Jurgen Klopp has criticized the football calendar, saying it makes it harder for one team to dominate as his Liverpool side look to complete an historic quadruple this season.
Liverpool remain on course to claim all four trophies this campaign after winning 2-0 at fourth-placed Arsenal on Wednesday night to close the gap on Premier League leaders Man City to just a point with only nine games left this season – including a trip to the Etihad on April 10, live on Sky Sports.
Klopp’s side now face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday, while they have also been drawn to play Benfica in the Champions League last eight in April.
Liverpool will have to travel to Forest without right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, though, after the England international picked up a hamstring injury, with top scorer Mohamed Salah also likely to sit out the clash with a recurrence of a foot problem.
However, the German says Liverpool’s upcoming fixture schedule will count against them in their bid to make history this season.
“The only way I can do is really be focused on the next game, I just have not enough space to think about different stuff [quadruple] and I don’t have to, “he said.
“And somebody told me we could play 18 games or whatever [from now on, if Liverpool win quadruple]. I have no idea where you want to fit them all in.
“To be honest, I don’t know. What, it’s May 22, and a week later it would be the Champions League final.
“Where are they all [18 games]? The FA Cup final would be the week before the Champions League final. No, the week before the season final.
“So it means that game must be rearranged as well. The calendar is not made for a lot of success for the same team, maybe fair.
“So because at one point you have to make [a decision]… Or we focus on that, or we focus on that or whatever. “
Klopp, however, is keen to ensure the incessant focus on Liverpool’s Premier League title race with City does not detract from the wider picture of keeping an unprecedented quadruple on track.
When things resume after the international break, Klopp’s side have a chance to go top for the first time since late September as they have a Saturday lunchtime kick-off at home to struggling Watford.
The intensifying tussle between the two north-west rivals has somewhat deflected attention from the FA Cup quarter-final against Forest, where top-flight sides Arsenal and Leicester have already been beaten.
“If we take only a little bit off the gas … not even fully, just a little bit – gone. Three competitions, ‘See you later’, no chance,” said Klopp.
“If we just go in that direction thinking, ‘That’s a little bit of a relief’ [the FA Cup] that would be a problem.
“Yes, they are a Championship side but one in a really good moment. You can see how they set up in a system, big talent in the team as well – probably the whole Premier League is after them.
“So it is a really tough one and the challenge at this moment is to know about the positivity of the situation but to push it aside.
“Be just as greedy, angry and desperate to win the next game as if we were in the worst position in the table, like if you don’t win that then it’s all over.
“That’s the situation we are in – to get always before kick-off to be the one team that nobody wants to play against and we try that again against Nottingham.
“The only way I know is to stay completely focused on the next game and that is Nottingham and we already have more problems than I wish because of one position [right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold’s hamstring injury]Covid here and
there, and then Nottingham coming up. “
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