Double dilemma

Sports | REUTERS 7 Nov 2019

Jurgen Klopp says it's too soon to decide exactly how his team will play two games in 24 hours in England and Qatar but it's time to address the regular fixture pile-ups facing top clubs.

English Premier League leaders and European champions Liverpool plan to field two different squads in the League Cup and Fifa's Club World Cup in the space of 24 hours in December due to a lack of available dates to postpone the domestic match.

The League Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa is set to be played on December 17 - the week they travel to Qatar for the Club World Cup, where Liverpool's first match is scheduled on December 18. It is not yet clear how Liverpool will split their squad and whether Klopp will be present at both games.

"We asked Aston Villa if they could come to Qatar and we could play the game there," joked Klopp when asked about the situation after Liverpool's 2-1 win over Genk in the Champions League. "We don't know exactly how we do it, we have an idea but it's too early to speak about it.

"We had to make a decision ... all the other alternatives were more problems than solutions and didn't work out. We said this way we can do as good as is possible."

Asked if the club had faced pressure from world football's governing body Fifa and the English Football League over the situation, the Liverpool manager said: "Kind of. You want to be really in trouble with Fifa? I'm not sure. You want to be really in trouble with the EFL, probably not. We respect the competitions."

Klopp said his main issue with the League Cup was playing semi-finals over two legs at a busy time in the campaign.

Liverpool qualified for the Club World Cup as Champions League winners and "that doesn't happen in your life five million times, you take the opportunity," Klopp said. "Is it the best time of the year? Nope. Are we anyway pretty busy? Yep. But we go there, we try to play all the games we have, with all that we have."

Klopp said it was wrong that competitions were relying on certain teams going out in order to keep the fixtures in order. "We cannot carry on like this ... We have to find a solution. The solutions so far sound to me more like another problem."

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