Liverpool’s Early Kick-Off Woes: A Look at Jurgen Klopp’s Record
Liverpool FC is gearing up for yet another early kick-off after an international break, a time slot that manager Jurgen Klopp’s team has been assigned more frequently than any other club. As the Premier League returns this weekend, Liverpool will face off against their closest rivals, Manchester City, in a lunchtime clash at the Etihad Stadium.
The Challenge of Early Kick-Offs
Klopp has expressed his frustration with early kick-off times, especially when they follow international breaks. The travel involved for international players, particularly those from South America, can pose a challenge and potentially disrupt the team’s performance. However, even without the added complication of international duty, early kick-offs can be difficult to navigate.
Klopp’s Early Kick-Off Record
Since Klopp took charge of Liverpool in October 2015, the team’s performance in early Saturday fixtures has varied. In his first season, Liverpool won two matches and suffered one defeat in the 12:45 pm kick-off slot. This trend continued in Klopp’s first full season at the club.
However, the 2017/18 season saw a decline in Liverpool’s early kick-off performance, with only one win out of eight matches. The following seasons, 2018/19, 2019/20, and 2021/22, saw perfect records in early kick-offs, except for the Covid-impacted season when Liverpool managed to win only one out of their 12:30 pm encounters.
Last season was particularly challenging for Liverpool in early kick-offs, as they failed to secure a victory in any of their six games during that time.
Improvements and Current Standing
This season has shown some improvements for Liverpool in early kick-offs. They secured a dramatic late victory against Wolves in September and followed it up with a 2-0 win in the Merseyside derby last month. Overall, since Klopp’s appointment, Liverpool has won 19 matches, drawn 13, and suffered seven defeats in early kick-offs, averaging 1.8 points per game.
Despite the recent improvements, Liverpool faces another early kick-off next month against Crystal Palace. However, the team can take solace in the fact that there are no more international breaks until March. The biggest test awaits them this Saturday as they face Manchester City, with potential implications for the title race. Liverpool is currently just one point behind City and will need to prove their credentials at the Etihad Stadium.
Despite the challenges posed by early kick-offs after international breaks, Liverpool will aim to overcome the odds and secure a crucial victory.