Nuno Espírito Santo says hectic Christmas fixture schedule is ‘absurd’

Nuno Espírito Santo has said it is “absurd” his Wolves team must face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, less than 48 hours after a pulsating clash with Manchester City.

Wolves boosted Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes by beating Pep Guardiola’s team 3-2 on Friday night and now have the daunting task of recuperating enough to try to produce a similar performance against the runaway league leaders. Liverpool will have had an extra 24 hours’ rest, having won at Leicester on Thursday evening.

“I’ve never seen [a situation like] playing games against tough teams with 45 hours between games,” said Nuno. “It’s going to be very tough. Of course, it goes against everything – it’s absurd. There’s no explanation.”

Nuno accepted this is a demanding time for all teams – “all the managers and players are concerned; we cannot do anything, we have to survive” – but Wolves’ workload has been particularly punishing this season. They have already played more matches than any other side in the division because of their Europa League exploits, and they have a relatively small squad. Nuno said he will assess the fitness of his players before selecting his lineup for Sunday but knows he does not have the option to rotate as much as other managers.

“Everybody ran a lot [against City] and to get back [to that level] requires a lot of effort,” said Nuno. “We have a small squad, so how we are doing things is very important. We will look at it and make the right decisions. We will sit down and speak and decide.”

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