Liverpool request to postpone Carabao Cup semi-final with Arsenal after rise in Covid cases

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 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool have requested for the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final with Arsenal on Thursday to be postponed.

The Reds have lodged their case to the EFL due to further covid-19 cases and other player availability issues linked to illness and injury.

Liverpool have been dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak, which included manager Jurgen Klopp testing positive last week, and first-team training was cancelled on Tuesday.

Goalkeeper Alisson, defender Joel Matip and forward Roberto Firmino were absent at Chelsea on Sunday after testing positive for Covid-19 and in total, due to injuries and suspensions as well, Liverpool were without nine first-team players for that game at Stamford Bridge.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita have all headed to the Africa Cup of Nations to reduce their squad further, while there are now more positive Covid-19 cases in camp.

In a statement on Tuesday night, Liverpool said: “Liverpool Football Club can confirm an application has been submitted for the postponement of Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final, first-leg tie with Arsenal due to an escalating number of suspected positive COVID-19 cases and player availability.

“The Reds have formally requested to the EFL that the fixture is rescheduled after further suspected positive tests were registered among players and staff, allied to other factors impacting selection, including illness and injury.

“In response, the club halted preparations at the AXA Training Centre, meaning Tuesday’s first-team training session was cancelled.

“Among the considerations which led to today’s application to the EFL is the need for travelling supporters to be given as much notice as possible of any potential postponement.

“With no prospect of the current situation improving ahead of Thursday’s fixture and the potential for it to worsen, the club considers it both prudent and reasonable to ask for the fixture to be rescheduled.

“Liverpool FC will offer a further update on the application process, as well as the resumption of training, in due course.”

An EFL Spokesperson said: “The League has this evening received a request from Liverpool FC to postpone Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg versus Arsenal FC which will now be considered in accordance with the competition rules as set out at the start of the season alongside information submitted by the Club. We will look to confirm the League’s position as soon as possible once the circumstances have been fully reviewed.”

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