Football

Klopp questions lunchtime kick-off for Swansea clash

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has raised concerns over the Premier League’s decision to make their clash against Swansea City at Liberty Stadium on Sunday a rare early kick-off.

The Merseyside club travel to take on the Welsh side at noon on Sunday – less than 72 hours after their Europa League first leg semifinal loss to Spanish side Villarreal.

“It’s my first time (playing in the Premier League) at 12 p.m. It is really interesting to see who makes these decisions. But we can’t change it obviously, so we have to play then,” Klopp told reporters on Friday.

“We could have started at 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. We have to travel to Cardiff and drive to Swansea. If somebody wants to make our way a little bit harder – no problem, we are ready!” he said.

“If there is an opportunity for me to fight for something like this, then you can be sure I’ll do it. But now it’s too late. At (noon) I’m usually hungry. If my players are hungry tomorrow too then it’s good for the game. Hungry for success.” Naijabet

The Premier League has not said why it scheduled the unusual noontime kick-off for Liverpool and Swansea, currently in seventh and 15th place respectively.

But it was possible the league wanted no game to compete with Leicester City’s bid for their first ever title when they face Manchester United starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Liverpool have been told by a tribunal to pay second tier leaders Burnley up to eight million pounds ($11.71 million) for injured striker Danny Ings.

Klopp, however, refused to comment on the decision and hinted there was a chance of Ings, who was expected to miss the season with a cruciate ligament injury, could be involved in their final four league games.

“It’s a very difficult moment in his career. It can help you in building character. He already had a good base in character, but he has developed,” Klopp said.

“We respect the decision and for me as a manager it’s more important that the player is hopefully close to being available. There are a few games to play. We’ll see what happens.”

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