Jurgen Klopp has questioned the football calendar, claiming that it makes it more difficult for one team to dominate, as his Liverpool side attempts an unprecedented quadruple this season.
Liverpool won 2-0 at fourth-placed Arsenal on Wednesday night to cut the distance on Premier League leaders Man City to just a point with nine games remaining, including a trip to the Etihad on April 10.
Klopp’s side now faces Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup quarter-finals at the City Ground on Sunday, as well as Benfica in the Champions League last eight in April.
Liverpool will be without right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold due to a hamstring injury, while top scorer Mohamed Salah is expected to miss the match due to a recurrence of a foot problem.
The German, on the other hand, believes Liverpool’s upcoming game calendar will work against them in their quest for glory this season.
“The only way I can do it is to be completely focused on the next game; I just don’t have enough room to think about different things [quadruple] and I don’t have to,” he explained.
“And someone informed me that if Liverpool wins quadruple, we could play 18 games or something.” I’m not sure where you’re going to put them all.
“To be honest, I’m not sure.” What, it’s May 22nd, and the Champions League final will be held a week later?
“Where have all of the [18 games] gone?” The FA Cup final would take place one week before to the Champions League final. No, it was the week leading up to the season finale.”
“That means the game will have to be adjusted as well.” The calendar isn’t set up for a lot of success for the same squad, which is understandable.
“Because you have to make a decision at some time… Or we concentrate on that, or we concentrate on that, or we concentrate on anything.”
Jurgen Klopp, on the other hand, is determined to ensure that the constant focus on Liverpool’s Premier League title chase with City does not distract from the larger goal of completing an unprecedented quadruple.
Klopp’s team has an opportunity to go top for the first time since late September when the season resumes after the international break, with a Saturday noon kick-off at home against struggling Watford.
The growing rivalry between the two north-west rivals has diverted focus away from the FA Cup quarter-final versus Forest, which has already seen top-flight opponents Arsenal and Leicester lose.
“If we just take a little bit off the throttle… not entirely, just a little bit – gone,” says the driver. “Three competitions,’see you later,’ no way,” Jurgen Klopp remarked.
“It would be an issue if we just went in that path thinking, ‘That’s a little bit of a relief,’ [the FA Cup].”
“Yes, they’re a Championship team, but they’re having a fantastic season.” You can see how they set up in a system, and they have a lot of quality in the team – the Premier League is undoubtedly following them.
“So it’s a tricky one, and the problem right now is to recognize the positive aspects of the circumstance while pushing them away.
“Be just as greedy, angry, and determined to win the next game as if we were in worst place in the table, as if if you don’t win, it’s game over.”
“That’s the situation we’re in – to be the one team that no one wants to play against before kick-off, and we’re going to try that again against Nottingham.”
“The only thing I know is to keep absolutely focused on the next game, which is Nottingham, and we’ve already got more problems than I’d want because of one position [right-back Trent Alexander-hamstring Arnold’s injury], Covid here and there, and then Nottingham.”
Liverpool forthcoming fixtures
Sunday 20th March
The FA Cup
Nottingham Forest 18:00 Liverpool Home
Saturday 2nd April
Liverpool 12:30 Watford
Tuesday 5th April
UEFA Champions League
Benfica 20:00 Liverpool
Sunday 10th April
Manchester City 16:30 Liverpool
Wednesday 13th April
UEFA Champions League
Liverpool 20:00 Benfica
Saturday 16th April
Aston Villa 17:30 Liverpool
Tuesday 19th April
Liverpool 20:00 Manchester United
Sunday 24th April
Liverpool 16:30 Everton
Saturday 30th April
Newcastle United 12:30 Liverpool
Saturday 7th May
Liverpool 15:00 Tottenham Hotspur
Sunday 15th May
Southampton 15:00 Liverpool
Sunday 22nd May
Liverpool 16:00 Wolverhampton Wanderers