Noel Whelan has highlighted the unfairness of Liverpool, amongst other clubs, being granted little in the way of time for their South American contingent to return and rest ahead of the resumption of domestic football.
The Reds are set to be without both Fabinho and Alisson Becker after the pair were instructed to travel to Spain ahead of the club’s Champions League meeting with Atletico Madrid.
“The schedule could have been arranged a little bit better, in my opinion. Give them that bit of time so they can come back to domestic football and play for their respective clubs,” the former Leeds United star told Football Insider.
“Because of the game on Sunday [for Tottenham], that gives those players a little bit of extra time to recover.
“When you look at Liverpool, who are playing Saturday afternoon, it was always very unlikely they would get risked.
“The same with other clubs who have South American representatives playing abroad.
“It’s a little bit unfair and little bit hard to take. You want your players in form. You want your strongest squad out there to win games. That’s what it’s all about.”
Jurgen Klopp had complained about the lack of a viable solution in his pre-Watford presser regarding his Brazilian duo, with Brazil’s international clash with Uruguay falling too close to the Merseysider’s upcoming league fixture.
It’s a ludicrous situation when pot luck decides which club is able to field a full-strength squad in its domestic fixtures.
As has been repeatedly pointed out (apparently to no avail), the clubs ultimately pay the players’ wages, so it makes little to no sense that they have virtually no say in the matter.
Whilst we’re set to face comparatively weaker opposition in Watford to our prior opponents, Manchester City, some might be inclined to argue that we stand little chance of suffering without the likes of Fabinho and Alisson.
The reality of the situation, however, is that a loss of key men could result in points being dropped, which we can ill afford in a likely tight title race.