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Why Chelsea won’t have fixture moved to days before League Cup final like Liverpool


Liverpool have seen the visit of Luton moved to just days before the Carabao Cup final, but Chelsea are set to have a full week to prepare for Wembley.

The Reds have already booked their first Wembley trip of the campaign, with Chelsea their opponents again for the Carabao Cup final on February 25.

Previously, the fixture list had the rest of the week clear for Jurgen Klopp and his players to prepare for a re-run of the 2022 final, but that has now changed.

READ: Liverpool vs. Luton rearranged due to Carabao Cup final

Liverpool vs. Luton, which was originally due to be held on the weekend of the final, has now been rearranged for Wednesday, February 21.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are set to enjoy a full week of preparations as their home clash with Tottenham – initially slated for February 23 – will not be moved to that midweek.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 31, 2024: Chelsea's manager Mauricio Pochettino (R) embraces Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That is due to the fixture having already been selected by Sky Sports, and broadcasting agreements will not permit it to be moved to clash with Champions League ties on February 20 and 21.

TNT Sports will show PSV Eindhoven vs. Dortmund, Inter Milan vs. Atletico Madrid, Porto vs. Arsenal and Napoli vs. Barcelona live over those two days.

Liverpool’s meeting with Luton was not selected by broadcasters and will not be on TV in the UK, meaning it could be rescheduled for that midweek.

The 7.30pm kickoff means the Reds will have only one full day of training between that game and the meeting with Chelsea, with recovery on the Thursday, training on Friday and travel to London on Saturday.

Chelsea, on the other hand, will visit Man City in the league on February 17, with a seven-day gap between that fixture and the Carabao Cup final.

There will be no complaints from those at Anfield, however, with Klopp, his staff and the players accustomed to the rigours of a packed schedule.

“For this one moment – the first moment in the season – we kind of have a luxury problem and more players available for different positions than we can start,” Klopp told reporters on Friday.

“But it is absolutely no problem, it is just good.

“This week, between Arsenal and Burnley, is probably the only week as far as I know where there is no midweek game.

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“After that then we go again with every three days, I think, and we need all of them and we need all of them in a good shape.”

Ahead of the trip to Arsenal on Sunday, Liverpool have only four senior players out injured – Mo Salah (hamstring), Joel Matip (ACL), Stefan Bajcetic (calf) and Ben Doak (MCL) – with Wataru Endo also absent due to the Asian Cup.