Soccer-COVID casting shadow over Liverpool's Christmas, says Klopp


Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Newcastle United - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - December 16, 2021 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Roberto Firmino after the match REUTERS/Peter Powell

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said his club were under a cloud of uncertainty following their 3-1 home win over Newcastle United on Thursday as COVID-19 threatens to wreak havoc with the Premier League's busy Christmas program.

Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones were all ruled out nL1N2T12JF prior to kickoff against Newcastle at Anfield due to suspected positive tests for COVID-19, leaving the German wondering what might happen to the rest of the schedule.

"It's a really tricky situation, nobody knows exactly how we will be tomorrow," Klopp told the BBC. "We will go to the training centre until people tell us otherwise. I've never had three players (pull out) on match-day."

Five games around the league that were due to take place this weekend have been postponed nL1N2T10YD due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

"If we should stop the league, I have no real answer for it. If you stop it for two weeks and we come back, I really don't know what to do ... I saw the Everton lineup today, I don't know half of the players," Klopp said.

"We have three players out because of COVID ... then we play on the 26th and the 28th (of December) and you have 13 players available, that's not possible. There are plenty of questions we need to find answers for but I don't have the solution."

Klopp was delighted to get three points off Newcastle, revealing he had watched footage of Eddie Howe's previous side Bournemouth as he readied his team for the struggling Magpies.

"We used in preparations more Bournemouth than Newcastle for analysis. We won 2-1 last time Eddie Howe was here with Bournemouth after they scored another goal. We expected similar things, they made life hard for us," he said.

The win kept second-placed Liverpool within a point of Manchester City who thrashed Leeds United 7-0 on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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