Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders says the Reds play two games in four days is “absurd” – Football Sport

football, Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders says the Reds play two games in four days is "absurd", sport
Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara were absent on Sunday after positive Covid tests, including for Liverpool against Spurs

Assistant boss Pep Lijnders says it is “absurd” that Liverpool will have to play two games in four days given the Covid-19 cases and injuries at the club.

The Reds draw 2-2 at Spurs on Sunday and face Leicester in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Premier League clubs decided to meet celebratory dates at a meeting on Monday despite a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel says he has to take “enormous risks” with the fitness of his players.

“We love the intensity, but we all have to respect the recovery,” said Lijnders.

He added: “We find it absurd that we have to play after 48 hours. That is a much higher risk of injury.”

“You have to ask the teams why they want to play. Since the Covid cases are so fresh, it would make sense to have more time before the next game.”

Liverpool were missing a number of key players against Tottenham, including Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara, who were absent after positive Covid tests while captain Jordan Henderson had a cold.

Lijnders also said the Premier League should listen to the academics rather than the club’s executives when making decisions about how to deal with the effects of Covid-19.

Premier League players and club staff returned a record 90 positive tests last week, with six of last weekend’s 10 games being postponed.

It had been proposed to postpone game week 20 of the Premier League, which begins December 28, to ease pressure on squads.

But instead, clubs have been advised if they have 13 fit players plus a goalkeeper they should play their games.

“For me, the experts are not the managers, but the scientists and the doctors,” said Lijnders.

“We should follow their guidelines. The Premier League should ask them, not the CEOs, not the managers, because health always comes first.”

Edge to play ‘almost irresponsible’ – Tuchel

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says N’Golo Kante’s play against Wolves at the weekend was “almost irresponsible” after the midfielder returned from injury but felt he had no choice in the face of a lack of options.

Edge had not played for the first team in a month, but played the entire game at Molineux with nine players who were canceled due to an injury and Covid-related illness.

Chelsea could only name four substitutes and had turned down a request to postpone the game from the Premier League.

“N’Golo Kante played Wolves for 90 minutes, which was almost irresponsible,” said Tuchel, who confirmed the player will be rested for Tuesday’s EFL Cup quarter-finals against Brentford.

“We’re taking big risks and we’re paying for it now because we just can’t play five games in two weeks or three games in a week with that many players.”

Tuchel added that a proposed two-week hiatus proposed as a possible solution to curb the surge in cases may not be effective, even if it were to benefit his side in the short term.

“Maybe it would only have delayed the problem. Nobody can say with certainty that we won’t have the problem again in three weeks if we delayed 10 days,” added the German.

“There are some clubs that are suffering a lot, we are suffering a lot at the moment, so it might have been better for us to take a short break. But maybe we would have played against another team that would suffer the next moment. “Wait a minute.”

West Ham chief David Moyes confirmed that there are “one or two” players and staff who have tested positive for Covid-19, but most are “okay”.

The Hammers travel to Tottenham in the EFL Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

The Brentford breaker put them in a “good place”

Brentford boss Thomas Frank says he now has no positive Covid cases in his squad.

Brentford’s last two games against Manchester United and Southampton have been canceled due to the virus, but Wednesday’s EFL Cup meeting with Chelsea is set to go ahead as planned.

Frank, who was the first Premier League boss to call for a break, said: “We’re going to kick 11 players, that’s for sure.

“The [shifts] helped us break the circuit, so out of six or seven cases we had only one Thursday through Saturday, zero Monday and zero today. So we’re definitely in a good place.”

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