Opta figures prove why Klopp was right to hit out at ‘joke’ situation Liverpool faced this season

Posted by

It was the day before Liverpool’s visit to Molineux last September that Jurgen Klopp described the Saturday 12:30 kick-off time – coming straight after an international break which saw four Reds players return from South America in midweek – as a ‘joke‘.

Rival fans naturally labelled him a serial complainer, a situation not helped by the same scenario happening twice more in the autumn, but the bare facts are there to show that the German’s grievances are more than valid.

Findings published by Opta Analyst on Monday show that LFC have had the shortest average turnaround time between fixtures this season of any Premier League club at 116 hours and 18 minutes, with 11 of the other 19 top-flight sides typically having at least a day more to prepare for matches.

FOLLOW Empire of the Kop on Instagram (@empireofthekop) HERE

Liverpool have also had, on average, less time between matches than any of the other top 10 teams in the Opta Power Rankings, each of whom has played in European competition this term.

Furthermore, the Reds’ 53 games so far in the 2023/24 season is more than any other Premier League side, and also more than the rest of the aforementioned Opta top 10.

READ MORE: ‘Great to see’ – Journalist delighted with Monday evening news Liverpool fans may have missed

READ MORE: Journalist not ruling out ‘bold appointment’ from Hughes and Edwards in Liverpool manager search

Liverpool’s Carabao Cup triumph and progression to the quarter-finals of both the FA Cup and Europa League has led to a price being paid in terms of not just the relentless fixture scheduling, but also the injuries which decimated the squad earlier in the campaign.

It’s a Catch-22 situation for supporters, who want to see their team excel in every competition but also feel aggrieved when facing a glut of matches in close succession. Such is the double-edged sword which comes with success at the top level.

Nonetheless, the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Aston Villa and West Ham have also dealt with heavy workloads over the past few months but still have a longer average turnaround time between games than the Reds.

The regularity with which Liverpool have kicked off at 12:30 on a Saturday straight after an international break, or having played on a Wednesday night, has made it difficult for the squad to enjoy adequate rest between matches, and that’s why Klopp has been so vocal on the subject.

For those who are tempted to dismiss his remarks as crotchety ravings, the figures are there to show that the Reds have had a raw deal in terms of fixture scheduling.

If there’s one upside to having our quadruple bid whittled down to a maximum two-trophy haul, it’s that we’ll have at least six days before every match once Saturday’s trip to West Ham is out of the way.

🚨 EOTK Insider with Neil Jones: Niko Kovac rumours, what if Amorim stays at Sporting? Summer contract calls, Crystal Palace review and much more!

More Stories Liverpool