Ex-Uefa official: Premier League have caved in as 'risky' Liverpool news confirmed
Liverpool players are still at risk of missing the World Cup through injury even though they are not playing a “derby game” in the final round of Premier League fixtures before the tournament.
That is the view of ex-Uefa, Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after it was confirmed Liverpool will host Southampton on 12 November.
The Premier League revealed their fixtures for the 2022-23 season last week (16 June) and none of the ‘big-six’ sides face each other that weekend and there are also no local derby fixtures.
It comes after Gareth Southgate confirmed earlier in the month (13 June), via the Metro, that the FA had asked the Premier League to make sure there were no major matches on the weekend of 12 November.
“It looks as though the call has been answered before any comment can be made,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“On those November 12 fixtures, the last games before [the World Cup] you’ve got Bournemouth-Everton, Brighton-Villa, Fulham-Man United, Liverpool-Southampton, Man City-Brentford, Newcastle-Chelsea, Forest-Palace, Spurs-Leeds, West Ham-Leicester and Wolves-Arsenal.
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“They’ve avoided the derby game but it doesn’t avoid the risk of players getting injured.
“What’s really important is the games coming back when you’ve got a full set of Boxing Day fixtures.
“The call’s been answered by the Premier League by design. I think that the Premier League have a very sophisticated computer system that works on algorithms to set these fixtures up.
“They don’t abdicate their responsibility but they know this is a very sensitive issue with their shareholders, the 20 clubs.
“The first thing the clubs are doing are look at the fixtures and saying ‘These are areas where we are going to get an increased income and these are the potential games that are going to be on television’.”