After falling out of the FA Cup at the hands of League One's Oldham Athletic, about the only silver lining for Liverpool was that their departure from the competition meant a much needed break between the two legs of their round of 32 Europa League tie with Zenit. That break didn't last long, as the Premier League schedule makers quickly moved Liverpool's match against Swansea forward when the Welsh side secured a place in the League Cup final.
For Liverpool that means a tough run of four games in eleven days, and after fielding a strong squad against Zenit on Thursday, Brendan Rodgers is now faced with a choice between fielding a weakened side against Swansea or risking exhaustion for his key players ahead of a must-win second leg in the Europa League. Rodgers, unsurprisingly, is less than thrilled by this.
"I was very disappointed with the Premier League, to be honest," said Rodgers at his pre-Swansea press conference on Friday. "The actual game itself wasn't scheduled until the 24th and there were numbers of weeks after that we could've played the game.
"To actually put it in in a week where we've played on a Monday, played on a Thursday [in] Russia and then put it in between where we have another important European second leg game the following Thursday, I think it was another example of where the Premier League in this country doesn't help the teams whatsoever.
"I think every other country in Europe will always try and help their teams, and some of them will even play on a Friday before a European game. So for us to have it thrown in when there were other [options] was bemusing to say the least."
His annoyance may be justified, but it's far too late for anything to be done about it. The situation Rodgers finds himself in is quite obviously less than ideal from a Liverpool point of view, but the only thing the manager can do now is make the call—weakened squad, or risk exhaustion?