JURGEN KLOPP has hardly ever been in need of a smile.
However when he watched the Champions League draw his grin would have been as vast because the Mersey.
It was not simply that Liverpool acquired the final eight opponents all people else needed – Porto.
Even having to play the primary leg at residence can have been a minor inconvenience.
The Estadio Dragao is a passionate amphitheatre, however having doused the calls for of Bavaria within the Allianz Area on Wednesday, Klopp’s males will take that of their stride.
However what would actually have given the Liverpool boss an additional spring in his step was Manchester Metropolis’s looming conflict with Spurs.
Man Metropolis fixtures
March 16 – Swansea (a) FA Cup
March 30 – Fulham (a) PL
April 6 Cardiff Metropolis (h) PL
April 9 Tottenham (a) CL
April 14 Crystal Palace (a) PL
April 16 Tottenham (h) CL
April 20 Tottenham (h) PL
April 24 Manchester United (a) PL
April 28 Burnley (a) PL
Might four Leicester (h) PL
Might 12 Brighton (a) PL
Metropolis may need overtaken Liverpool because the battle for the crown reaches its remaining straight.
However they now face these two video games with Spurs, together with the primary European evening at Tottenham’s gleaming new 62,000-capacity residence again in N17, as a part of a manic, frantic, all-consuming spell of seven enormous video games in not more than 19 days.
Assuming Metropolis beat Swansea this weekend – and they’re heavy favourites – they are going to then play their FA Cup semi-final on Saturday April 6 or the next day.
That, after all, could possibly be in opposition to neighbours and rivals Manchester United, a titanic conflict at Wembley.
Simply three days later, Metropolis might be again in London, a number of miles additional around the North Round, for that Spurs Champions League conflict.
And that’s simply the beginning of a sequence of video games that may drain even Pep Guardiola’s sources.
On April 14, it’s the capital once more. South of the Thames this time, dealing with a Crystal Palace aspect who’ve already claimed their scalp as soon as this season and who had been a late missed penalty at Selhurst away from being the primary aspect to beat them final time period as effectively.
By the next weekend, they are going to have performed Spurs twice extra, each on the Etihad, with the second leg in Europe the midweek match earlier than the Premier League recreation follows.
And on April 24, simply to carry all of it to a head, one other residence recreation, this time in opposition to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United.
Every recreation below enormous strain, a mighty take a look at of thoughts and physique.
March 17 – Fulham (a) PL
March 31 – Tottenham (h) PL
April 5 – Southampton (a) PL
April 9 – Porto (h) CL
April 14 – Chelsea (h) PL
April 16 – Porto (a) CL
April 21 – Cardiff Metropolis (a) PL
April 26 – Huddersfield (h) PL
Might four – Newcastle (a) PL
Might 12 – Wolves (h) PL
In stark distinction, Liverpool have simply 5 video games in the identical interval.
They begin at Southampton, a floor the place they have an inclination to win, on Friday April 5.
That offers further time to arrange for the Porto residence leg, forward of the April 14 residence recreation in opposition to Chelsea.
Liverpool then journey to Portugal forward of an April 21 journey to relegation-haunted Cardiff. After which finish the month by enjoying Huddersfield at residence.
It definitely appears a extra manageable schedule, at exactly the time when limbs are crying out for mercy.
Klopp won’t declare he has had the very best of it. However he’ll know it’s the case.