Pep Guardiola Unhappy With Jürgen Klopp Over Fixture Claim

Pep Guardiola has rejected a suggestion made by Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp that his Manchester City side were given more time to prepare between matches over a busy Christmas period.

The Manchester City boss says he plans to speak to Klopp about his comments when the teams meet in their hotly-anticipated Premier League clash on Sunday.

Guardiola Unhappy With Klopp Over Fixture Claim

Manchester City’s Match With Everton Was Postponed in December

Liverpool boss Klopp’s frustration dates back to the postponement of City’s fixture with Everton in December. The match was postponed after the league leaders recorded several positive coronavirus cases over the festive period, leading Klopp to suggest that his weekend opponents were given an invaluable two-week break as a result.

When asked about how to recover from fatigue during this unprecedented top-flight season, Klopp made the following assertion: “Play football, recover, train, recover, using every single minute each day.

“The more you keep the ball the less you have to run probably. We didn’t have a break – I think City had a two-week break for COVID reasons. It’s really tough. It’s a tough season; I know for some teams it looks less.”

Long-standing Premier League guidelines state that requests can be made to postpone fixtures if one of the teams in question has fewer than 14 players available for selection.

At the time, Manchester City released the following statement: “After the latest round of COVID-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day. With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond. Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, has decided to postpone the fixture.”

Guardiola Expresses ‘Surprise’ Towards the Liverpool Manager’s Comments

Responding to Klopp’s comments, Guardiola referred to the fact that his side had seven days without a game after the original postponement, not a full two weeks as was suggested by Klopp.

The Manchester City manager said: “He made a mistake. Jürgen has to see the calendar again. We had COVID, we had one week and we played with 14 players [against Chelsea] in Stamford Bridge.

“Tomorrow when I see Jürgen I will ask him how long we had off. I’m surprised, I thought Jürgen was not that kind of manager, I didn’t expect that comment. Maybe it was a misunderstanding.”

Victory at Anfield on Sunday would give Guardiola’s side a ten-point lead over the defending champions.

Main Photo

Embed from Getty Images