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Klopp says he hates international breaks

FOOTBALL By Reuters | November 19th 2021 | 2 min read
May 19, 2021 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp Pool via REUTERS

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said he hates international breaks as he prepares his side to resume their Premier League campaign at home to in-form Arsenal on Saturday.

Klopp has been left stewing for a fortnight after his side's defeat against West Ham United, after which the vast majority of his squad disappeared across the world for national-team duty.

He has several injury doubts for the clash with Arsenal, including England's Jordan Henderson and Scotland's Andy Robertson, who both played in World Cup qualifiers.

"I hate international breaks and it didn't help from an injury point of view," Klopp told reporters on Friday, suggesting his players have had little time to recover since the 3-2 loss at West Ham which ended Liverpool's 25-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

"They have trained through all this because coaches want to have their own targets and then they often think they have to do physical work with the players. No. I don't like it."

Klopp said that he would leave a decision on whether Henderson and Robertson could play until close to the game but said forward Sadio Mane will be available and that Brazilian Fabinho had managed a recovery session after returning.

The West Ham result jolted Liverpool's momentum and Klopp knows that getting back to winning ways will be a challenge against an Arsenal side flying high after a woeful start to the season in which they lost their opening three games.

Since then Arsenal have earned 20 points from a possible 24 and are in fifth place, two points behind Liverpool.

"Arsenal is a really good football team but we are at Anfield and we have to show that," Klopp said.

"Obviously with Arsenal, there was never a chance they would stay where they were at the start of the season, so it was always clear they would come back. The way they came back is not normal because they have had an incredible round of results.

"They are good, but they know they were lucky in one or two games that could've been different."

Klopp was also asked about his long-term future at Liverpool, responding with a surprised "Wow!"

"I don't have to think about my future thank God. We are in the middle of the season. No other manager gets asked so often about two or three years away (from the end of his contract)," he said.

"It's over when it is over -- but it is far away from being over."

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