This week, Jurgen Klopp has given all Liverpool’s first-team squad not away on international duty the week off to recharge their batteries.
This includes starters such as Loris Karius, James Milner, Joel Matip, Emre Can and Dejan Lovren – a well as subs Alberto Moreno and Lucas.
Instead of training with smaller groups at Melwood and mixing in Academy players, he wants his squad to have a breather – aware of the gruelling English schedule during the winter months.
Interestingly, Klopp admits cancelling a week off when he first arrived at the club, but now he understands the physical demands of the Premier League, accepts it was a bad idea.
Klopp told the Echo: “I don’t need a break but we won’t have a lot of players here.
“When I came here the players had a few days off. I changed it and said: ‘How can they have three or four days off or something?’
“It was a silly decision. It’s only because I was not used to it. Now we are proper English coaches, we know about the fixtures, the intensity of the next few months.
“Each possibility for a little break, you have to use. That’s what we have to do.
“They still have a programme – to train and stay fit. Not all of them can go wherever they want because if you’re a bit injured you have to be here.
“But a real training session does not make sense with five or six players. A few days off and then we’ll start again.
“We will try to have a game behind closed doors. The result of that won’t be important but it’s an opportunity for us to give players match time.
“From Sunday or Monday onwards, when the international players start to come back, we will prepare for the next game.”
Following the international break, in which we’ll be watching from behind the sofa through fear of Liverpool injuries, we’ve got a tricky trip to Southampton before hosting Sunderland at Anfield.
Two wins would set us up perfectly for December’s busy run of fixtures which includes games against Everton and Manchester City…