Liverpool’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg clash with Arsenal was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Reds team.
Liverpool were left without coach Jurgen Klopp for their clash with Chelsea over the weekend due to a presumed positive test, and assistant head coach Pep Lijnders took over the team. However, Lijnders has now also tested positive for coronavirus, leaving the coaching staff extremely understaffed.
The Reds’ Carabao Cup tie with Arsenal on Thursday has been canceled as they continue to deal with various Covid-imposed absences, and the club’s training ground was closed in an attempt to stop more cases of the virus.
When will the EFL Cup semi-final match be played?
The EFL has issued a statement confirming that the game at the Emirates Stadium will now be rescheduled.
The statement reads: “The Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between Arsenal and Liverpool scheduled for Thursday 6 January 2022 has been postponed following a formal request from Liverpool due to a severe outbreak of Covid infections between its management and gaming staff “.
Next week’s game, scheduled for January 13 at 2:45 pm ET as the second leg at Anfield, will now become the first leg. The first leg at the Emirates will now be played on January 20 at 2:45 pm ET and will function as the second leg.
This calls into question the FA’s ability to bend competition laws. The statutes of the FA Cup establish: “3.3 The Semifinals will be played in two games, the first game will be played on the ground of the first Club drawn and the second game will be played on the ground of the Club drawn second.” Like Arsenal It was the first team drawn, as a general rule it should host the first leg, but with the postponement, that has now been changed.
It is also possible that Liverpool’s next games are in danger of being postponed. The Reds are scheduled to play an FA Cup third round match against Shrewsbury Town this Sunday, January 9, and the status of that match has not been reported. The Reds are scheduled for the first leg (initially second) of the EFL Cup semifinals against Arsenal next week on January 13.
Liverpool squad limitations
After Liverpool’s Tuesday training session was canceled due to the club’s struggles with the coronavirus, the Reds confirmed on Wednesday that their AXA Training Center had been temporarily closed.
Klopp’s team ran out of nine first-team players against Chelsea last time, and only two, Andrew Robertson and Takumi Minamino, had any chance of coming back against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup. Goalkeeper Alisson was among those who tested positive and missed the Chelsea match, meaning that any positive test between the ranks of goalkeepers could cause additional limitations on the team.
Liverpool will also not feature Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, as the three left after Chelsea’s draw to join their respective national teams for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations. The AFCON 2022 tournament begins on January 9.
Since Klopp was unable to be present on the bench for the Reds’ draw with Chelsea, it has now been confirmed that assistant head coach Lijnders, who intervened at Stamford Bridge, also tested positive for Covid-19.
Additionally, the youth team is also struggling with a COVID-19 outbreak, as the under-21 team’s FA Youth Cup match against Burnley on Friday was also postponed. This indicates that even if Liverpool had tried to dive into the youth and reserve teams, putting up a team would be difficult.
Our FA Youth Cup fourth round tie with Burnley, scheduled for Friday night, has been postponed.
– Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 5, 2022
What games does Liverpool need rescheduled?
Liverpool now have two games that required rescheduling due to COVID-19 postponements.
In addition to the EFL Cup match being delayed, the Reds also had their Premier League match against Leeds postponed on Boxing Day, meaning that match will need a date to play. A date for delayed Premier League matches during the holiday period has yet to be announced.
For Arsenal, the Gunners now have three games requiring rescheduling, with the December 28 game against Wolves postponed, plus the future February 12 game against Chelsea, which was delayed due to Chelsea’s participation in the World Cup. of Clubs on that date.
When was the postponement first requested?
On Tuesday night, the Reds confirmed that they had formally requested that the first leg against Arsenal be postponed.
Your statement read: “Liverpool Football Club can confirm that a request has been submitted for the postponement of Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final, the first leg with Arsenal due to a growing number of suspected Covid-19 positives and availability of players.
“The Reds have formally requested the EFL that the game be rescheduled after further suspicious positive tests were recorded among players and staff, along with other factors impacting the selection, including illness and injury.
“In response, the club halted preparations at the AXA Training Center, which means that Tuesday’s first team training session was canceled. Among the considerations that led to today’s request to the EFL is the need for traveling supporters to receive as much notice as possible of any possible postponements. With no prospects that the current situation will improve before Thursday’s game and with the possibility that it will get worse, the club considers it prudent and reasonable to request the rescheduling of the game. Liverpool FC will offer a further update on the application process, as well as the resumption of training, in due course.