Premier League clubs opposed to the imminent return of the Premier League fear Liverpool could damage the integrity of the competition by resting their star players once they are confirmed as champions.
Jurgen Klopp’s relentless winning machine broke a string of records on their way to opening up a massive 25 point gap over Manchester City before the season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Liverpool require just two more wins to guarantee a first league title in 30 years and could be crowned champions as early as June 12 should ‘Project Restart’ get the green light at Monday’s pivotal meeting of the 20 shareholder clubs.
Plans to resume the competition have faced opposition on medical grounds, while several high-profile players, including the likes of Sergio Aguero and Antonio Rudiger, have voiced concerns about their own safety.
Remaining matches will take place at neutral venues, a decision which has faced stern opposition from the likes of relegation candidates Brighton, while The Sun claims several other clubs fear any semblance of a level playing field cannot be maintained should Liverpool protect and rest their star players once they are confirmed as champions.
One club executive told SunSport: ‘We saw what Liverpool did in the cups, so why wouldn’t they do the same once they’ve won the league?
‘Jurgen Klopp could just tell his first team to go away for their own safety, which would be understandable.
‘But if they put out a shadow side in matches they would have won, and those points become crucial, it warps the league. How can that be sporting integrity?’
Liverpool are scheduled to play three teams currently fighting to maintain their top flight status in Aston Villa, Brighton and Newcastle.
While there is no suggestion Klopp plans to protect the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane, he took no issue in fielding a team of youngsters during the FA Cup earlier this season against Shrewsbury while the Premier League was in the midst of its inaugural winter break.
The Premier League, however, does not stipulate that a manager must select his strongest side, only pick players from a 25-man squad submitted before the start of the season, which can be adjusted following the January transfer window, and utilise players aged under 21 who are on their registered A list.
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