Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final meeting with Liverpool in doubt after further Covid chaos

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  • Jürgen Klopp
    German association football player and manager
 (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
(Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with Liverpool on Thursday is in doubt due to Covid-19 issues at the Merseyside club.

Liverpool have been dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus, with manager Jurgen Klopp and three members of his backroom staff testing positive last week.

Klopp was forced to miss the game at Chelsea last Sunday, while goalkeeper Alisson, defender Joel Matip and forward Roberto Firmino were also absent after testing positive for Covid-19.

In total, due to injuries and suspensions as well, Liverpool were without nine first-team players at Chelsea. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita have all headed to the Africa Cup of Nations to reduce their squad further, while there are emerging reports of more Covid-19 cases in the Liverpool camp.

The situation at Liverpool has cast doubt over Thursday’s match with Arsenal, which is the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.

EFL regulations for this season state: “The EFL’s general position is that if a Club has enough registered players eligible to participate in the fixture, i.e. they have 14 Players (11 starting and 3 subs) then the Club will have a sufficient number of Players in order to fulfil the fixture. However the EFL will review each circumstance on its own merits.”

The regulations also state how any rescheduled match must take place before the next round, which in this case is the final on February 27.

The congested calendar leaves little space for Arsenal and Liverpool to pencil the game in, further adding to complications.

The EFL regulations add: “Where the Management Committee determine that the Competition Match cannot be rearranged the Management Committee shall have the power to declare that the Competition Match shall be abandoned.

“Where the Management Committee declare that the Competition Match shall be abandoned, the Club shall forfeit the Competition Match, pay the opposing Club’s expenses in accordance with Rule 5.8 and the opposing Club shall receive a bye into the next round of the Competition.”

It is understood the EFL are yet to receive an official request for the game to be postponed.

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