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Liverpool request Arsenal Carabao Cup clash be postponed

An outbreak of Covid-19 among Liverpool’s players and staff has prompted the club to ask the English Football League to postpone Thursday’s first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

Injuries and the absence of several players from the Africa Cup of Nations mean that the Reds’ training session on Tuesday was cancelled, and Klopp’s side will be without a large number of first-team players for the match.

Alisson, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino are all in isolation. The injured list includes Thiago, Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino, Nathaniel Phillips, and Harvey Elliott.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita have only just departed for international duty at the AFCON tournament in Cameroon.

Klopp himself if isolating having tested positive for the virus last week.

The EFL now has the last say on the final outcome. As in the Premier League, teams must make their case for a postponement before it can be approved. However, if a 14-man team, including two goalkeepers, is available, the fixture is expected to be fulfilled.

In a statement, Liverpool said:

“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.”

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Written by Babatunde Okerayi

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