Champions League run might hurt Man City next season, Klopp warns

By Sports Desk July 07, 2020

Jurgen Klopp feels Manchester City's attempts to dethrone his Liverpool side in the Premier League next season could be compromised if they reach the latter stages of the Champions League.

Liverpool stormed to their first domestic league title for 30 years in dominant fashion and their lead with five games remaining stands at an unassailable and mammoth 23 points.

City served notice of their intentions to make it three Premier League crowns in four seasons next time around with a dominant 4-0 victory over the Reds last week, although how their inconsistent 2019-20 will be judged rests upon whether they can add the FA Cup and the Champions League to the already-retailed EFL Cup.

Pep Guardiola's side hold a 2-1 advantage over Real Madrid ahead of the delayed second leg of their last-16 tie, which will take place on August 7 before the winner progresses to an eight-team mini-tournament in Lisbon that is slated to run from August 12-23.

Should City at least go close to getting their hands on the trophy that has eluded them in the modern era – not to mention one they stand to be banned from contesting over the next two years, pending the outcome of an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport – Klopp believes recuperation for the 2020-21 campaign will be tricky given the expectedly quick turnaround.

"For pretty much all the teams, it is the same, apart from the teams still in Europe," said Klopp, who knows Liverpool's season ends with the July 26 trip to Newcastle United.

"I don't know how they'll sort that. If City go through to the Champions League final, that's the end of August. It's really tough then.

"Or [Manchester] United and Chelsea and Wolves – they're all still in Europe. That's really tough.

"For us, it's already tough, but we can deal with it. We cannot start until other teams have finished.

"It will be September, I guess, when we start again. This period we will use for a break and pre-season."

Fatigue is a present concern for Klopp in this compressed Premier League schedule.

Brighton and Hove Albion are up next on Wednesday for Liverpool, who travelled overnight to England's south coast after finding a hotel in line with the coronavirus protocols they are required to meet.

"When we heard about the fixtures, it was tough. It's tough for everybody, but when you get yours, you don't look where others play," Klopp said.

"We know we have these kind of fixtures around Boxing Day, where we play 48 hours after the last game, which makes absolutely no sense and never will make sense. I stick to the opinion that's a crime, but three days [to recover] is kind of okay.

"We had to make a decision: would we travel on the matchday? But Brighton is not around the corner, especially the airport is not around the corner, so we would have had to travel a lot."

Klopp added: "We decided to do it like we would do it in the middle of the season. It should be okay, but then we're coming back in the middle of the night and playing a few hours later again against Burnley.

"But Burnley has the same situation; they are in London against West Ham and then play us. It's not easier for them or easier for us. It's just tough for all of us and the logistics are really difficult."

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