Jurgen Klopp angry as Premier League moves Merseyside derby forward
LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp has voiced anger at the decision to move next month's Merseyside derby from a Sunday to a Saturday after Liverpool drew Manchester City in the Champions League.
Klopp said the game had been brought forward to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday April 7, from a Sunday slot, with Liverpool playing their first leg against City on the Wednesday night before.
"I'm angry, to be honest, because I heard a second ago that the Premier League will put our game against Everton at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday," he told a news conference ahead of the weekend match against Watford at Anfield.
"I know countries where they cancel whole matchdays so that their teams can play in proper shape.
"We have to play Wednesday night against Man City and then we play Everton at 12:30 three days later. That's not too cool, but obviously we have to go the hard way and I'm used to that.
"It's not perfect, but we take it like it is. If I cannot be angry about something like that any more, if I have to be politically correct and say nothing, then that doesn't work.
"Obviously, whoever made the schedule didn't think that we'd go through to the quarterfinals.
"That looks like this because they gave us a Sunday game, and then 'oops.' It's only Liverpool. I really cannot see differently."
City host Manchester United on April 7, but that match kicks off at 5:30 p.m.
"We play at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday night and then play 12:30 p.m. on Saturday," Klopp said. "The other teams play at 5:30 p.m.
"Can you imagine how big the difference is? It means the world in preparation, in recovery.
"It's a very intense game against Man City, and it's only the first one because the next one will follow will not be a lot less intense.
"We have to do it, as always. People will watch it, you write a little bit about it, but obviously you're not interested.
"We have to deliver. I'm not about that because I'm not happy all the time, I'm not smiling all the time, by the way."
ESPN FC has asked the Premier League for comment about the scheduling of the Merseyside derby.
Meanwhile, reacting to the Champions League draw, Klopp said: "I don't think that it's cool in the Champions League if you play against a team in your own country.
"I think it's the absolutely dream draw for all Man United fans. I really don't mind. I knew it would be difficult, and that's difficult.
"The good news is that it will be difficult for Man City as well. I saw [Man City director of football Txiki] Begiristain's face after the draw, and it didn't look like it was Christmas and Easter in the same day.
"It's hard work and that's good, because it's the last eight in Europe and if that was easy then something would be wrong.
"There will be a point where I'm looking forward to that game, but in the moment I'm much more in a Watford mood."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.