Ian Wright has admitted he ‘feels sorry’ for Jurgen Klopp with Liverpool’s trip to Manchester City on Saturday scheduled for a 12:30pm kick off at the Etihad.
The German tactician has hit out at the scheduling, previously labelling it as a ‘joke’, with the Anfield outfit occupying the lunchtime slot for a third time in a row immediately after the international break.
The early kick off reduces the amount of rest players have once returning from their respective nations while also meaning the players are forced to eat chicken and pasta for breakfast on the day of the game.
Former Arsenal favourite Wright is one of every few pundits to have some sympathy for the Borussia Dortmund boss.
“I feel sorry for [Jurgen Klopp],” said Wright during an episode of the Kelly and Wrighty show (as quoted by Liverpool.com). “A game of that magnitude and how good it is, I’d have loved for that to be in the evening.”
The Reds occupied the lunchtime slot on six separate occasions last season but failed to win any of those games – taking three points from a possible 18.
You can claim that it’s not that much of an issue and that Premier League clubs earn an insane amount of money from TV rights, but Klopp’s side have been handed the early slot on far more occasions than their other top six rivals.
Prior to our lunchtime clash with Wolves in September, which we came from a goal down to win 3-1 at Molineux, Opta’s Michael Reid pointed out (via X) that we’ve been handed six more 12:30 kicks off during Klopp’s tenure than Spurs and Chelsea who were next on the list.
Tomorrow's game vs Wolves will be Liverpool's 12th Saturday lunchtime kick-off (12:30/12:45) in the Premier League immediately following an international break under Jürgen Klopp – including 8 away from home.
— Michael Reid (@michael_reid11) September 15, 2023
Let’s hope for a positive result on Saturday with us currently trailing Pep Guardiola’s league leaders by just a single point.