Rodgers 'very disappointed' with Premier League over busy fixture list

Liverpool face third game in a week against Swansea on Sunday

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The Independent Football

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he is "very disappointed with the Premier League," over fixture congestion which has seen his side play three times in a week, with the middle game an away trip to Russia.

The third comes on Sunday in this weekend's only top-flight fixture, at home against Swansea, who are in next Sunday's Capital One Cup final.

And Rodgers' side haven't had a good week, losing 2-0 to West Brom on Monday and 2-0 to Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday in the Europa League.

Next Thursday they play the return leg of the Zenit match, at Anfield.

Asked about the timing of the match against his former club Swansea, Rodgers said this afternoon: "I was very disappointed with the Premier League to be honest.

"To put it in on a week when we have played on a Monday and played on a Thursday in an away trip to Russia, and put it in between that and another important European game on Thursday...I think it is another example of the Premier League in this country not helping teams whatsoever.

"I think every other country in Europe will always try to help their teams - some of them will play on a Friday before a European game.

"So for us to have it thrown in there when there were other free weeks was bemusing to say the least."

But he will have two rested players to bring in, in striker Daniel Sturridge and midfielder Philippe Coutinho. Both were ineligible for the match in Russia.

Rodgers confirmed Sturridge is fit to play, after a thigh problem.

Coutinho, a January signing from Inter Milan, made his Reds debut as a substitute against West Brom, and of the player Rodgers said: "He is certainly in my thinking.

"He has come in and needed that little bit of time to adapt to the new way of working and new life, but you can see the kid's qualities.

"He has got good experience for a young player, so on Sunday we will have a look."

Daniel Agger is also set to return, after missing the Russia trip. After the West Brom match, used Twitter to criticise his own performance, but Rodgers praised the contribution he has made since the start of the campaign.

"He has been outstanding this season. He has that real warrior spirit," Rodgers said.

"We have just had a little run of games where as a team - and for us, there is no blame on the individual - we haven't defended as well as what we had done.

"He is one of the top European centre-halves and we are very happy to have him here."

Liverpool lie ninth in the Premier League on 36 points after playing 26 games so far this season.