Liverpool have been told they must play two matches within 46 hours over the New Year period after their request for a late kick-off at Sunderland was turned down by the Premier League.
The Premier League leaders had requested their scheduled 3pm kick-off at the Stadium of Light on 2 January was switched to 5.30pm as it falls less than 2 days after the New Year’s Eve fixture against Manchester City. However, the Premier League have turned down Liverpool.
Jürgen Klopp expressed amazement when the fixture list was revised at having to play two matches within such a short space of time.
Liverpool are not the only club to have been handed an onerous schedule over the Christmas and New Year period. Manchester City must also kick off 46 hours after their game starts at Anfield, although they have less travelling time as they will be at home to home to Burnley on 2 January.
“Forty-eight hours is an interesting idea but less than 48 hours I cannot believe,” said Klopp at the time the revised fixture list was published.
“Forty-eight hours between two games – how does this work? How do you prepare a team for this? Do you say: ‘Only 50% against City because we have Sunderland on Monday.’ It doesn’t sound like it is right.
Klopp also suggested that the heavy workload over Christmas and the new Year might explain why England frequently underperform at major international tournaments.
The Liverpool manager said: “Everyone is asking: ‘Why is England not too successful in big tournaments?’ Ask what other big countries are doing at this time of year – they have their legs on the sofa and are watching English football.”