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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is just one of the Premier League managers who is upset with teams having to play Premier League games on 26 and 28 December saying that players “need help” and wants talks about the festive schedule to continue.

The Reds avoided such a scenario this year as their game against Leeds United on 26 December was postponed because of Covid-19 cases at the Yorkshire club.

“The situation should not be like this,” said Klopp, whose side are at Leicester City on Tuesday.

Bundesliga First Half Review

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No surprises as Bayern Munich are once again running away with the title in Germany. Doesn’t seem to matter who is in charge of the club, as Bayern are the dominant force in the Bundesliga.

The question at the Allianz Arena is not whether Bayern win the title for the 10th year in a row. That is a foregone conclusion. The question is whether this talented team can win their seventh Champions League title?

BUNDESLIGA

Top four: Bayern, Dortmund, Freiburg, Leverkusen

Bayern running clear with the title, that old chestnut?

Ligue 1 First Half Review

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Paris Saint-Germain had one of the best transfer windows in history signing Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma on free transfers,

But as PSG Manager Mauricio Pochettino and Sporting Director Leonardo have learnt. It is easier to play football manager than it is to manage a top club in Europe.

LIGUE 1

Top four: PSG, Nice, Marseille, Rennes

Anything exciting to inform you of in Ligue 1? Well if you were hoping for a closely-fought title battle, you may be disappointed, as it’s PSG cruising at the top, leading by 13 points, with a total of 46.

Serie A First Half Review

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It’s been a fascinating first half of the season in Italy as perennial champions Juventus have struggled under new manager Max Allegri while last year’s champions Inter Milan have not missed a beat under new boss Simone Inzaghi.

SERIE A

Top four: Inter, AC Milan, Napoli, Atalanta

Most expected Inter Milan to struggle after losing Romelu Lukaku with the club in a difficult financial situation too, but they’ve held their own under new boss Simone Inzaghi and have pushed their way to the top of the table.

La Liga First Half Review

La Liga Fixtures

While the Premier League plugs away with its traditional festive fixture schedule, even in the midst of an Omicron surge across the country, the teams in La Liga are taking a well-deserved rest.

It’s been an action packed start to the season for La Liga with Barcelona still finding their feet under new boss Xavi and two surprising teams occupying those Champions League places.

LA LIGA

Top four: Real Madrid, Sevilla, Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano

It’s a new era in Spain’s top flight without Lionel Messi, and fans have certainly been served up a few surprises with some unlikely challengers for the top four spots.

Arsenal will face Liverpool in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, while Chelsea will meet Tottenham in the other semi-final.

Chelsea’s meeting with Spurs is a repeat of the 2015 final, when the Blues won 2-0 at Wembley.

Both semi-finals are scheduled to take place over two legs, with the first of each played in the week commencing 3 January 2022.

The deciding legs will take place in the week commencing 10 January, with the final at Wembley on 27 February.

Eight-time winners Liverpool came from 0-2 and 1-3 down to make it 3-3 before they beat Leicester 5-4 on penalties in a thrilling quarter-final on Wednesday.

Champions League Tickets

Paris Saint-Germain must win the Champions League the hard way after being paired with Real Madrid in the redrawn round of 16 on Monday, following a software error that led to the initial draw — which had PSG facing Manchester United — being declared void by UEFA.

PSG, still attempting to win the Champions League for the first time, will face 13-time winners Real over two legs next February and March in the tie of the round. And although the second draw saw them avoid a clash with Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG and a Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo head-to-head, United fared little better in the redraw, landing Spanish champions Atletico Madrid for the first meeting between the two clubs in the competition.

Barcelona will take on Italian side Napoli in the Europa League playoff round after being knocked out of the Champions League last week.

Barca finished third in their group behind Bayern Munich and Benfica, which saw them drop into Europe’s secondary competition for the first time in 17 years.

They will face Napoli for a place in the round-of-16, with the first leg to be played at Camp Nou on Feb. 17. The return game will take place in Naples at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium a week later.

Elsewhere, Scottish champions Rangers were paired with Borussia Dortmund, while six-time Europa League winners Sevilla will face Dinamo Zagreb.

Europa Conference League

Celtic will face a Bodø/Glimt side that stunned Roma during the group stage while Leicester take on Denmark’s Randers following Monday’s draw for the 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-offs.

Celtic, who finished third behind Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis, face a difficult task against a side who have just claimed their second national title in a row and finished unbeaten and a close second to Roma in their Conference League group, thrashing the Italians 6-1 at home and drawing 2-2 away.

Steven Gerrard will take his Aston Villa side to Manchester United in the pick of the FA Cup third round draw which sees the big teams enter the competition.

European champions Chelsea will be hoping to avoid a cupset when they host non-league side Chesterfield – who currently lead the National League table.

Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest hoping to avoid a repeat of their 2018 upset, Liverpool host Shrewsbury Town once again while Manchester City will travel to League Two side Swindon Town.

Another League Two vs Premier League clash sees Port Vale host newly-promoted Brentford, while Tottenham will host League One side Morecambe.