Ahead of Liverpool’s clash against Brighton & Hove Albion, manager Jurgen Klopp has complained about cup matches being played at the weekend amid his side’s tight schedule.
The Merseysiders will face Brighton in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend this Sunday (29 January)
The English football calendar has gotten more intense since the turn of the year, with clubs now playing domestic competitions across weekends and in midweek. Klopp doesn’t think that is a good idea and at his pre-match press conference, he said (via the Daily Mail):
“We’re not famous for going long in the cups apart from last year. Cups are always difficult when you have midweek games because you have to keep an eye on it and now we have a full week to prepare the game. In our tight schedule, I am not sure FA Cup should have a weekend matchday but we have it.”
“We deal with it. It’s good to prepare but it makes things more difficult. We still have two games in hand – someone has to fit it in somewhere. No news about that yet. No clue when that will happen. The further we go in cup competitions the more complicated it will be. It’s not a problem for now.”
Recall that the Liverpool manager made a similar remark in August when he likened the scheduling to a climatic crisis prior to the World Cup break. He said:
“Everyone knows it is not right. Something has to change. It is like with the climate. We all know we have to change but nobody is saying what we have to do. If you go to the final of the World Cup, win or lose, there will be seven games. And then there will also be a third-placed game. And the league starts a week later.”
“It is just not OK — but it was decided long ago. Everyone says it is for the right reasons… I was not angry at all before I came here — but then we start talking about it and I get really angry.”
It is worth noting that Liverpool succumbed to a 3-0 defeat when they clashed with Brighton earlier this month.
Chris Sutton backs Brighton to beat Liverpool on Sunday
The BBC pundit has backed Brighton to get the better of Liverpool once again when they meet in the FA Cup this weekend. He argued that the Reds can’t be trusted to deliver anymore amid their struggles this season and tipped the Seagulls to earn a narrow 4-3 victory on Sunday.
Sutton told BBC Sport:
“I’m not going to apologize to Liverpool fans for saying this – but I just don’t trust their team to deliver anymore. They don’t have the same intensity in their play that they once did under Jurgen Klopp, and it is far too easy to get through their defense, as Brighton showed when they beat them 3-0 earlier this month.”
“This might be an open game which, in the past would have suited the Reds. Now it plays into Brighton’s hands and they look full of confidence at the moment. I can see there being a few goals but if the Seagulls win, is it really a shock? I don’t think so.”