KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Friday, July 5, 2024: Liverpool's new head coach Arne Slot (L) and Sporting Director Richard Hughes (R) are presented at a photo call at the club's AXA Training Centre. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arne Slot is already putting plans in place for Liverpool’s 12.30pm kickoff curse

Liverpool’s final pre-season friendly against Sevilla was rescheduled for an earlier time slot, a move that makes perfect sense as Arne Slot prepares his squad for the season opener.

The Reds are to travel to the United States for three pre-season games this month before returning for a final fixture against Sevilla, with Anfield to play host.

The club confirmed on Tuesday that the friendly against the Spanish outfit will now kick off at 12.30pm (BST) on Sunday, August 11 – a time that is no coincidence.

With Liverpool’s Premier League opener at Ipswich taking place at the same lunchtime slot, just on the following Saturday, it is the ideal preparation tool for Slot and his staff.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 5, 2024: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp famously labelled the early kickoff time a “crime” and vowed he would not be tuning into TNT Sport next season, though this one is a little different.

As it is the Reds’ season opener, they have a full week to prepare for the league meeting, not merely a few days as was the case following international breaks or midweek games.

Nevertheless, Slot and the club have acted wisely to put plans into place to replicate the lunchtime kickoff one week before his Premier League debut – a dress rehearsal if you will, even if one match is at home and the other away.

Liverpool’s lunchtime record

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 18, 2024: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk takes a photo with a Fuji camera during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After zero wins in the 12.30pm slot in six attempts in 2022/23 – three draws and three defeats – Liverpool improved last time out.

The Reds played five 12.30pm kick-offs away from Anfield, they won three and drew two, and the one they hosted at home they won – making for a record of four wins from six lunchtime games.

But if we look at the full record under Klopp, Liverpool won just 22 of their 45 early kick-offs for a winning percentage of 48.8 percent. The club’s overall win percentage under Klopp was 62.1.

While Sevilla’s visit is only a friendly, the decision to move it is a wise one from the club. It’s a dress rehearsal for the clash six days later and it is always better to be over-prepared.