Jurgen Klopp recently described the Premier League’s holiday schedule as a ‘crime’ even despite Liverpool claiming a 100 per cent record during the December period.
The hectic time schedule during the festive period has not just drawn criticism from Klopp but a number of his Premier League colleagues. Pep Guardiola was openly critical of the fact Liverpool were given an extra 24 hours’ rest between their Boxing Day trip to Leicester and Liverpool’s home clash with Wolves.
Nuno Espirito’s side will be forced to clash with both the Premier League champions and the Champions League winners in the space of one and a half days.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will have played four domestic matches in the space of nine days including the victory against Brendan Rodgers’ side. Liverpool’s Anfield clash against Wolves is followed up with a trip to Sheffield United on January 2 and the Merseyside derby in the FA Cup on January 5.
Klopp was recently quoted saying: ‘People want it. None of the managers have a problem playing on Boxing Day, but playing on the 26th and 28th, this is a crime.
‘Absolutely not okay and we still have it. This year we play 26th and 29th and it is like a holiday. I understand all those saying it should not happen.
‘They are not moaning. They are telling. It is not for the spectacle. It would not be a problem to play 26th and 29th with more teams. There is no reason why more teams do not get more than 48 hours between a Premier League game.’
Liverpool may currently be 13 points clear at the top of the league but with nine fixtures throughout December the results have also come with casualties.
Following their FIFA Club World Cup triumph in Doha, Qatar, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was another of Klopp’s history makers to join the growing injury list that already includes Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Fabinho who are all ruled out for the rest of the year.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was another to be withdrawn during the Reds’ 4-0 victory over Leicester on Thursday evening. The England international left the field following a tough challenge from Ayoze Perez. However, it has recently been reported that the 29-year-old could be fit to face Wolves at the weekend.
The European champions will have reinforcements arriving in January with Takumi Minamino joining from RB Salzburg on January 1 and Nat Phillips also joining up with Liverpool after being recalled from his loan move from German side Stuttgart.