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Klopp “angry” at fixture time switches around UCL matches


What’s five hours on a match day?

For Jurgen Klopp, the answer is a lot.

[ MORE: Liverpool “not the favorites” vs. City ]

While most were expecting to discuss Liverpool’s draw of Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals — and they got that, too — Klopp used part of his Friday press conference to complain about the shifting of the Premier League kickoff time between the two legs.

Klopp’s Liverpool will now contest the Merseyside Derby in the early match on April 7 instead of April 8, with the Manchester Derby staged five hours later.

Derbies and the UCL
April 4 – Liverpool vs. Manchester City
April 7 – Everton vs. Liverpool — 7:30 a.m. ET
April 7 – Manchester City vs. Manchester United — 12:30 p.m. ET
April 10 – Manchester City vs. Liverpool

This, of course, also gives Liverpool five more hours rest than Man City, but Klopp’s not going to let that get in the way of his narrative.

“I know countries where they cancel whole match days so teams can be in the best shape. We play Wednesday night against Manchester City and then play Everton at 1230 three days later. That’s not too cool but obviously we have to go the hard way, I am used to that.

“We play Wednesday night and then at 1230 means the players get up on Thursday and have lunch or breakfast and then we train and next day we are on second-day recovery and then you start at 1230.

“It is not perfect. We take it like it is but if I cannot be angry about something like that anymore and have to be politically correct and say nothing then I am dead because that doesn’t work.”

Moving the matches is interesting, but would only serve to congest both sides’ schedules at another time, so… Whatever, Jurgen. He’s one of the most colorful characters in the football world, so we’re happy he exists, but if these words were coming out of Jose Mourinho’s mouth the world would be frothing at his attitude.

Keeping in mind that derbies are derbies and both of these are fierce ones, maybe Pep Guardiola should mention that Klopp has to go against Sam Allardyce and Everton in between fixtures while Pep matches wits with Jose Mourinho with (probably) a chance to clinch the Premier League.

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Everton

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The 229th Merseyside Derby features some interesting lineup selections from the bosses of Liverpool and Everton (Watch live at 9:15 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via


Anfield is the scene for Jurgen Klopp‘s choice of Dominic Solanke up top, Ragnar Klavan in the back, and both Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho on the bench.

As for Everton, it’ll be Cuco Martina, Jonjoe Kenny, and Mason Holgate in a speedy back line with bed rock Ashley Williams. Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka both take seats on the bench.


Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold.

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gana Gueye, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse. Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman.

Top Premier League storylines — Week 16

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There’s no shortage of table drama this weekend in the Premier League.

[ MORE: Coutinho unsure about future ]

Many will have their eyes trained on derbies in London, Manchester, and Liverpool, but there’s a tilt with major implications for two of the early season’s underdog darlings as well.

Let’s get into it.

Manchester Derby Storyline 1: Can Pep shake mini-slump?

Manchester United vs. Man City — 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN (Watch online at

The end of Man City’s 22-match unbeaten season run isn’t a huge concern for Pep Guardiola, whose men had a B-side on the pitch for Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at desperate Shakhtar Donetsk. But Man City needed late drama to beat Southampton and West Ham, both at home, in its last two Premier League contests. The derby won’t see City stumble out of the gate, but — as silly as this might sound — Pep’s men could use a return to 90-minute form at Old Trafford.

Manchester Derby Storyline 2: Is Pogba absence a bridge too far?

Manchester United vs. Man City — 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN (Watch online at

Manchester United is is 7W-1D in the Premier League with Paul Pogba this season, and just 4W-1D-2L without him. Granted the schedule was tougher during Pogba’s absence with a thigh injury, but the Red Devils have also scored multiple goals in all but one of the matches in which he’s been in the Starting XI. Man City was able to rest a wealth of its stars on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League, and Sunday’s derby is a tall United ask even at Old Trafford.

What’s Big Sam’s derby plan?

Liverpool vs. Everton — 9:15 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN (Watch online at

While Liverpool walloped Spartak Moscow to clinch a spot in the UEFA Champions League League knockout rounds, Everton boss Sam Allardyce could hand debuts to as many as eight youngsters when the already-eliminated Toffees meet Apollon Limassol in Cyprus. So we know Big Sam will have his top men rested and ready for the Merseyside Derby, but how will his leaky defense stop the Reds in his first true test as Everton boss?

Midnight for Cinderella at Turf Moor?

Burnley vs. Watford — 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBC Sports Gold (Watch online at

Both Sean Dyche and Marco Silva are the leading candidates for manager of the year (with respect to Pep Guardiola’s big success with a much larger budget). Now the two overachieving managers meet at Turf Moor in what feels like a must win for either side’s unlikely Top Seven hopes. Burnley has a three-point lead on Watford, but both sides would be forgiven for noticing hard-charging Leicester City and Everton.

FA Cup draw highlighted by Liverpool-Everton

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The FA Cup welcomes the Premier League’s best with Monday’s third round draw.

The third round will be held Jan. 6, 2018.

There’s a Merseyside Derby at Anfield between Liverpool and Everton, and another hot rivalry will see Brighton and Hove Albion meet Crystal Palace. Another derby sees Sunderland off to Middlesbrough.

[ MORE: Messi statue chopped at ankles ]

There’s another all-Premier League tie at Manchester City, as Burnley draws Pep Guardiola‘s red-hot Sky Blues.

Arsenal is off to Nottingham Forest, while Manchester United hosts Derby County. Chelsea visits Norwich City, while Spurs host AFC Wimbledon.

Full FA Cup this round schedule

Ipswich Town vs. Sheffield United
Watford vs. Bristol City
Birmingham City vs. Burton Albion
Liverpool vs. Everton
Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Crystal Palace
Aston Villa vs. Woking or Peterborough United
Bournemouth vs. AFC Fylde or Wigan Athletic
Coventry City vs. Stoke City
Newport County vs. Leeds United
Bolton vs. Huddersfield Town
Port Vale or Yeovil Town vs. Bradford City
Nottingham Forest vs. Arsenal
Brentford vs. Notts County
Queens Park Rangers vs. MK Dons
Manchester United vs. Derby County
Tottenham Hotspur vs. AFC Wimbledon
Middlesbrough vs. Sunderland
Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs. Leicester City
Blackburn Rovers or Crewe Alexandra vs. Hull City
Cardiff City vs. Mansfield Town
Manchester City vs. Burnley
Shrewsbury Town vs. West Ham United
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Swansea City
Stevenage vs. Reading
Newcastle United vs. Luton Town
Millwall vs. Barnsley
Fulham vs. Southampton
Wycombe Wanderers vs. Preston North End
Norwich City vs. Chelsea
Gillingham or Carlisle United vs. Sheffield Wednesday

Koeman trying to change Merseyside attitude of Everton

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Everton had a horrible international break, and now has to deal with the repercussions at a massive point in its season: an away Merseyside Derby.

Seamus Coleman, Ramiro Funes Mori, and James McCarthy were all lost for varying lengths of time on duty for Ireland, Argentina, and the Republic of Ireland.

[ MORE: Klopp on Derby ]

That’s not making Ronald Koeman a happy man, especially in the case of McCarthy. Koeman is raging that Ireland did not heed Everton’s advice on the not-quite-fit McCarthy, still trotting the competitive midfielder out for country.

Still, he’s not turning away from the passion of the derby, and feels Everton needs to act like an equal partner in the affair. The perceived underdog mentality won’t do them well. From the BBC:

“I heard in the last two seasons they were too afraid to play against Liverpool. Why you need to be afraid, I don’t understand that.”