Jurgen Klopp joked he asked for Aston Villa to travel to Qatar to solve Liverpool’s Carabao Cup problem.
Liverpool’s packed fixture schedule at December has resulted in them agreeing to play two different squads in two different competitions across two contintents within 24 hours.
The Reds will play in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup – against Villa – on December 17 and then a day later will have a FIFA Club World Cup semi-final match in Qatar.
It was deemed as the only solution to Liverpool’s packed festive schedule, after the club held talks with the EFL.
“We asked Aston Villa if they would come to Qatar and we can play the game there!” joked Klopp.
“We have an idea how we do it [play two different teams], but it’s too early to speak about it. We made a decision because all the other alternatives were more problems than solutions, so we said ‘OK’.
“This is how we can do it as good as possible for us. We have a bit of time to think about that, and more important things to do.
“In these next couple of weeks we will make a decision about how it will look exactly. But in the end, they will play a Liverpool team, 100 per cent.”
While Klopp was joking about the scheduling, he stressed how unhappy he is with the situation and called on the football authorities to find a solution to ensure something like this does not happen again in the future.
Asked if they were put under pressure to play the League Cup game, he said after Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Genk in the Champions League: “Kind of! Do you want to be really in trouble with FIFA? No. Do we want to be in trouble with the EFL? Probably not. We respect the competition.
“It sounds like we don’t like the Carabao Cup, which is not true. What I don’t like is that it’s two legs in the semi-final. I don’t understand that and I don’t like that in the busiest period.
“The Club World Cup, you only play if you win the Champions League, and that doesn’t happen in your life five million times. You take the opportunity.
“Is it the best time of the year? No. We are busy, but we go there. We try to play all the games with what we have. Now we had this situation and nobody had any idea.
“It’s not only the Carabao Cup. If you have a rematch (replay) in the FA Cup, which I don’t like, and you go through to the final of the Carabao Cup… you cannot work like this.
“I don’t want to cancel competitions – I’m from Germany, why should I cancel English competitions – but I still want to talk about the problems, and that’s what I did.
“Every year we do the same and people think it’s funny that a team has to play five games in three days.
“We cannot carry on like this. Come on. That’s why I ask that we sit at a table and find solutions. At the moment, the solutions sound like problems.”
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And when asked about whether Liverpool would prioritise the Carabao Cup or Club World Cup, the German admitted he didn’t know what the approach would be yet.
He added: “No, we don’t know exactly yet. We have an idea on how we’ll do it but it’s too early to speak about that.
“We had to make a decision now because all the other alternatives had more problems than solutions.
“It didn’t work out so we said ‘ok, that’s how we can do as good as it’s possible for us but all the rest we have a bit of time to think about that.
“We have more important things to do…but in these next couple of weeks we will make a decision on how it will exactly look but in the end they will play a Liverpool team 100 per cent.”
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