Liverpool's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal postponed due to Covid outbreak

The Reds have now been forced to close their training ground, while assistant head coach Pep Lijnders has also tested positive

Liverpool's Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg clash with Arsenal has been postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Reds' squad.

Liverpool were without manager Jurgen Klopp for their clash with Chelsea over the weekend due to a suspected positive test, with assistant head coach Pep Lijnders having now also tested positive for coronavirus.

The Reds' Carabao Cup tie with Arsenal on Thursday has now been called off as they continue to deal with several Covid-enforced absences, with the club's training ground having been closed down in an attempt to stop further cases of the virus.

What's been said?

The EFL has released a statement confirming that the game at Emirates Stadium will now be rescheduled.

The statement reads: "The first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool scheduled for Thursday 6 January 2022 has been postponed following a formal request by Liverpool due to a severe outbreak of Covid infections amongst their management and playing staff.

"As a result of the postponement, the order of the ties has now changed with the first of the two legs to take place at Anfield on 13 January 2022 at 7.45pm. The rearranged game (now the 2nd leg) is scheduled to be played at the Emirates on 20 January 2022 at 7.45pm."

What's the latest?

After Liverpool's Tuesday training session was cancelled due to the club's struggles with coronavirus, the Reds confirmed on Wednesday that their AXA Training Centre had been temporarily closed.

Klopp's side were without nine first-team players against Chelsea last time out, with only two, Andrew Robertson and Takumi Minamino, having any chance of returning against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.

Liverpool are also now without Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, as all three have left to join up with their respective national teams for the Africa Cup of Nations.

With Klopp having been unable to be present in the dugout for the Reds' draw with Chelsea, it has now been confirmed that assistant head coach Lijnders, who stepped in at Stamford Bridge, has also tested positive for Covid-19.

When was the postponement request submitted?

On Tuesday evening, the Reds confirmed that they had formally requested the first leg against Arsenal to be postponed.

Their statement read: “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.”

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