Manchester City have issued a furious response to changes to the Premier League fixture list around Christmas, which they believe will give Liverpool upper hand over the Epl title race.
Liverpool currently boast an eight-point lead over the defending champions but the fight is far from over, with the battle set to continue for the remaining months of the season.
A busy festive period for Liverpool is made all the more testing by their participation in the Club World Cup, playing games on December 18th and 21st, but City believe the fixtures have handed Jurgen Klopp’s side an advantage.
City’s trip to Wolves has been pushed back from Boxing Day to December 27th, with a kick-off at 7.45pm, which gives them less than 48 to prepare for the hosting of Sheffield United on December 29th at 6pm.
Their fury is compounded by the fact that Wolves will be short of time to get ready for their trip to face Liverpool at Anfield, also on December 29th, while the Reds, who play at Leicester on Boxing Day, will have an extra day of rest over Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
The fixture changes earned a strong response from City’s Chief Operating Officer Omar Berrada, who stated the ‘sporting integrity of the league’ must be protected.
“We obviously understand that the paying rights-holding broadcasters are an important consideration when it comes to scheduling, but we also need to make sure that we protect the players’ wellbeing, the sporting integrity of the league, and the quality of the product.
“We’ve had an open dialogue with the league to consider other options, but ultimately, we will have to comply with the kick off times and dates as they have been presented to us.”
City had asked for their clash with Sheffield United to be moved to December 30th and for their clash against Everton to be moved from New Year’s Day to January 2nd but were told they could not because the clash with the Toffees has also been chosen for television, with the 5.30pm kick-off live on Sky Sports.