Arsenal vs Liverpool: Carabao Cup tie postponed following further Covid cases at Merseyside club

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The EFL have confirmed the first leg of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool has been postponed following further Covid-19 cases at the Merseyside club.

Liverpool made a formal request for the game at Emirates Stadium to be called off on Tuesday because of an outbreak among players and staff.

The tie will remain a two-legged affair, with the match in North London now the return leg scheduled for Thursday, January 20.

Liverpool temporarily shut their training ground on Wednesday amid a “rapidly growing number" of suspected Covid cases, with assistant manager Pep Lijnders among the latest to have to isolate.

The Reds were without manager Jurgen Klopp and nine first-team players for Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea as a result of Covid, illness and injuries. They have since lost further stars such as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

On Wednesday afternoon, it was confirmed that the EFL have granted their request to postpone the Arsenal game after the situation worsened.

The first leg will now take place at Anfield on January 13, previously planned to be the return fixture, with the Emirates clash moved back to January 20.

Arsenal will now play Burnley at home on Sunday, January 23. Chelsea host Tottenham the day before but, despite fears after Wednesday’s announcement, the Blues and Gunners can both play at home in the capital on the same day.

The EFL confirmed via a statement: “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.

“The EFL has been in regular dialogue with the club over the past 48 hours in an attempt to understand whether the tie could proceed but significant developments over this period have resulted in the club reporting an ever-increasing number of Covid cases.

“Having now fully reviewed the circumstances involved, the league has accepted Liverpool’s request after determining, albeit reluctantly, that a postponement was the only option as the club looks to mitigate against the further risk of infection amongst its squad and staff alongside ensuring public health was protected by not travelling from Liverpool to London.

“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.”

Liverpool are also due to host Shrewsbury in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

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