Reds left short by EPL decision
Liverpool face 2 games in 45 hours after EPL reject Cats’ request
BY ADAM SHERGOLD / Liverpool will have to play two matches in under 48 hours at New Year after the Barclays English Premier League rejected a request to reschedule their visit to Sunderland.
Jurgen Klopp’s team play Manchester City at Anfield on New Year’s Eve at 5.30pm, then have to travel to take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on January 2 at 3pm.
Klopp made clear his objections to the schedule, which came about after BT Sport chose the City game for live television coverage.
But the Premier League rejected Liverpool’s request to also push the Sunderland match to a late kick-off, arguing that it would set a dangerous precedent if they showed favour to one club.
Manchester City also have to play two games spaced 45-and-a-half hours apart but the strain is less on Pep Guardiola’s side because their January 2 fixture is at home to Burnley.
The Premier League are also believed to have considered Sunderland’s festive schedule, which sees them travel to Manchester United on Boxing Day and Burnley on New Year’s Eve.
The match with Liverpool is their only home game and preventing additional disruption for their supporters may also have been a factor.
Speaking after the fixtures had been announced, Klopp said: “Forty-eight hours is an interesting idea but less than 48 hours I cannot believe.
“Forty-eight hours between two games - how does this work?
“How do you prepare a team for this?
“Do you say ‘ only 50 per cent against City because we have Sunderland on Monday.’”
Liverpool have already lost their traditional Boxing Day fixture, with their home game against Stoke City pushed to the evening of December 27 for live television coverage.
Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum with team mates celebrates scoring their sixth goal against Watford during a Premier League match at Anfield on November 6.