We asked Aston Villa if they would come to Qatar! – Klopp addresses fixture pile-up issue
Jurgen Klopp jokingly suggested Liverpool will ask Aston Villa to play their upcoming EFL Cup quarter-final in Qatar after it was confirmed the tie will take place the day before a Club World Cup contest.
The EFL announced on Tuesday that Liverpool will face Villa on December 17 as initially planned, despite the club attempting to rearrange it because of their commitments in Qatar, with a semi-final scheduled for December 18.
Although a change was not possible, Liverpool did reach a compromise with organisers that will allow them to select a squad for the EFL Cup that will be entirely different to the group of players heading to Qatar.
Klopp is remaining positive about the situation, however, and joked that Villa might fancy heading abroad with them to play their match.
"We asked Aston Villa if they would come to Qatar and we can play the game there," Klopp quipped after Liverpool's 2-1 Champions League win over Genk on Tuesday.
"We don't know about logistics, we have a decision to make, but we have a bit of time to think about [how the club will approach the two games].
"In these next couple of weeks we will make a decision on how it will look exactly.
"We respect the competitions. We want to play the EFL Cup, the only thing I don't like is the two-legged semi-finals. I don't understand.
"The Club World Cup you can only play if you win the Champions League – this doesn't happen five million times.
"You hope the team goes out and everything is fine. We ignored that, our boys just want to play football and we qualified [for the EFL Cup quarter-finals].
"I don't want to cancel competitions. I've talked about the problems, they are obvious. They can't carry on like this and we need a solution."
Victory in the Champions League on Tuesday allowed Liverpool to go top of Group E, as they capitalised on Napoli only managing a 1-1 draw at home to Salzburg.
And while Klopp was grateful to avoid a scare – particularly given Genk went into the break at 1-1 – he focused on the importance of avoiding injuries, with a potentially vital Premier League clash with Manchester City looming large on the horizon.
"The most important thing; we won and nobody is injured," Klopp said. "The result is the result because we didn't finish our situations off like we should and could have done, which keeps the game pretty exciting and kept Genk alive.
"We top the group, but we want to top it at the end. We have two tough games.
"The longer the game goes the more the momentum goes to the other team. Ali [Alisson] had to make a good save. Job done is the headline for the game, but the group is not decided."