Reds left short by EPL de­ci­sion

Liver­pool face 2 games in 45 hours af­ter EPL re­ject Cats’ re­quest

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International Football -

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.

/REUTERS

Liver­pool’s Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum with team mates cel­e­brates scor­ing their sixth goal against Wat­ford dur­ing a Pre­mier League match at An­field on No­vem­ber 6.

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