Martin Keown has told BBC's Match of the Day program that he feels sorry for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, suggesting that his side's Europa League campaign is having a knock-on effect for their Premier League aspirations.
Three days after their 1-0 first-leg semi-final defeat at Villarreal, the Reds, after making eight changes, slumped to a 3-1 loss at Swansea City in one of their most tepid performances of the 2015-16 campaign.
That defeat came eight days after Klopp's side surrendered a two-goal lead at home Newcastle United in a 2-2 draw, with the German manager again making a raft of changes to his starting lineup in order to preserve his side's hopes of Europa League glory.
The Merseysiders sit eighth in the Premier League table, and former Arsenal defender Keown claims that football on Thursday nights has "really affected" him.
“I have some sympathy for Jurgen Klopp,” Keown told BBC.
“He isn’t making any excuses despite the Europa League. Thursday night football has really affected them.”
Liverpool will feel like the sacrifice has been worth it if they can win the Europa League, though that hangs in the balance following Adrian Lopez's last-minute strike at El Madrigal last Thursday.