April has never been busier for this Liverpool squad. For the first time ever, the Reds have advanced to the the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the Champions League, in addition to the League Cup that was won in February. Alongside the last run of matches in the Premier League, arguably the toughest competition to date.
It’s no small wonder that following Liverpool’s victory against Benfica to solidify their place in the Champions League semi-final, manager Jürgen Klopp formally requested the FA and the Premier League to move Liverpool’s match against Newcastle, currently scheduled for April 30th at 12:30pm BST, from that early kick off.
The Men will be playing Villarreal not even three full days before Newcastle, no doubt at around 8pm BST on Wednesday April 27th. While, thankfully, that match will be at home, they will need to travel to Newcastle in the days following, likely only getting a day of rest/recovery before training.
If the request is granted, the Newcastle kickoff will moved to 7:30pm on the same day, allowing a few more hours of hopefully restful sleep for these players. Just a few hours of a shift doesn’t seem so unwieldy a request, but the news was met with the usual detractors on social media (one only has to look at the response to the Athletic’s twitter account to see).
Klopp has always been vocal about the situations that these players are placed in, all in the name of football love (IE $£$£). He has spoken nearly every year of the congested holiday fixtures over November and December, and even as recently as Wednesday night said that players are only human and need rest, when asked why Mohamed Salah didn’t start.
We’ve seen what this team can do when they are firing on all cylinders, when they have the chance to be at their best. Allowing them time to rest and recover, despite these jam packed schedules, is the best way to do it. Liverpool are incredibly lucky that they have a manager like Klopp to make sure that these men are taken care of, as the footballing powers that be attempt to use their bodies for every cent they can.