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LIVERPOOL boss Gerard Houllier has slammed the fixture list which is threatening to undermine The Reds' chances of success this season.

The Anfield club are still involved in four competitions and Houllier has hit out after it emerged that several of his players could be forced to play three big games in the space of six days.

Their 5-0 hammering of Crystal Palace on Wednesday saw them reach the Worthington Cup Final in Cardiff on February 25. Just three days before that, Houllier's troops face Roma in the Uefa Cup Fourth Round at Anfield and 72 hours after their Cup final showdown, England face Spain in an international friendly.

The Merseyside giants could provide seven players for Sven Goran Eriksson's first match in charge - Michael Owen, Emile Heskey, Steven Gerrard, Nick Barmby, Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher and Danny Murphy, but Houllier has stated he may pull some of his squad out of the Villa Park clash.

"I don't know who will be available for England," the Frenchman said.

"We know we are through to the final on February 25 and I'm not sure who will be able to play for England on the 28th.

"The whole thing is stupid. We are being punished for being successful.

"I don't want to be seen as moaning and we shall cope. I don't know what is going to happen.

"I have spoken to Tord Grip (Eriksson's right-hand man) and he is aware of the problem.

"Whoever we play in Cardiff will have enjoyed a full week's preparation, while we are engaged in a European tie against the Italian league leaders. I have to say I think it is stupid and it could only happen in this country.

"It is not just Liverpool. The same would apply to Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea if they were in the same position as us."