Pep Guardiola Backs Jurgen Klopps Criticism of Christmas Fixture Schedule

​Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has come to the defence of title rival Jürgen Klopp after the German criticised the fixture pile-up over the next few months.

The Liverpool boss slammed the likes of FIFA, UEFA, the Premier League and the Football League for thinking about their wallets ahead of player welfare, with the Reds still set to play up to 14 games before the start of the new year.

And Guardiola has mirrored Klopp's thoughts about the busy Christmas period, stressing that there needs to be more emphasis on recovery time for players, especially during the winter.

Pep Guardiola

"I completely agree," Guardiola said, quoted by The Mirror. "Less games. Less fixtures, less competitions, more recovery.

"We play December 27 and 29 in winter. It’s always the debate, in UEFA meetings they talk about it. I’m with Jurgen about it being too much."

Guardiola has already felt the effects of a busy schedule, being forced to a number of changes when Manchester City hosted Southampton in the Carabao Cup last week.

"I didn’t play Kevin [De Bruyne] Ilkay [Gundogan], David [Silva] - and Arsenal and Liverpool have done the same," he added. "The players who don’t play regularly play more often [in the Carabao Cup] but it’s too much."

The fixture pile-up this season could see Liverpool forfeit their place in the Carabao Cup, although steps are being taken to ensure the club can still compete in all competitions.

The European champions are currently set to face Aston Villa in the next round of the cup on December 17, but with their opening match at the Club Wolrd Cup in Qatar less than 24 hours later, Liverpool will be unable to travel to Villa Park.

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Source : 90min