play on Boxing Day, Klopp has reiterated prior comments that clubs should not have to play games within two days of one another.
In his pre-match press conference ahead of Leicester, he said: ‘So many people say it’s tradition – we wanted to play on Boxing Day. We could have played on Boxing Day no problem at all but it was because of Leeds obviously the situation there so we accept that.
‘But playing them on the 26th and then the 28th is just not right. I just say that because it’s true.
‘I think we can find solutions for that, it’s not difficult to play football in a different way like 26th and 29th which is less of a problem. Some teams are doing that like Manchester United (27th and 30th).
Leicester face Liverpool on the 28th, having played Manchester City on Boxing Day
Klopp believes teams shouldn’t have to play two games within 48 hours over Christmas
‘It would help players, even with no Covid. Some teams have a proper Covid problem and then you rush a smaller group of players through two games.
‘You need luck and you shouldn’t need luck in these moments. Boxing Day is never in doubt, we always want to play on Boxing Day it’s a great fixture, it’s really good for everybody but after that moment we don’t stop discussing.
‘If we don’t discuss it then it just stays like this, maybe it stays like this anyway, but the players need help and the help needs to come through other areas.’
After Chelsea’s victory over Aston Villa on Boxing Day, Thomas Tuchel joined the growing calls for five substitutes to be allowed in the Premier League again.
Asked about Tuchel’s comments, Klopp responded: ‘Yes. We have to put competition aside and don’t say (Manchester) City has better subs than Southampton or we have better subs than Burnley or whatever.
‘That’s probably true whatever that means exactly. It’s Premier League and can still cause us problems.
‘The problem is this intensity for a top-class footballer is definitely at the edge.’
Klopp has also agreed with Thomas Tuchel to bring five substitutions back to the league
The German manager also insisted that it’s wrong that it would need 14 votes for five substitutions to be brought into place – highlighting the difference Liverpool and Burnley as an example.
He added: ‘The decision needs 14 votes to change it and that’s something wrong. As example, Burnley not sure how many players have international football when we have three games – they have no games.
‘So we talk about an issue some clubs definitely have, some players definitely have but it’s decided by other teams.
‘And because we make a competition of it you know it will be ‘no they are better than us’ and stuff like this, it’s a real problem because it’s the right decision especially in this moment.
‘You bring players back after Covid infection or injury and with amount of games you play you need to play them straight away.
‘This wonderful game is so wonderful because usually the players are in good shape, well trained and recovered and go for it. The best league in the world and the most intense league in the world is the only league in Europe, maybe the world with three subs.’