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Jürgen Klopp Rules Out Split Squad to Solve League Cup Scheduling Conflict

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Whatever happens, don’t expect the Reds to take a team to Qatar while leaving the kids behind to face Aston Villa.

Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC - Carabao Cup Round of 16 Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Tomorrow, Liverpool take on Aston Villa in the Premier League. They’re also scheduled to face them again on December 17th. The only problem is that that game, their League Cup quarter-final, clashes with their Club World Cup commitments.

To make matters worse, there’s no obvious gap in the Reds’ schedule until you get to January—at which point a rescheduled League Cup quarter-final tie would clash with the scheduled dates for the League Cup semi-final. Which isn’t ideal.

“I don’t know,” was manager Jürgen Klopp’s response when asked what’s going to be done to make the schedule work for Liverpool. “We discussed it already and there is not too much time to make that decision, but there is no final decision yet.

“If we would play while we are in Qatar that would be two different teams, but we cannot leave players at home for the Carabao Cup. It’s not that we can go with 11 and say these 11 guys play the two games in Qatar and the other guys play at home.”

Despite some talk over the past 24 hours of a potential split squad, the Liverpool manager appears to be ruling it out—he wants the full first team squad and maybe a few of the brightest kids all in Qatar for the Club World Cup in December.

He further cited the already crowded fixture list, suggesting that he plans to use the Club World Cup as a chance to sprinkle in a few youth and fringe players already, which, if it came to it, would only leave behind the U18s to face Aston Villa.

“It doesn’t work like this,” he reiterated about the idea of a split squad or youth side playing in England’s second domestic cup competition. “So we have to make a decision and we will make the decision.”