Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez says Uefa should have postponed their Europa League tie on Thursday given the difficulty his players will endure travelling to Spain for their semi-final tie against Atletico Madrid.
The Reds will leave Merseyside by train on Tuesday. They intend to spend Tuesday night in Paris. From there they will fly direct to Madrid if northern French airspace is open.
If not, they will leave Paris on Wednesday morning and travel to Bordeaux by train. From there they can take a flight to Madrid, as Bordeaux airport is open.
And Benitez said: “In these special circumstances it could be better to postpone the game but we have to go.”
Fulham also have a difficult trip by coach and Eurotunnel to Hamburg, expected to take about 11 hours.
Uefa took the decision to press ahead with the first-leg ties despite the Europe-wide travel chaos caused by the Icelandic cloud of volcanic dust.
“We had some time yesterday to rest the players. It will not be ideal but we will try to do the best for the players,” added the Spaniard.
“We will go to London and see what can happen. Maybe then the airports will be open and maybe we can fly from there.
“We have the organisation for coming back as soon as possible but anyway it will be Saturday – which is not the best for the Premier League game.
“If the airports are open maybe we can fly directly but at this moment it is more difficult to come back than it is to go.
“We are assessing things hour by hour. We have two or three options going and at this moment just one coming back but we will see if we can improve that.”
Benitez suggested the journey would be a throwback to his playing days in the 1980s with various second and third division clubs in Spain.
“When I was playing we were doing 12 to 14 hours by coach. Now you expect something more comfortable,” he said.