Liverpool's Premier League record in early 12:30 kick-off under Jurgen Klopp

Here’s Liverpool’s record in the early 12:30 Premier League kick-off time. It’s one Jurgen Klopp absolutely hates.

Jurgen Klopp is famously not a fan of the 12:30 pm kick-off. The Liverpool boss has cited sleep, recovery and nutrition as key reasons for his dislike of the lunchtime time slot — specifically, one scheduled after midweek fixtures or an international break — and, in truth, the Reds have an indifferent record at that awkward time since his arrival in 2015.

This season they have already played in that time slot on five occasions but have actually fared quite well. They won against Wolves, Everton and Crystal Palace, while also earning a creditable draw away at Manchester City before thumping Brentford 4-1 away.

But here comes another one. Liverpool travel to face West Ham United on Saturday for their sixth lunchtime kick-off of the Premier League season.

It's far from ideal, even if it does feel like the Reds are no longer playing for much. Still, coming after an evening derby the prior Wednesday, Liverpool are up against it to compete in London.

Their record this season has been good, mind:

  • Played: 5
  • Won: 4
  • Drawn: 1
  • Lost: 0

And the results in full:

  • Wolves 1-3 Liverpool
  • Liverpool 2-0 Everton
  • Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
  • Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
  • Brentford 1-4 Liverpool

Though, at least one thing should pop out to you there. Four of the five fixtures have come away from home - a staggering number that barely makes any sense. This Saturday's clash with West Ham United again comes away from Anfield.

So not only have Liverpool had to battle against early kick-offs, they haven't even been afforded the luxury of not needing to travel. In fact, the only home game was against Everton - so they wouldn't have been able to travel in that one anyway.

It's strange. Even stranger is the fact it was exactly the same last season.

LIVERPOOL'S RECORD UNDER KLOPP IN THE EARLY KICK-OFF

In 2015/16, Klopp's first season at Liverpool, his side played four times in the earliest time slot in total (then set for 12:45) winning two, drawing one and losing one.

Indeed, his first match in charge was a 12:45, a 0-0 draw against Tottenham. His record read the same, meanwhile, in that slot the following season.

In 2017/18, Liverpool played a weighty eight times in the early kickoff, winning only once, drawing five times and suffering two defeats. In 2018/19, however, they won three of three at 12:30. Again the following season, their title-winning campaign, they won four out of four.

The season after, they won one, lost one and drew three of their five early kickoffs. The Reds won five out of five in 2021/22. And then that brings us to last season’s nadir.

Virgil van Dijk and Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool

Football - FA Premier League - Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 4, 2024: Liverpool s manager Jürgen Klopp consoles captain Virgil van Dijk after the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda LONDON Emirates Stadium GREATER LONDON ENGLAND PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xDavidxRawcliffex P2024-02-04-Arsenal_Liverpool-89

In 2022/23, infamously, Liverpool played a total of six matches in the dreaded 12:30 zone and didn’t win any of them.

The Reds lost three and drew three for a return of three points out of 18, scoring only three times in the process.

A 4-1 humbling to eventual treble winners Manchester City represented one of the defeats, but the other sides who downed the Reds were no world beaters in the shape of Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth. They drew, meanwhile, against Fulham, Everton and Chelsea.

  • Fulham 2-2 Liverpool
  • Everton 0-0 Liverpool
  • Nottingham Forest 1-0 Liverpool
  • Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea
  • Bournemouth 1-0 Liverpool
  • Man City 4-1 Liverpool

This season, however, their record is much improved, with three wins from four.

However, while their form has been much better this term, there is a real argument that Liverpool are being unfairly treated when it comes to scheduling.

The 1-1 draw at City back in November brought the total number of early kickoffs Klopp has faced post-international break during his time at Anfield to 13.

In that time, the Reds have played over double the early starts of the second-placed Tottenham (six), with City and Chelsea on five games, while Arsenal, Everton and Manchester United have also faced four each.

Furthermore, this term, of their five scheduled games at 12:30, Brentford included, Liverpool have had to play away on four occasions.

WHAT HAS KLOPP SAID ABOUT EARLY KICK-OFFS?

Klopp’s particular bugbear is his side being selected for the slot after an international break.

Liverpool had three of those in the first part of 2023/24… out of a possible total of three.

“If I say a word about it then the world says: ‘He’s moaning again’,” Klopp said ahead of the Wolves game in September. “This is a joke. We had four players in South America who I haven’t even seen yet. In 24 hours we play.

“But it’s like it is and we cannot change it. We will never change that, whoever we talk to. Now the TV channel has a different name, but obviously it doesn’t change anything at all. They don’t give a… so why should I talk about that? We didn’t think about it.”

Jurgen Klopp

Sparta Prague v Liverpool Europa League 07/03/2024. Round of 16 Jurgen Klopp Manager of Liverpool thanks fans at full time during the Europa League Round of 16 match between Sparta Prague and Liverpool at epet ARENA, Prague, Czech Republic on 7 March 2024. Editorial use only , Copyright: xNigelxKeenex PSI-19187-0047

The game versus Manchester City, meanwhile, was moved from the 5:30 slot to the 12:30 slot on the advice of the police.

“These two teams could have, all together, about 30 international players,” he said of the City game.

"Now they are all gone and we can train once before Manchester City. How can you put a game like this on Saturday at 12.30pm?

“Honestly, the people making these decisions, they cannot feel football, it is just not possible. And it is the moment where the world pays the most to see a football game.”

This is not a recent issue, with Klopp a vocal critic of the early slot for some time — famously sounding off at the BT Sport pitchside reporter Des Kelly after James Milner was injured at Brighton back in 2020.

It’s really no surprise that Klopp has a distaste for this fixture slot given the propensity for players to get injured and the seeming imbalance Liverpool have suffered in being offered this kickoff slot, after international breaks in particular.

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