“No sense” for Liverpool to use final five games as preparation for title defence

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Jurgen Klopp has insisted his team will be provided with an ample break once the season comes to a close, but finer details for pre-season remain up in the air with the restart for 2020/21 still a mystery.

To date, Liverpool have played 52 games across all competitions, including the Charity Shield, in a season which was been anything but straightforward.

From Norwich on the opening day to Istanbul for the UEFA Super Cup, Qatar for the Club World Cup and the exploits in the league, it has been a taxing campaign, more so for any Red who represented their country both before and during 2019/20.

And while the suspension of football saw three-month period go by without any fixtures, each player was still required to be mentally and physically ready for the league’s resumption – a different challenge all in itself.

A relentless schedule has been required to get through the final block of games, meaning rotation and squad depth has become key, and rest will be of top priority at the end of the season.

But how long it will be for is something Klopp cannot confirm as while the 2020/21 season is expected to start in early to mid-September, it has not been confirmed.

And the uncertainty extends to plans for the Reds’ pre-season, one which the boss stresses has not already started despite Liverpool having already sealed the title.

“It makes no sense to use these games as preparation for next season because everything will be different,” Klopp told reporters.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 5, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp speaks to his players during a water break during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Yes, we will have a break. 100 percent. How long it will be? I don’t know. We still wait [on news of the final date for 2020/21].

“We have to plan the pre-season. We really wait for the moment somebody tells us this is the starting date and then we will deal with it.

“We will not then make a massive discussion of it as we have no influence, we take the dates like they are.

“The players will have a short break, we will have a hopefully then short pre-season which depends on when we start [the next], but that’s it.

“For pretty much all the teams it’s the same, apart from the teams who are still in Europe. I don’t know how exactly they will sort that. If City goes through to the final then that’s the end of August, if I’m right!

“That’s really, really tough then. [Man] United, Chelsea and Wolves they are all still in Europe. For us, it’s already tough but I think we can deal with it because we cannot start before the other teams have finished so it will probably be September when we start again.

“This period we will use for a break and a pre-season, that’s how it is.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, April 8, 2019: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane and manager J¸rgen Klopp during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Porto. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Whether players will be allowed to travel to various parts of the world, as usual, remains to be seen in what is still an unpredictable and unprecedented climate.

But, notably, upon their return from their break, Klopp will be able to work with his entire squad from day one in preparation for Liverpool’s title defence.

It’s a rare occurrence for any topflight club due to the ever-growing fixture list for internationals, one which ensured Sadio Mane made his first appearance at Melwood merely days before the Premier League opener this season.

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