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Liverpool vs Barcelona: Klopp calls on Premier League to help English sides in Europe

Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wants the Premier League to do more to help English teams in Europe after seeing the Dutch domestic schedule ripped up to aid Ajax.

Holland’s football association, the KNVB, has postponed the entire final round of Eredivisie games for two-and-a-half weeks to give the leaders extra time to prepare for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Tottenham on April 30.

Yet Liverpool’s attempt to reach the Champions League final for the second successive season, by beating Barcelona over two legs early next month, will have to be played out in the middle of their push to win their domestic title for the first time since 1990.

The KNVB made their move because Ajax were scheduled to round off their league campaign against De Graafschap just two days before facing Tottenham – and felt that it could give the leaders an unfair advantage just to move their game.

Klopp understands the logic, but faces a tricky job balancing a fixture list that forces Liverpool to play four season-defining matches in the first 12 days of May.

The Liverpool manager said: “The Dutch league had a problem because for the last two match days, everyone plays at the same time. 

“It was the Sunday and then the Tuesday and it was clear it would be difficult if they don’t change it. It is normal. 

“We would have thought they’d change [the Dutch fixtures] to the Saturday but they didn’t do that, I don’t know why. 

“Would something like that happen in England? No I don’t think it would happen. Or in Germany, to be 100 per cent honest. 

“I think the Premier League should support teams. We now have four teams in the semi-finals in Europe and that is a big number.”

Klopp added that the demands of television make it difficult to postpone Premier League fixtures at this stage of the season.

He said: “Can they do it? I don’t know. We all signed a big contract with the TV stations. On the one side we want the money and on the other side it is not always working out. 

“If it is possible then everybody should help. It is a busy schedule over the year. It would be important if we could play Newcastle in the late game on the Saturday and not 12.30. 

“What Holland is doing, I don’t think it is possible in all countries. If the whole world is watching you and you have signed these massive contracts then I don’t know if it is possible. It would be nice if it was possible and that they would do it.”

Klopp’s side go into the weekend with a two-point lead at the top of the Premier League over Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

While City host Tottenham this lunchtime, Liverpool wait until Sunday to visit a Cardiff side with renewed hope of survival after their win at Brighton on Tuesday.

Klopp said: “A lot of people at the moment, when they think about Liverpool, they immediately think about Barcelona. But before Barcelona, it’s Cardiff and Huddersfield, and that’s of exactly the same importance as the other game after that.”

Last Modified: Saturday، 20 April 2019 02:34 PM
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