Dave Davis deplores the timing of the international break but also explains why it’s convenient that Liverpool have a break just before playing Everton.
It does make you wonder who comes up with the schedule at times. Let’s wait until near the end of the season, where squads are getting stretched and throw in an international break which includes friendlies.
For most Reds, the biggest concern is the return of players from duty as opposed to their nation’s progress as these periods always bring a worry. In Liverpool’s case, though, it maybe that the break isn’t the worst thing in the world right now.
Jürgen Klopp has been able to take the players not on duty to Tenerife, to enjoy some warm weather training and even invited the players’ partners along too.
While many of those normally at Melwood are with their international sides, the likes of Milner, Matip, Lucas and others can enjoy some bonding time and preparation for the next game. Additionally, both the skipper Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren have extra time to get fit and prepare themselves for the furore of a Merseyside derby. There’s an argument for mot changing a winning side, but most will remember that those two were outstanding in the battle at Goodison earlier in the season.
The blue noses themselves have won their last few games and a little break in their momentum wouldn’t do any harm at all. Successive home victories over both Hull and West Brom would have seen them coming to Anfield with momentum and confidence and when you’re winning, you want to keep playing.
Don’t be at all surprised if their record at Anfield is brought up in the coming week and a few jibes go their way. Those with cynical minds wouldn’t be surprised to hear a comment about Lukaku’s future emanate from a Liverpool source. The stakes are high, so any edge is crucial.
On the other side, people will point to Firmino and Coutinho’s later arrival back on Merseyside as a key pointer, but they’re not the first players to have this scenario. Players can get knocks or injuries, but that could happen for either team although our players have got a history.
Amazingly, the player with the shortest trip right now seems to be Sadio Mané, whose Senegal team play their friendly at Barnet of all places. We all want it to come around quicker than it is, but Klopp might not be too upset about the timing right now.