For the final time this season, Liverpool will be left to hope their international players return healthy – but why are the Reds not playing over the weekend?
For some, Liverpool not playing a game for 17 days may come as a welcome reprieve from the rollercoaster of emotions that Jurgen Klopp‘s side dish out on a game-by-game basis.
You never what you’re going to get from the Reds and after two 1-0 defeats in a row, we won’t see Liverpool back in action until April 1, when they travel to Man City.
Why is there no game this weekend?
You have Fulham to thank for that – well, that and Liverpool exiting the FA Cup.
The Reds were scheduled to host the Cottagers on Saturday in a 3pm kickoff, but it has been postponed due to their FA involvement.
Marco Silva’s side booked their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals, which is to be played across the coming weekend, meaning the Anfield clash had to be rescheduled.
Fulham, instead, will make the trip to Old Trafford on Sunday to fight for a place in the semi-final.
The postponement of the Premier League match means the trip to Real Madrid was Liverpool’s final game for 17 days, with the international break to follow the weekend.
As for when this fixture could be rearranged, there is a midweek opening on Wednesday, April 12 – but if it does not take place then, early May is the next likely slot.
Either way, it will be an evening kickoff!
The top 4 picture
While the Reds’ break starts earlier than others, the top-four battle will continue to shift before they lace up their boots and focus on their last 12 games.
Klopp’s side are currently six points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham, with a game in hand, so let’s take a look at how the table could shift before we return against Man City:
- Newcastle at Forest – a win moves Magpies five ahead of LFC with same number of games played
- Spurs at Southampton – a win moves Tottenham nine ahead of LFC, having played two games more
- Brentford host Leicester – a Bees win moves them two ahead of LFC, having played one game more
- Chelsea host Everton – a Chelsea win closes gap to LFC to two points, but they will have played one game more
- Fulham and Brighton are in FA Cup action
So, if Newcastle, Tottenham, Chelsea and Brentford all win their respective games this weekend, Liverpool will return to league action in seventh place and will have at least one game in hand over three of the four.
(Premier League top half, 9am on March 17)
The pressure will be immediately on when April 1 comes around, though, with Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal the first three fixtures in the space of just nine days.
A defining period for Klopp, who said: “When we come back from the international break we have a proper football week ahead of us, I would say, with three games: City, Chelsea and Arsenal, which will then probably define what we get out of it.”