Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has slammed the Premier League for scheduling their crucial top-of-the-table showdown against Manchester City for Saturday lunchtime after the international break.
Etihad Stadium will host the box office encounter a little over 72 hours after players from both sides will be involved in South American CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers.
Ederson and Julian Alvarez are among Man City players to be affected, while Liverpool’s Alisson, Alexis Mac Allister and Darwin Nunez will also be representing their respective nations in South America.
Liverpool have been picked to kick off a post-international break match week more times than any other Premier League team, and Klopp has criticised the decision-makers for selecting his side once again.
“How can you put a game like this on Saturday at 12.30 pm?” Klopp said, fuming at the decision in his post-match press conference.
“Honestly, the people making the decisions – they cannot feel football. It is just not possible. This is the moment the world pays the most to see a football game.
“These two teams could have, all together, about 30 international players. They all come back on the same plane, by the way – all the South American players.
Liverpool head into the international break following a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Brentford, extending their remarkable 18-match unbeaten Premier League streak at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah bagged a brace before Diogo Jota secured maximum points with a ferocious long-range effort, condemning Brentford to their fourth defeat of the season.
The win took Liverpool to second on the Premier League table, one point behind Man City, but Klopp refrained from touting his side as title contenders.
“It is only November, but it’s really important we have the same points as other teams,” Klopp added.
“We didn’t play perfect football yet, not even close, but we fight our way through in moments – we showed a top reaction today, and it is all fine.
“We have to keep going with all the other teams until March or April, and if you are still there, we can start talking [about a title challenge].
“Until then, it is fight your way through the most difficult league in the world and be ready on Thursday and on Sunday and Thursday.
“And if the Premier League has the opportunity to do it, be ready on Saturday at 12.30 pm.”
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