Liverpool will compete at the Club World Cup this year as European champions – and the dates have finally been confirmed for when the competition will take place.
There was a suggestion at one stage that the tournament would not be until 2020, but that was never going to be the case.
Via the Liverpool ECHO, the Reds will play in the semi-final on Wednesday 18 December and then either the final or third-place play-off on Saturday 21 December. There are stages before that in the tournament, but the Reds pass straight to the semi-finals because of the European Cup victory.
That means the Reds’ trip to the London Stadium to face West Ham United will need to be rearranged. It was originally down for 21 December.
The quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup are also that same week – on either 17 or 18 December – and so that match would also need to be moved should the Reds not be knocked out before then.
Ahead of what will be a hectic festive schedule, it is far from ideal to have to travel to Qatar, but given the standard of the opponents, at least in the semi-final, the Reds could use the tournament as a mini-break, opting to rest a few key men and utilise the time as a mid-season training camp.
Mexican side Monterrey, Hienghene Sport of New Caledonia and Al-Sadd, from hosts Qatar, are the other three sides to have been confirmed as taking part so far, with four more to be added to that list in total.
Jurgen Klopp will still want to win the trophy and rightly so, but that should be possible while also making the most of the time away from the Merseyside winter.
The Club World Cup trip, the Reds will hope, can be almost like Marbella was back in February of last season.