A nightmare summer turnaround could give Liverpool a flying start over Manchester City in next season’s title race.
That is the verdict of manager Jurgen Klopp, who has revealed he will give his players a break between campaigns, even if clubs are still in the dark over how long they will get before fixtures resume.
Klopp admitted that planning at this stage is proving a massive headache because clubs in European tournaments could still be competing at the end of August.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Wolves and Chelsea are all involved, and with fixtures starting again potentially in early September, the Reds boss indicated that could be “really tough” for those teams if they reach the latter stages.
He said: “The players will have a short break, we will hopefully then have a short pre-season depending on when we start, and that is pretty much the same for all the teams apart from the teams who are still in Europe.
“I don’t know how they will solve that. If City goes through to the Champions League final that’s at the end of August – that is really, really tough. Or United, Chelsea and Wolves.
“They are all still in Europe and it would be really tough for them.”
Liverpool ’s controversial exit from the Champions League just before a complete football lockdown – in a tie with Atletico Madrid that many argued should never have been played – may prove a blessing in disguise for Klopp.
It means his hard-working players will be given a crucial few weeks to rest and prepare for next season, even if the German coach admits he doesn’t know how long that break will be.
With the UK government relaxing two-week quarantine rules for professional sports people, it means they will even be able to holiday. But Klopp admitted it will still present massive logistical issues.
“We still wait, because have to plan pre-season but we still have to wait for the moment when someone tells us the starting date.
“For us it is already tough but I think we can deal with it because we can not start before the other teams have finished so it will probably be September I guess – we don’t know – before we can start again?