Manchester City are furious with the Christmas Premier League fixtures and think Liverpool have been given an easier ride.
They play Wolves on the December 27, before hosting Sheffield United two days later on December 29 and then Everton three days later on January 1.
Liverpool’s games in this period are a little more spread out, with Leicester on December 26, Wolves on December 29 and Sheffield United on January 2.
Omar Berrada, the club’s chief operating officer, launched an attack yesterday.
“We’re disappointed that the schedule is so tight for the players over Christmas,” he told the Manchester Evening News, cited in the Telegraph.
“Premier League games are a huge physical demand. It’s not ideal to be made to play twice in less than 48 hours because it doesn’t give the players time to properly recover.
“We obviously understand that the paying rights-holding broadcasters are an important consideration when it comes to scheduling, but we also need to make sure that we protect the players’ well-being, the sporting integrity of the league, and the quality of the product.
“We’ve had an open dialogue with the league to consider other options, but ultimately we will have to comply with the kick-off times and dates as they have been presented to us.”
What Berrada isn’t realising is that in December, Liverpool play eight matches in total – which includes a trip to Doha for the Club World Championships.
The Premier League had to account for this in their scheduling – as it should for any English club who won the Champions League.
In fairness, Berrada does make some valid points. Playing so many matches in a short space of time is not good for players and almost seems archaic, in fact.
Jurgen Klopp also hates it – and has a mighty task to keep his best players fit and firing through this hectic period.
Pep Guardiola has two world-class players in every position though, so should enjoy the chance to get some all some minutes!