By 90Min
October 31, 2019

Winter has arrived ladies and gentleman, and we know that because Jurgen Klopp has started banging on about the English fixture list yet again. 

However, on this occasion, it is fair to say that we should have some sympathy for the German.

Liverpool's breathtaking penalty shootout victory over Arsenal on Wednesday night left many wondering what the hell was going on, and actually got people excited about the Carabao Cup for probably the first (and last) time. 

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But the drama didn't finish on the pitch. Klopp took the opportunity in his post-match press conference to claim that Liverpool won't be playing the quarter-final against Aston Villa, if the EFL can't arrange a suitable time for the game to be played. 

The Reds' entry in to the last eight means yet another Christmas fixture for the league leaders, adding to an already gargantuan fixture list over November and December. The match was set to be played on 17 or 18 December, but this clashes with Liverpool's opening game of the Club World Cup in Qatar.

Liverpool have already rescheduled their festive fixture with West Ham, due to their involvement in Qatar, and are now in talks with the EFL to arrange an alternative date for the quarter-final.

But is Klopp getting all hot under the collar for nothing? Well, yes and no.

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It is true that the winter fixtures for Premier League teams, also in Europe, are utterly insane, with teams being expected to play every three or four days for two months straight. Yet year in and year out, the Premier League do very little to ease this congestion, much to the frustration of most of the league's elite managers.

However, Klopp's solution to this problem is right under his nose - just play the kids. Why not? What is there to lose?

Klopp has taken the opportunity during the Carabao Cup to give experience to youth team players, as well as those on the fringes of the starting eleven. The likes of Harvey Elliott, Rhian Brewster and Curtis Jones have all impressed and need such chances to get their Liverpool careers going. So give them another test.

Whilst it would be near impossible for the game against Aston Villa to be played on its original date, moving the fixture to the proposed date of 6 January, and fielding a second string team fuelled by youth, would offer a more than adequate solution to a difficult problem.

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More than anything else, however, they have to play the fixture for those who earned them their quarter-final place. Forfeiting such a game would send a pretty ruthless signal to the youngsters who have carried them to this point, suggesting that they, and their performances, simply don't matter. Their dreams are not yet over, and many will be hoping to write themselves in to the history books, with the possibility of eventually lifting the trophy.

Hopefully, this is nothing more than an empty threat from the Liverpool boss, who may just be sending a warning message to the EFL, and the Premier League alike.

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