Fixture congestion (and the English FA’s rather cavalier attitude towards it) continues to remain a real issue in the Premier League. The manner in which the FA schedules around both team in European competition and the fixtures of the busy holiday schedule, leaves many managers with a great deal to complain about.
And complain they do, as was the case earlier this week with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
"I really get what Antonio is talking about, I heard about it, but maybe he forgot that they had the best Christmas schedule last year," Klopp retorted in the pre-match press conference.
"Everyone played every two days and they had about 12 days to play three games. They have the same situation this year and I don't know how the Premier League will explain this. But it will not have influence on this game. Maybe on the next one, that is possible.
"They are already back, they flew back to London and they have two days to recover and that is a normal situation. Three days [between games] is never a problem, two days is a big problem but obviously nobody wants to hear that."
The issue with the holiday fixture list to which Klopp was referring (which once again seems to benefit Chelsea), was an extra two days off between the December 30th slate of games, and the January 1st-3rd slate. Like last year, Liverpool must host Leicester City on the 30th, before turning around and traveling to Burnley for a kickoff just 46 hours after finishing the previous match.
On the other hand, Chelsea play at home on the 30th, before traveling all the way to London to face Arsenal on the evening of January 3rd. Arsenal will also be on shorter rest when they host their local foes, having played the final match of the December 31st slate, away to West Brom.
For what its worth, Arsenal and Liverpool face off as the only Premier League match on Friday night, December 22nd, thereby essentially giving each club an extra day’s rest before the Boxing Day slate of games. Though, this is only because both clubs kicked up a fuss about playing on Christmas Eve. So.