Julen Lopetegui furious as Liverpool have ‘unfair advantage’ ahead of FA Cup clash
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Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Julen Lopetegui has not held back his frustrations with the fixture scheduling for his side’s FA Cup third round away trip to Liverpool on Saturday. The Spaniard has spoken out about having just three days between the upcoming clash and Wolves’ 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.
The Wanderers were the better side on Wednesday evening as they dominated proceedings for around 70 minutes, but tired legs from the Wolfpack allowed the hosts back into the game as Danny Ings scored a 77th-minute equaliser. It was nearly even worse as Leon Bailey was agonisingly close to handing Villa all three points at the death; the Jamaican miscued and missed an open goal.
After such an intense fixture, Wolves could have done with a few days extra to prepare for the game at Liverpool as it is, but matters are made worse by the fact the Reds have had two additional days of rest. “We have five matches in 15 days,” Lopetegui said ahead of the game, with passion.
“Only a little comment, but I don’t understand how you play in one competition whether you have won or lost with two days less than the opponent. Maybe one day but two days is a lot and it’s a big difference for us. We have to play against Liverpool in three days when they’ve had two days more. I’m sorry, but I don’t understand this. I don’t know why,” Lopetegui said.
Wolves take on a Liverpool side struggling having put on many a below-par performance this campaign, but it does not make a difference as Lopetegui is correct - they do indeed have two more days. Jurgen Klopp, ironically, has been very vocal about his own team’s misfortune with fixture congestion in the past.
The German is yet to be quizzed about the situation before the game, but he would almost certainly give a similar reaction to Lopetegui if he were in his shoes. The game follows Liverpool’s surprise 3-1 defeat away at Brentford on Monday as the Reds were unable to create enough clear-cut opportunities despite having much of the ball.