That’s according to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, who said last Sunday that he is thinking about ‘sending them the three points early’ because of the sharp turnaround from Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Atalanta on Wednesday night – which ended as a 2-0 defeat.
Klopp points to the unique nature of this season and how bouncing from a Champions League clash to a 12.30pm kick-off in a packed calendar during the Covid-19 pandemic is dangerous for the wellbeing of players across the division.
Klopp was at it again after the match, telling BT Sport after the game: ‘I’m afraid to say but I think it (running out of steam) could happen not only to us but to other teams as well.
‘You (BT Sport) my special friends ask us to go on Saturday at 12.30pm, which is nearly a crime to be honest. It has nothing to do with the game tonight but congratulations for that.’
Arguably Klopp has a point, if you look at injuries piling up across all clubs in the Premier League. The flip side of course is that he and Liverpool are happy to rake in the vast amounts of cash on offer from TV companies, so it is more than a little rich to suddenly bite the hand that feeds you.
Jurgen Klopp has made no secret of his disdain for the current television scheduling
Klopp is concerned about the impact that the condensed schedule with have on his players
His mood worsened after Liverpool and Neco Williams (above) lost to Atalanta on Wednesday
Klopp’s fury is genuine, but Graham Potter and the Seagulls won’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the German supposedly waving the white flag. Liverpool will show up in strength on Saturday. They simply have to.
Klopp rotated some of his team against Atalanta, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum and Joel Matip all starting alongside reserves Divock Origi, Kostas Tsimikas and Curtis Jones. Victory at Anfield would have sealed progress to the last-16 with two group games remaining, which would have allowed him to significantly rotate over coming weeks. Not any more.
For the fans tuning in on Saturday afternoon, they can be braced for a game that could well be unmissable. If you look at Klopp’s history of going from Wednesday to early Saturday, some of his biggest highs and lows have come from that turnaround.
Sportsmail takes a look back through all the previous Saturday lunchtime results after Klopp’s side had played on Wednesday night…
OCTOBER 31, 2015: Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool
Klopp’s first Premier League win as Liverpool manager came against Jose Mourinho’s defending champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. And it was a commanding victory as well, one that not only hinted at the early potential of his time at Liverpool but also how the cracks were widening in a Chelsea team that would see Mourinho sacked later on in the campaign.
It was a bad start for Liverpool – Ramires fired Chelsea ahead after just four minutes but Philippe Coutinho hauled Liverpool level in stoppage-time of the first half. For so long in the second, it was a gritty encounter where both teams pushed to seize control. Coutinho eventually struck Liverpool ahead in the 74th minute and Christian Benteke made the game safe in the 83rd.
On the Wednesday night prior, Klopp’s first ever win as Liverpool boss came in a slender 1-0 triumph over Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup, with Nathaniel Clyne scoring the decisive goal.
Klopp’s first win as Liverpool boss came at Chelsea, after a midweek win over Bournemouth
JANUARY 2: West Ham 2-0 Liverpool
A woeful display at Upton Park, with salt rubbed into Liverpool’s wounds through former striker Andy Carroll, who scored a towering header late on to seal the victory for the Hammers after an early Michail Antonio strike.
‘Again, we didn’t play how we should,’ Klopp said, acknowledging his team were off the pace throughout. The result felt alarming, even so early in Klopp’s tenure – while there were noticeable wins away at Chelsea and Manchester City, there were also awful defeats at Watford and then West Ham.
The Upton Park clash came after a midweek Premier League win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light but there was little reference to the fixture list that day.
JANUARY 23, 2016: Norwich 4-5 Liverpool
An absolute thriller, arguably one of the most entertaining matches in Premier League history – and that’s before you remember Klopp breaking his glasses in the celebration of Adam Lallana’s late, late winner at Carrow Road.
Roberto Firmino had put Liverpool ahead but Norwich surged into a 3-1 lead by 55 minutes. Jordan Henderson scored a minute after Norwich’s third, Firmino equalised and Milner put Liverpool back ahead in the 74th minute.
A sharp turnaround led to Norwich 4-5 Liverpool, one of the most epic Premier League games
But it seemed like heartbreak for Klopp when Sebastian Bassong scored in the second minute of injury time for 4-4.
