Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is happy with fixtures giving players 24 hours extra rest after Boxing

Jurgen Klopp is happy to avoid the festive fixture ‘crime’ rivals Manchester City find themselves caught up in.

The Premier League leaders travel to second-placed Leicester for an 8pm kick-off on Boxing Day before hosting Wolves on December 29.

Klopp is happy to be playing on 26 December and then on 29 December

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Klopp is happy to be playing on 26 December and then on 29 December

Klopp is an outspoken critic of the congested calendar in December and City manager Pep Guardiola has made it clear he is unimpressed Liverpool have an extra 24 hours’ rest between games.

“People want it and none of the managers have a problem playing on Boxing Day, but playing on the 26th and 28th, this is a crime,” Klopp said.

“None of the managers have a problem playing on Boxing Day, but playing on the 26th and 28th is a crime. Absolutely not OK and we still have it,” he added.

“This year we play 26th and 29th and it is like a holiday. I understand all those saying it should not happen. They are not moaning.

“It would not be a problem to play 26th and 29th with more teams. There is no reason why more teams do not get more than 48 hours between a Premier League game.

“Obviously we can say what we want but no-one is listening. The body needs a specific amount of time to go again. That is science. But we ignore that completely.

“We just say, ‘Oh, they look strange running around again today’.

“We are not in that situation this year, but I understand each manager who mentions it from time to time – or pretty much always – when we see it coming up because it is just not OK but other people have to decide that.”

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If Liverpool, who have a game in hand, beat Leicester then they will open a 13-point lead at the top, but Klopp believes City, who begin Boxing Day 11 points behind, are the reason the chasing pack are so far off the pace.

“I think City moved the bar massively, massively. The kind of consistency they showed in the last three years is incredible and difficult, very difficult to do,” the Reds boss said.

“So they became champions two years ago and last year we helped a lot and they helped us as a lot as we tried to catch up with them.

“They did it in an incredible way. It has changed, it is (you are) not allowed to lose games any more.

“It is difficult, obviously, but winning the Premier League should be difficult, it is such a strong league with all the teams you see now.

“Watford looked like they were gone, relegated, but they changed their manager, came to Anfield and did a good performance and then won the next week and everyone down there is on their toes again.

“It looked like the top four were already gone for a while and then all of a sudden seven or eight teams will fight for being in the Champions League and Europa League.”

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