It’s already been a full-on season for the top teams in Europe, and in particular in the Premier League.
An incredible title race is already developing which is sure to be taking a lot out of the players involved, and that’s before we’ve even reached the super-intensive festive period of fixtures.
The topic of player welfare appears to be front and centre at present, in terms of it being given more air time than usual, though the powers that be still don’t seem to have fully grasped the nettle.
It’s doesn’t seem that opposition managers agree on matters arising too often, however, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur’s Antonio Conte have bucked that particular trend where their Carabao Cup semi-final fixtures are concerned.
Both teams have to play on Boxing Day, Tuesday 28 December and then again on New Year’s Day in Tottenham’s case, and January 2 in Liverpool’s.
FA Cup Third Round day comes the following weekend, but before that is the first-leg of the Carabao Cup with the second leg immediately after the FA Cup.
That means a mammoth six games played in 17 days, including some intense top-flight fixtures.
“I think it would be better with one game absolutely, but obviously what I say is not too important,” Klopp was quoted as saying by the The Mirror, in the aftermath of Liverpool’s epic quarter-final win over Leicester City.
“[…] I said it before, I would prefer only one semi-final. But I can’t see any kind of changes actually.”
Conte had similar words after Spurs managed to dispose of London rivals, West Ham United.
“Maybe it would be better to play one game and not two games, especially for the situation we are living but we have to respect the rules,” he told reporters.
There’s also AFCON to contend with so Liverpool will be without two of their main strikers for these games.
Injuries at this stage of the season certainly won’t be helpful, so it’s about time the FA paid more than lip service to player welfare issues.
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