Jurgen Klopp cannot understand the Premier League’s decision to put Liverpool’s game against Swansea on Sunday on at 12 noon.
The manager was speaking after last night’s Europa League defeat to Villarreal, and ahead of the Premier League fixture this weekend.
His quotes were taken by the Echo:
“On Sunday all English people will have lunch while we play football. My first time with 12 o’clock kick-off. Who made this decision?”
“A few years ago we played in Athens with Dortmund in the Champions League.
“They cancelled their game in the league because they wanted to beat Dortmund!
“I don’t want to make headlines (about KO time). Nobody in this room can think we should start at 12?!”
“I could not imagine that something like this would happen.
“But it’s not an excuse – it’s just for a few people funny…
“But it’s not really funny.
“At 12 o’clock I am usually hungry. If my players are also hungry at that time on Sunday that will help us.”
12 noon is undeniably a very early start, perhaps unnecessarily so; especially for an away side. It’s a fairly long journey too, which also makes it a real pain for supporters planning on attending.
In terms of the playing staff though, it shouldn’t really make too big a difference, as Klopp would have surely selected an entirely changed XI anyway, with next week’s Europa League second leg in mind.
The players only returned from Spain late last night, and will not have had enough preparation time for a weekend fixture.
With that in mind, expect Kevin Stewart, Brad Smith, Danny Ward, Sheyi Ojo and perhaps Pedro Chirivella to feature. Liverpool have virtually nothing to play for anymore in the Premier League, so a chance to give the youngsters another chance will be appreciated anyway.