JURGEN KLOPP has complained that Liverpool’s pre-season is too short — so has arranged a friendly AFTER their Premier League opener with Fulham.
Liverpool will play a friendly against Aston Villa the day AFTER their Prem opener vs FulhamCredit: Getty
This is set to take place on Sunday week — just 24 hours after the trip to the newly-promoted Cottagers.
Incredibly, Liverpool also face Strasbourg at home on Sunday, the day after the Community Shield at Leicester’s King Power Stadium.
Klopp, whose team have played four friendlies so far, said: “We still have to prepare for a season. We cannot ignore that.
“I cannot ignore that after this important game with City a season is coming up, so we have to extend our pre-season into the season.
“We play on Saturday versus City and on Sunday, we play a pre-season test game against Strasbourg.
“Then we have Fulham. The next day we play another game so we extend our pre-season which is what we have to do.
“From mid-August, we have to play every three days. There is no time for training any more. We try to do the right things but the schedule will always be a challenge.”
Klopp, whose side were Champions League finalists, insists the Community Shield curtain-raiser should be played at a later date.
He added: “We have played this final a couple of times. It would be nice if we could win it. It’s the last domestic cup we haven’t won.
“I like the competition but maybe it is possible to find another date for it because we had a longer season than other teams, and had a shorter pre-season, so this game does not make too much sense.
“Germany has a Super Cup final and for that date, the teams involved do not have to play one cup round. We have to find a way.”
Klopp confirmed keeper Alisson (abdomen) and striker Diogo Jota (hamstring) will miss Sunday’s game.
He added: “Ali trained today and so he will definitely be able to play against Fulham. Jota will take a while, unfortunately.”
Klopp also insists Juventus target Roberto Firmino will stay at Anfield.
He said: “Bobby is crucial for us. He is the heart and soul of this team. The way we played the last few years was only possible because of Bobby. He is essential for us.
“We lost Sadio (Mane) after he told us he wanted to face a new challenge and it was early enough so we accepted that. We had time to prepare for that situation.”