Liverpool have been given six obvious decisions to make vs Wattford amid Jurgen Klopp’s hatred
Jurgen Klopp has previously criticised the international break but Liverpool have some key players who’re not on duty ahead of their next game against Watford in the Premier League.
It's one of those times of the season Jurgen Klopp quite frankly loathes.
By the Liverpool manager's admission, he detests the international break.
‘I hate international breaks’
Klopp's reasoning for his hatred is down to the added risk of injuries, coupled with momentum often being derailed.
"I hate international breaks and it didn’t help with the injuries," he said after November’s hiatus in the season.
"The break was not helpful, I would have loved to have played the week after.
“(International) coaches have their own targets and very often think they have to do physical work with the players. The break was not helpful."
Klopp will be praying that the guaranteed 14 members of the Reds' squad all return to Anfield unscathed ahead of a seismic season finale.
Liverpool are still gunning for a historic quadruple and their April schedule is hectic, to say the least.
Certainly, Klopp will be incensed if any of his troops pick up a setback - especially those involved in largely irrelevant games.
The Liverpool players called up
Jordan Henderson (England), Virgil van Dijk (Holland), Kostas Tsimikas (Greece), Divock Origi (Belgium) and Caoimhin Kelleher (Republic of Ireland) have only been called up for friendly matches with their respective nations.
Alisson Becker and Fabinho's Brazil have already booked their spot at the 2022 World Cup - but have to fulfil qualifying fixtures against Chile and Bolivia.
Meanwhile, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane are in for two blood-and-thunder battles when Egypt take on Senegal for a place at the World Cup.
Diogo Jota (Portugal), Luis Diaz (Colombia) and Takumi Minamino (Japan) are also hoping to book their spots at Qatar at the end of the year.
Youngsters Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott are away on England under-21s duty.
To compound Klopp's frustrations, Liverpool's first game back couldn't be at a worse time after the international break.
They welcome Watford to Anfield on Saturday 2 April at the early kick-off time of 12.30.
That gives the Reds less time to prepare - especially when factoring in travelling and time differences for the likes of Fabinho, Alisson and Diaz.
Klopp will already be planning ahead for the visit of the Hornets.
And the seven senior players who've not jetted off for international duty will surely be in his selection process to start.
Thiago Alcantara yet again was overlooked for the Spain set-up - not that Klopp will be complaining.
The midfielder has struggled with injuries at times this season, which have confined him to 24 appearances.
However, large sections of supporters would concur that, when fit, he's part of Liverpool's strongest engine-room trio.
Having recently returned from a hamstring issue, keeping Thiago protected will be key. If he can remain healthy, it'll bolster the Reds' ambitions profusely.
Roberto Firmino missed out on a Brazil call-up having also not long returned from a muscle issue.
The striker scored off the bench in the 2-0 win at Arsenal last week and remains an invaluable squad member.
Klopp could decide to give Firmino his first a 1-0 win at Burnley on 13 February, with Jota potentially involved in two World Cup qualifiers.
Van Dijk's remarkably missed only two Premier League games this season after recovering from a serious ACL injury. The reason behind his absence in both games was he tested positive for Covid-19.
Should he feature prominently for Holland, the clash against relegation-threatened Watford could be ideal to rest him given the ample centre-back options that remain on Merseyside.
Joel Matip has retired from international duty with Cameroon.
Meanwhile, Ibou Konate rebuffed the chance of representing Mali. He retains hopes of playing for France in the future, having represented Les Bleus at under-21 level.
And Joe Gomez's lack of opportunities this campaign means he's fallen out of favour with England.
Should Henderson feature in both of the Three Lions' games against Switzerland and Ivory Coast, then he could be given a breather against Watford.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's performances in the FA Cup defeat of Nottingham Forest earned mixed reviews.
Yet he's more than capable of doing a job and improves as he builds impetus.
The six aforementioned players are all healthy options for Liverpool who'll benefit from the break and be revitalised.
Potential quadruple boost
There could even be a few more depending on fitness.
James Milner has been ill and missed the Reds' past two games. You'd suspect he'll be recovered by the time the Watford game comes around, though.
Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled out of the England squad with a hamstring issue. Reports suggest that he's expected to be available for most of the April schedule.
Regardless, it might not be worth risking him against Watford - especially if Gomez and Milner are available and can recover at right-back.
If his problem is only minor, as we await a further update, a midfield berth could be his for the visit of Roy Hodgson's side.
What’s more, there’s still no word on whether Andy Robertson will meet up with Scotland. He missed the Forest win because of illness and looks unlikely to play against Poland on Thursday.