Skip to main content

Liverpool considering playing two games, in two competitions, in two different continents – on the same day

Jurgen Klopp

The Mirror reports that the Premier League leaders have opened talks with the English Football League over such a possibility.

The reason for the unusual proposal is that Jurgen Klopp’s side have been drawn away to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at the same time they are due to feature in the Club World Cup semi-finals in Doha.

Liverpool progressed to the last eight of the EFL Cup on penalties after a manic 5-5 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday.

That put them in the pot for the quarter-finals, which will take place over December 17 and 18.

However, their semi-final in Qatar is scheduled for December 18.

The report claims that the most likely outcome is that the game at Villa Park is shifted to January 8 – the same week that the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals are due to take place.

That would mean that the winner would have enough time in the calendar for both legs of the semi-final before the final on March 1 – providing that they aren’t involved in an FA Cup third-round replay.

But during talks, the possibility of keeping the tie on its original date and leaving a team at home to fulfil the fixture has been put forward.

The Reds must name a 23-man squad for the Club World Cup, including three goalkeepers, and are obligated by FIFA to attend the competition.

But they could potentially leave some players at home to face Villa while they take on Al-Sadd, Hienghene Sport or Monterrey with a reduced selection of players.

The League Cup players could then fly out to join the squad for the final or third-place playoff in Qatar after the game in Birmingham.

For this to work, they would also need to leave some of their coaching staff at home, with one or both of Klopp’s assistants, Pep Ljinders and Peter Krawietz, likely to take charge of the Carabao Cup team.

Klopp threatened to quit the competition after the win over Arsenal, unless the EFL can accommodate their packed fixture schedule.

“FIFA told us the Club World Cup will be there (Qatar) and we have to come there and we will do,” he said.

“The Premier League tells us we have to play in the Premier League, which we do obviously.

“The Carabao Cup, if they don’t find an appropriate place for us – not 3am on Christmas Day – then we don’t play it.

“If you have a fixture list where one team cannot be part of all the games, then you have to think about the fixture list.

“Hopefully it starts now. I really think that’s fair, and this problem is obvious now.

“We will not be the victim of this problem. We play tonight, we wanted to win it, we did that, and if they don’t find a proper date for us, then we cannot play the next round and whoever is our opponent will go through – or Arsenal play them.”

Now read...

SPECIAL ONE Six of the biggest jobs in Europe could be up for grabs – will Jose Mourinho be on the shortlist for any of them?

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2020 12 teams we can’t wait to be