Waiting for international football to end and club football to kick off again always feels an interminable wait, and having an extra two days off before Liverpool face off against Manchester United on Monday night is going to make this particular wait even longer.
Yet a Monday night kickoff means a few advantages, and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is looking for the upside in a longer than usual international break—namely that Liverpool get themselves a night game at Anfield out of the delay.
“It feels like in the Premier League every game is a big game now,” Carragher told the club’s official website. “[But] this is extra special, under the lights at Anfield, and there have been some great games there, you think of the 3-3 game all that time ago.
“It will be a great atmosphere, and I think Liverpool will go in confident with the way they’re playing. But it’s always difficult on the back of international games—who you bring back, what time they come back, did anyone pick up any injuries? So that will have bearing.”
A match under the lights at Anfield is certainly a bonus that helps to make up for waiting an extra two days. Another can be found digging into Carragher’s “what time they come back” comment. Because two days to wait will, for once, rather render that moot.
Off the September international break, it was certainly a consideration—one that led Philippe Coutinho to start on the bench against Leicester City. This time around, with two extra days for players to return and recover, it should play far less a role in team selection.
An extra two days of waiting for Liverpool’s international break to end and club football to kick off again may not be what most would pick if given the choice, but a night game at Anfield and extra time for returning players are clear benefits.