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Players need help over festive schedule, says Jurgen Klopp

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says players “need help” and wants talks about the festive schedule to continue.

The German is particularly opposed to teams having to play Premier League games on 26 and 28 December.

The Reds avoided such a scenario this year as their game against Leeds United on 26 December was postponed because of Covid-19 cases at the Yorkshire club.
“The situation should not be like this,” said Klopp, whose side are at Leicester City on Tuesday.
“I know so many people think it’s tradition and we want to play on Boxing Day, we could have played on Boxing Day and that would have been no problem at all.
“But playing on the 26th and the 28th is just not right, I just say that because it’s true and I think we can find solutions for that.
“It’s not that difficult to play football in a slightly different way. The 26th and the 29th, where’s the problem?”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson told BBC Sport he was “concerned” that “nobody really takes player welfare seriously”.
Prior to the game with Leeds being called off Klopp called for “someone to act” over games on 26 and 28 December at a time when there has been an increase in Covid-19 cases.

The Premier League’s most recent round of testing returned a record 103 new positive cases., while 15 Premier League games have been called off so far during December because of coronavirus.
“It [not playing on 26 and 28] would just help the players, even without Covid, and the problem is now some teams definitely have a proper Covid problem at the moment and you rush a smaller group of players through two games,” said Klopp.
“You need luck in these moments and you should not need luck.
“We do not stop discussing it because if we don’t discuss it, it just stays like this. Maybe it stays like this anyway but the players need help and help needs to come from other areas.”

It’s a ridiculous schedule – Rodgers

Leicester City were beaten 6-3 by Premier League leaders Manchester City on Boxing Day and Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers has also criticised the schedule with his team facing Liverpool so soon afterwards.
“It’s a ridiculous schedule, we all know that,” said Rodgers. “Players aren’t fully recovered for 72 hours after a game, so for us to be playing on a Tuesday against Liverpool is ridiculous.
“It’s a very quick turnaround. To play Manchester City and Liverpool in quick succession over this period is a big challenge, especially with the squads that they have.
“However, we have to play the game. We’ll do what we’ve done in this period.
“We will fight, keep working and we’ll do our very best, and that’s what we’re prepared to do on Tuesday.”