Juergen Klopp labels Manchester City’s festive schedule as a ‘crime’
Every year, the festive season brings along with it two concerns for English Premier clubs - injury woes and a congested fixture list.
A pile-up of games could bring about injuries and therefore have an impact on teams' performances, which could also be affected if clubs embark on that period with a lengthy injury list.
This year, Manchester City are hit with both issues. They have been plagued by injuries all season and it might get even worse with a run of five games in 11 days, but there has been at least some good news this week.
Sergio Aguero was used as a late substitute in the 3-1 win over Leicester City on Sunday, though he is not expected to be fit enough to play a full 90 minutes against Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
Aguero came on for Kevin de Bruyne, who hobbled off the pitch, sparking concerns whether the in-form midfield maestro will miss games over the festive period.
It has since been revealed that the Belgian was suffering from cramps and is fit to start against Wolves.
However, Pep Guardiola will not have David Silva, John Stones, Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte at his disposal.
The City manager also has to navigate his team past Wolves and Sheffield United in the space of 48 hours, prompting him to write to the league to "thank" them for a demanding schedule.
Intriguingly, the Catalan has an found an ally in Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp who described the EPL's hectic festive schedule as a "crime".
"It is absolutely not OK," Klopp told the British media.
"There's no reason why more teams do not get more than 48 hours between EPL games.
"I understand all those saying it shouldn't happen. They're not moaning. They're telling.
"We can say what we want, but no one is listening... The body needs a specific amount of time to go again, but we ignore that completely."
Added Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo: "We go game by game, we'll see the first game, how it goes, then we'll make the decisions (on whether to rotate his squad)."