Klopp in need of solution to Liverpool’s League Cup dilemma

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After holding talks over the fixture clash between the quarter-final against Aston Villa and the Club World Cup, Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Liverpool are yet to resolve their League Cup dilemma.

Klopp’s side will be in the Middle East for the Club World Cup when their League Cup tie at Villa was scheduled to be played in December.

Klopp had threatened to pull Liverpool out of the League Cup if the English Football League didn’t accommodate them by moving the last eight match.

He has considered fielding two separate sides to solve the fixture congestion, but it remains likely the Villa game will be pushed back until early January.

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“We discussed it. We have to as there is not too much time to make that decision. But no final decision yet,” Klopp told reporters on Friday.

“If we did play while in Qatar it would be two different teams but we cannot leave any players at home for the Carabao Cup.

“We have two games there (in Qatar) in a very busy period. It is not that we can go there with 11 players and say these 11 guys play two games in Qatar and the other guys play back home against Aston Villa.

“It doesn’t work like that. We will make a decision but not yet.”

Klopp believes the League Cup needs an overhaul if it is to remain in the calendar given the already hectic demands on the top Premier League clubs.

“It is obvious it is too much. Absolutely obvious. Everyone involved in the game will tell you that. Let’s have a look how they deal with it,” he said.

But Klopp has doubts about whether the authorities are ready to listen to the managers who fear their players’ health is being put at risk by fixture burn-out.

“If you see the schedule coming up it is all OK,” he said. “Premier League: what a competition, sensationally cool. Then Carabao Cup: nice competition, what a wonderful game we had on Wednesday.

“But then there is still in January, after a very busy schedule in December, there is two (legged) semi-finals.

“It is an easy decision for me to say, ‘OK, if you keep that competition why have two (legged) semi-finals?’

“That is the difference to other countries. We are the only country where no-one wants to touch it.

“The FA wants to touch the League Cup, the Football League wants to touch the FA Cup but no-one wants to talk about it.”

Juliet Ekwebelam

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