Yet there was time for one last twist as a bouncing, looping strike in the fifth minute of added time from Lallana snatched the three points for Liverpool and Benteke inadvertently knocked Klopp’s glasses off in the celebration of the goal. They were snapped in the ensuing melee.
Klopp will be hoping for no such late heroics from Lallana on Saturday as he is now at Brighton, although is a doubt with a groin issue. That 2016 triumph came after a midweek FA Cup replay and win against Exeter.
Klopp’s glasses got broken in the celebrations of Adam Lallana’s 95th-minute goal
JANUARY 21, 2017: Liverpool 2-3 Swansea
January 2017 was a bad month for Liverpool and Klopp. Here, they were beaten on their own patch by Paul Clement’s Swansea side, who snatched a valuable three points in their (ultimately fruitless) battle to avoid Premier League relegation.
Remarkably, Liverpool went into that game against bottom-of-the-table Swansea only seven points off the top, so three points were imperative. Firmino’s double cancelled out the two goals from Fernande Llorente that had put Swansea ahead but Gylfi Sigurdsson struck late on to win it.
Mane, in his first season at Anfield, was absent at the Africa Cup of Nations and Liverpool missed him dearly.
Liverpool needed to beat Swansea to keep their title hopes alive but they were beaten 3-2
January 2017 was a disastrous month for Liverpool and harder times were soon to follow
JANUARY 28, 2017: Liverpool 1-2 Wolves
It’s testament to how far Wolves have come that only back in 2017 was it considered a major shock that they went to Anfield and beat Liverpool in the FA Cup. They were a Championship side back then.
It was a humiliating day for Klopp and Liverpool – they were behind after only 53 seconds to a Richard Stearman goal before Andreas Weimann doubled the advantage.
Klopp rotated his side quite heavily to focus on a two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final with Southampton (that Liverpool would go on to lose) but finished the game with Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Origi on the pitch, who gabbed a late consolation.
‘I am responsible,’ a clearly shell-shocked Klopp said. ‘I am sorry. I thought this line-up was ready for this game but obviously we weren’t and that doesn’t feel too good.
‘I could look for excuses but I don’t want to, maybe we should use this time to be disappointed, to be frustrated, to be angry at ourselves.’
One of Klopp’s lowest ebbs at Anfield came in a 2-1 FA Cup loss to Championship side Wolves
Klopp cut an angry figure during the Wolves defeat and apologised to fans after the game
APRIL 7 2018: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
Sandwiched between two Champions League ties against Manchester City, Liverpool had a gruelling clash with Merseyside rivals Everton. That’s about as tricky as it can get.
Klopp made five changes for Everton, resting Salah completely, starting Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke and replacing Mane and Milner as the game wore on.
A goalless draw wasn’t an awful result – full-strength Liverpool sides tend to draw at Goodison. And Klopp was ultimately vindicated by his decision – after winning the first leg against City 3-0 at Anfield, Liverpool ran out 2-1 winners at the Etihad in the return match.
Liverpool met Everton at Goodison Park between two Champions League ties with Man City
DECEMBER 8 2018: Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool
A midweek trip to Turf Moor proceeded Liverpool’s journey to the south coast and Klopp had rotated smartly to take on Sean Dyche’s men.
With the game poised at 1-1 he threw on Firmino and Salah around the 65 minute mark to run down Burnley’s weary defence and the Brazilian, along with Xherdan Shaqiri, scored in an impressive triumph.
It was Salah’s turn for centre stage three days later. He blasted a hat-trick as Liverpool crushed Bournemouth 4-0, making it six fantastic points on the road in only three days.
Mohamed Salah got a hat-trick at Bournemouth days after coming on as a super sub at Burnley
SEPTEMBER 28, 2019: Sheffield United 0-1 Liverpool
Chris Wilder’s team make life hard at Bramall Lane and for Liverpool, they needed an uncharacteristic error from Dean Henderson, who failed to stop Wijnaldum’s tame shot, to hand them all three points.
It was a big win for Liverpool at an important stage of the season as they laid the platform for their runaway Premier League title triumph.
And the hard fought win over the then Premier League newboys was on the back of a 2-0 win over MK Dons in the Carabao Cup.
Georginio Wijnaldum struck with a fortunate goal as Liverpool won at Sheffield United last year