EPL

Some scheduling defies common sense – Liverpool star Alexander-Arnold slams fixturing

By Sports Desk November 27, 2020

Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold hit out at the Premier League fixturing, saying some of it "defies common sense".

Jurgen Klopp, manager of the Premier League champions, has been critical of the scheduling amid a busy run of games for clubs.

Three days after losing to Atalanta in the Champions League, Liverpool will visit Brighton and Hove Albion in the early kick-off on Saturday.

Alexander-Arnold, who is sidelined with a calf injury, was also critical of the scheduling, saying change was needed.

"At a time when we've had a three-month lockdown, coming back and not being able to get fully fit as we would like to and having to play the remainder of the games, and then not getting much of a break – I think we got two weeks and then a 10-day pre-season – and then straight back into the most competitive league in the world, it's ... difficult," the full-back told Standard Sport.

"The times of games, in terms of your last internationals coming back [before playing early on a Saturday] defies common sense really. Anyone with common sense would spot that that is something that cannot happen.

"The teams that play midweek most weeks – I think Tottenham had it recently where they played on the Thursday and then on Sunday at 12 [noon].

"There is not enough time to recover, your body cannot recover that quickly. Your muscles are going into it not being 100 per cent and that is how you pick up injuries. Something has to change."

The 2019-20 Premier League season was suspended for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It finished on July 26 before the 2020-21 campaign started seven weeks later.

Liverpool, who are second in the Premier League table, will play eight games in December and Alexander-Arnold said the injury problems were predictable.

"I think these problems could have really been predicted, anyone could have seen them coming," he said.

"Maybe not to this extent because it looks as if every club is feeling the harshness of the schedule, but you would expect this period to be coming around December and Christmas time because that is when it is the most intense, but for this to be happening so early in the season – eight games in – is far too early. It shows that something is not right. As long as something happens soon, then it is better than nothing."

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