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Liverpool were warned over possible winter break clash: FA

London (AFP) – Liverpool were warned about the possibility of an FA Cup fourth-round replay during the mid-season break before the start of the current campaign, the Football Association has said.

Manager Jurgen Klopp said neither he nor his first-team stars would be present for their replay at home to Shrewsbury, which is set to take place during the first week of the scheduled break.

However, the FA, which acknowledged the importance of a rest for the players, said clubs were all aware such a situation could arise.

“Prior to start of the 2019-20 season, all clubs accepted that Emirates FA Cup fourth-round replays, where required, would have to take place during the first week of the mid-season player break,” the governing body said in a statement.

“This will only affect a small number of clubs due to the split of Premier League fixtures in the mid-season player break.”

Klopp said after his side’s 2-2 draw at Shrewsbury on Sunday that he would “respect” the break and that under-23s boss Neil Critchley would take charge of a youthful side for the replay, which is currently scheduled for February 4, subject to a timing change for television.

If that date is confirmed, it would mean the Premier League leaders’ winter break would amount to 10 football-free days, the gap between February 4 and their home match against Norwich on February 15.

Klopp said on Sunday: “In April 2019 we got a letter from the Premier League, I think, where they asked us to respect the winter break and not to organise international friendlies or competitive games. We respect that.

“The Premier League asked us to respect the winter break. That’s what we do. If the FA doesn’t respect that, then we cannot change it. We will not be there.”

A Liverpool side led by Critchley lost 5-0 to Aston Villa in the League Cup quarter-final while the first team competed in the Club World Cup in Qatar, a competition they went on to win.

Klopp’s approach to the FA Cup drew some criticism, but former Liverpool player and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher backed the German.

“Senior players having a winter break is right, you can’t implement one and then have a replay in the break. That’s the same for all PL clubs,” Carragher wrote on Twitter.

“But Klopp should take the team, his young players will be delighted and the picture of him in Ibiza with a (beer) will be on every front page!”

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  1. Yespage

    January 27, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    The fixtures are too congested, especially for teams playing in European competitions. Liverpool got a super whammy with the Super Cup and Club World Cup. They had to take a dive because of the Club World Cup. The FA wouldn’t (maybe legitimately couldn’t) move the fixture to allow at least a decent B side to play in the League Cup.

    And the FA continues to not give Liverpool any support, now scheduling a replay during a winter break.

    Keep doing this and Klopp will put out their U-5’s.

    • Greg C

      January 27, 2020 at 3:09 pm

      He could have sent a reserve squad to the Super Cup and the Club World Cup. Two competitions that Liverpool fans don’t really care about and saved his first team squad thousands of airmiles, jet lag, and 3 games . Tbh, he can send out the reserves for this Shrewsbury match as well but he should himself turn up

      • Alex

        January 27, 2020 at 6:49 pm

        Greg c
        you could not be any more wrong about Liverpool fans do not care about the super cup or cwc.
        i was in Istanbul for the Super cup and it was thousands of reds fans it was a sea of reds, we do care cause these are prestige competitions
        the same it was in Qatar for the CWC
        we got bigger fish to fry this year the EPL and CL more important than any domestic cup
        and i wont sweat it.

        • Greg C

          January 27, 2020 at 9:15 pm

          I did word that wrong. The majority would say the League and FA Cup are more prestigious I would think. Hope your trip was memorable… Following your team abroad is an amazing experience

      • Yespage

        January 28, 2020 at 8:50 am

        I didn’t care about the Club World Cup, but FIFA did. And FIFA >> FA.

  2. Ritchie

    January 27, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Liverpool actually put as many (or more) senior players in this game than they did vs Everton, right?

    Regardless, how relevant is it that the FA had broached this earlier? Either they are going to play games during the break or not.

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