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regular-article-logo Thursday, 22 February 2024

Juergen Klopp calls on Liverpool forwards to share workload in gruelling schedule

In the absence through injury of Diogo Jota, Liverpool manager says playing time will be shared among the rest of team’s forwards

Reuters London Published 03.12.23, 09:19 AM
Juergen Klopp.

Juergen Klopp. File picture

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has told his forwards they must share the workload as they prepare to play a gruelling nine games in 29 days.

Liverpool will host Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday, followed by away fixtures against Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, before their final Europa League group match against Union Saint Gilloise.

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Klopp’s squad will then face matches against Manchester United, West Ham United in the EFL Cup quarter finals, Arsenal, and Burnley, all before hosting Newcastle United on New Year’s Day.

In the absence through injury of Diogo Jota, Klopp said playing time would be shared among the rest of Liverpool’s forwards.

“This is the most intense period in world football coming up now, that’s how it is, for all the teams,” Klopp told reporters on Friday. “So they will all play. We have already Diogo not in, so that is not helpful and we have to share these minutes with different players. They have to perform, not always 90 but 60, 70 and at full throttle.”

With injuries to other key players, including keeper Alisson and left-back Andy Robertson, Klopp was unsure if he would be able to consistently rotate his squad.

“It depends on the players we have available,” he said. “We watch it, take what we get, and go from there.”

Cody Gakpo returned to the starting line-up and scored twice in their 4-0 home win against Austrian side LASK in the Europa League on Thursday and the Dutchman will provide competition for Darwin Nunez in the central striking role.

“Darwin is in a top moment, super important for us, and that he didn’t start against LASK has nothing to do with anything else,” Klopp said. “Now Cody scored twice, fantastic. Does that mean he has to play the next five games in a row?

“Other players score as well, it’s not about that, and Cody doesn’t expect that. They have to score, that’s the job, that’s what they want, but it’s not that I now have sleepless nights and don’t know how to start. It’s not that much of a choice, to be honest.”

Snow plays spoilsport

Munich: Bayern Munich’s home game against Union Berlin was called off on Saturday because of heavy snowfall.

Cold weather, snowfall and ice have caused transport chaos in Munich and southern Germany. “It was decided not to play the game because of the security risks for all involved,” Union said in a statement five-and-a-half hours before the Bundesliga game was due to start.

The German soccer federation said that stadium management had made the decision not to host the game “due to persistent heavy snowfall.” It came after a winter storm dumped snow across southern Germany and parts of Austria and Switzerland, affecting travel across the region.

“We very much regret that we have to postpone the match, but the safety of our fans and the supporters of Union Berlin has absolute priority,” said Bayern chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen, who said access to Allianz Arena was “not guaranteed due to numerous road closures...””

Flight operations at Munich airport were canceled until 6am (local time) on Sunday, and numerous railway lines around Munich had to be closed.

It was reported that some passengers in Munich and the nearby city of Ulm spent Friday night on trains because of the service suspensions. Leverkusen is due to host Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

AP/PTI

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