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Jurgen Klopp Talks Pitch, Weather Concerns Ahead of FIFA Club World Cup

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 16, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool reacts during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Watford FC at Anfield on December 14, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he has "no problem" with the wet conditions in Doha, Qatar, for the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, though the pitch situation could be more of a concern for the Reds.

European champions Liverpool were the last team to arrive in Doha for the Club World Cup and were greeted by news that Khalifa International Stadium will host the remaining five games in the tournament.

Klopp has taken a strong 20-man squad as Liverpool seek to win this trophy for the first time, and the conditions didn't appear to dampen his spirits, per Ian Doyle of the Liverpool Echo

“I didn't think about Qatar until after the Watford game.

"Now I think about it, and I heard that they change the stadium, then the next information I got, all the games will be played on the same pitch. And then I saw that it is raining!

“I have no problem with rain, especially when it's warm rain. It is not a concern, it is just something we will have a look at when we are there."

Liverpool's semi-final and the final were initially set to be played at the new Education City Stadium, but Doyle explained the venue was ineligible after it failed to stage a required test event.

The change means Liverpool's semi-final against Monterrey will be the third match played at Khalifa International Stadium in a little more than 24 hours:

FIFA.com @FIFAcom

Next stop: #ClubWC semi-finals! 🇧🇷@Flamengo 🆚 @Alhilal_EN 🇸🇦 🇲🇽@Rayados 🆚 @LFC 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 This is going to be good 😏 https://t.co/CYlvjCfZFO

Xavi Hernandez's Al Sadd will face Esperance de Tunis in the fifth-place play-off on Tuesday, while Flamengo are set to meet Al-Hilal in the opening semi-final, several hours before the Reds make their bow.

Sky Sports News reporter Bryan Swanson showed how wet the conditions were when Liverpool arrived in Doha, with showers and storms expected to continue throughout the week, per Doyle:

Bryan Swanson @skysports_bryan

QATAR: Liverpool squad arrives at their hotel in Doha before two games in Club World Cup. Reaction 👇🏻 #LFC #SSN https://t.co/ZWGFXdmOEn

The Premier League leaders are strong favourites to win the Club World Cup, but they'll hope for an incident-free campaign in Doha as they look to bring a fully fit squad back to England.

Klopp left a crop of youngsters on Merseyside for Tuesday's Carabao Cup quarter-final clash away to Aston Villa, when Liverpool under-23s coach Neil Critchley will lead a second-string lineup into the last eight.

The Times' Bill Edgar highlighted Liverpool's record-breaking schedule in December:

Bill Edgar @BillEdgarTimes

Liverpool will be the 1st top-flight team ever to play in 5 competitions in 27 days: CL: Tomorrow PL: Dec 14, 21, 26, 9, Jan 2 Carabao Cup: Dec 17 Club World Cup: Dec 18 FA Cup: Jan 5

The Reds previously finished as runners-up to Brazilian giants Sao Paulo in the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup final. Manchester United are the only English team to have won the title following a 1-0 win over Ecuadorian side LDU Quito in 2008.

Liverpool are also set to discover which opponent they'll face in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 when the draw takes place in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday.