Clubs

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola believes Jurgen Klopp is wasting his time moaning about Premier League fixture chaos and suggested managers could take jobs in the “Maldives League” if they are unhappy with the schedule.

Liverpool were in action against Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday, winning the first leg 2-0, and will play Newcastle United on Saturday morning.

The quick turnaround between games has been branded “brutal” by Klopp while Liverpool saw a request to move the fixture at St James’ Park to Saturday night rejected by the Premier League.

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Guardiola, however, says it’s pointless to complain.

“Nothing is going to change,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. “It’s not going to change because the broadcasters are thinking about what they have to do to get more viewers. It’s not about what the players need or what the teams need.

“Of course I understand it, but what can I say? We are not going to solve the problem, I’ve said many times. Sir Alex Ferguson was the most important icon in the history of English football and he was complaining when he was a teenager.”

City and Liverpool are separated by a point at the top of the table with five games remaining.

While Liverpool have been asked to play on Wednesday and Saturday morning, City have an extra 30 hours to recover before facing Leeds United on Saturday evening following their 4-3 win over Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Guardiola — who said earlier on Friday that Klopp’s new Liverpool contract would have no bearing on his City future — added that a hectic schedule is nothing new and advised any unhappy managers to work in the Maldives instead.

“We played in Madrid against Atletico and three days later we played at Wembley in an FA Cup semifinal against Liverpool,” Guardiola said. “Chelsea played Tuesday and could have played on Saturday, but played on Sunday. Do you think they think about that? No, because the next Tuesday, Liverpool play against United.

“Everyone has their own business to defend. We adapt. If they say play Saturday, we play Saturday. If they say play Tuesday, we play Tuesday. Thursday? We are going to play Thursday. Whatever they want, no problem. If I’m not satisfied, I go home and don’t be manager of Man City.

“I go to another league in the Maldives, the Maldives League, and play one game a week and I’m so comfortable under the coconuts and it would be so perfect. But it’s not the case. You are playing at 12:30, I’m sorry Liverpool but I’m not involved with that.”

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