Premier League fixtures are absurd - Liverpool assistant boss Lijnders

Tue 21 December 2021 | 16:31

The Reds were one of the teams who were in favour of a round of the Premier League fixtures being postponed and Pep Lijnders is worried about the players.

Pep Lijnders


Jurgen Kopp

’s assistant, it is not wise to force the

Premier League

sides to have two games in 48 hours with Covid-19 on the rise.

The England top-flight teams convened on Monday to see whether the December 28, 29 and 30 fixtures should be postponed.

Their meeting resulted in many postponements across recent games, with


’s 2-2 draw with


being on of the four games that went ahead last weekend amid the Covid-19 rise.

However, they reached a decision to play the games over the hectic festive period, notwithstanding many clubs worried, including the Reds.

Liverpool will lock horns with Leicester City, whose last two Premier League games were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, in the quarter-final of the EFL Cup on Wednesday, before facing Leeds United on Boxing Day.

They will then take on Leicester for a league meeting on Tuesday.

Asked about the decision in a news conference on Tuesday, Lijnders said:

"Jurgen made this point really clear. We really think we have to protect our players.

"We think it’s absurd that we have to play inside 48 hours because there's a much higher risk of injury and the quality will not be as good. The moment we lose players, we have to push players through, the risk becomes bigger.

"The teams who want to play, you have to ask them in these circumstances, but I think it would be a wise decision, especially with the COVID cases here being this fresh.

"We always make recommendations. Each year, we speak with the Premier League, FA, the refs and we give our honest opinion to improve the quality of the game. That's what we did in this meeting.

"We love to work in England. The Premier League, the intensity, the quality, we love it, but we all have to respect recovery. If you want a quality game, it's important that the players don't accumulate fatigue because if our players are more fatigued, they are not as brave, not as creative, not as spontaneous."

The assistant manager thinks that the England top-flight should talk with scientists over the possibility to pause the competition as the outbreak is becoming severe in the country.


For me, the experts are not the managers. The experts are the scientists and doctors, and they should be asked by the Premier League,"

he said.

"They should ask them, not the CEOs or managers. Health always comes at position number one. The people going to hospital now, they only want one thing: to get better.

"In life you always want a lot of things but when you're sick you only want one thing and that's getting better. We are in this job to protect all players, all staff, all their family members."

Lijnders also revealed that Virgil van Dijk, Curtis Jones, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara are all out of action as they tested positive for Covid-19.


We will not rush them back; we are going to take our time. This virus is really unpredictable. We have to see if they get sick,"

he said.

source: SportMob

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