For the second consecutive international break, Liverpool finds themselves scheduled for the early Saturday kick-off, prompting Jurgen Klopp to express his frustration with what he deems a “joke” 12:30 PM start time. This scheduling quirk means that four senior players will once again face a tight turnaround as Everton visits Anfield.
Klopp, openly critical of 12:30 PM kick-offs following international breaks, voiced his displeasure last month before the trip to Wolves. He emphasized the challenge of having players scattered around the globe, particularly in South America, and facing a quick turnaround with little time for recovery and preparation.
In the previous instance against Wolves, only Alisson and Alexis Mac Allister started, with Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez coming off the bench. Klopp has the same concerns for the upcoming October international break, as the quartet is set to play in the early hours of Wednesday morning (BST) in South America.
Alisson and Nunez, facing each other as Uruguay hosts Brazil in a World Cup qualifier, kick off at 1 am (BST). Diaz has an earlier kick-off at 12:30 am as Colombia meets Ecuador, while Mac Allister’s match in Peru doesn’t start until 3 am, leaving minimal time for recovery upon returning to Liverpool.
Klopp expressed his frustration with the challenges posed by early kick-offs after international breaks, citing the impact of time zone differences and jet lag on the players’ readiness. The upcoming match against Everton on October 21 marks Klopp’s 13th Saturday lunchtime kick-off in the Premier League immediately after an international break, highlighting Liverpool’s disproportionate scheduling.
Despite his frustration, Klopp finds solace in the fact that the October fixture against Everton will be played at Anfield. As Liverpool navigates another quick turnaround, Klopp’s concerns underscore the broader debate around scheduling and its impact on player welfare.