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Liverpool and West Ham square off in the only mid-week English Premier League fixture on Wednesday.
The Reds are closing in on their first English top-flight title for 30 years and are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League.
But fixture congestion has been a pain for Jurgen Kopp and co.
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The Liverpool manager insisted he he had to take a stand over the clash between the midwinter break and FA Cup replays or nothing will ever change. This came on the back of his side’s cup clash over the weekend where they drew 1-1 with Shrewsbury.
The German boss has drawn criticism for announcing that neither he nor his first-team players will be present for the fourth-round replay at home to Shrewsbury next week as it falls within their scheduled Premier League break.
The club will send out a youth team led by Under-23s coach Neil Critchley.
“If we react how we always react and find a way to do it, then nothing will change,” Klopp said. “I have to make decisions that aren’t popular, based on the situation we are in.
“Because we plan long-term I cannot plan when there is a real decisive period coming up. I decided three weeks ago we would have a mid-season break based on a letter we got in April 2019.
“The FA tried to move games to midweek to decrease the intense period. Whoever was involved in that — maybe from us — they forgot to say no.”
Klopp said forward Sadio Mane would likely only miss another two matches after tearing a muscle in last week’s match against Wolves.
“Sadio will not be involved for West Ham and probably not Southampton,” said the Liverpool boss.
“After that he will be back on track. He has a small muscle tear which is serious enough. We were lucky with it, though, it wasn’t too serious.”
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