Liverpool are set to travel to Qatar in December to participate in the 2019 Club World Cup. They will be entrants at the semi-final stage by virtue of winning the UEFA Champions League and play the semi-final on 18 December, and should they make it to the finals, it will be held on 21 December.
The three confirmed competitors in the seven-team tournament are the Mexican side CF Monterrey who qualified as winners of the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League, Hienghène Sport from New Caledonia who won the 2019 OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Champions League and Liverpool who won the 2019 UEFA Champions League in dramatic fashion.
Confirmation of the participants from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) is due in the next few months.
A host club from Qatar will also participate in the tournament to bring the number of participating clubs to a total of 7. If a Qatari side wins the AFC Champions League, they would directly make it to the second round of the tournament, or else, the current holders of the Qatar Stars League title, Al Sadd will face Hienghène Sport on 11 December in the opening fixture. If that name seems familiar, its because Barcelona legend Xavi currently manages the Qatari side.
Liverpool's fixture crunch
The much-anticipated schedule from a Liverpool perspective now allows them to plan for a hectic December. The Reds currently face Everton, Bournemouth, Watford, West Ham, Leicester City, and Wolves in December. The major change in their schedule will be the postponement of their clash against West Ham, which was initially scheduled for 21 December, the date of the CWC final.
December is further complicated for the Reds by a potential final Champions League group game in the second week of December (to be confirmed), and a potential Carabao Cup Quarter Final game (to be confirmed).
Even without those complications, Liverpool could potentially play 4 games in 11 days (18-28 December) with two of those games being in Qatar.
Liverpool will have to be truly on top of their game to come out of December unscathed with the fixture congestion, not to forget the Merseyside Derby (at Anfield) and tricky games against Wolves and Leicester City in the Premier League.Published 26 Jul 2019, 15:48 IST