Jurgen Klopp’s Arsenal admission as Mikel Arteta makes ‘extremely volatile’ Liverpool game claim

Liverpool’s upcoming Carabao Cup Semi-Final first leg tie against Arsenal remains under threat.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta revealed he can not guarantee the Carabao Cup Semi-Final first leg tie against Liverpool will go ahead.

The original meeting of the two sides was scheduled to take place last week but the EFL accepted Liverpool’s request after a number of positive Covid-19 tests led to the closure of the Reds training ground.

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The rearranged fixture will now take place at Anfield on Thursday night - but Gunners boss Arteta has revealed he has a number of players missing for the game.

Arteta described the situation as “extremely volatile and uncertain” as his squad was significantly hampered by several injuries and players returning positive Covid tests.

The Gunners are also without Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Omar Rekik, who are all competing in the African Nations Cup this month.

Speaking in his pre-match press, the former Everton midfielder said: “It’s extremely volatile and uncertain.

“The situation we are going to have today is different to the situation we had yesterday. Obviously, I can not get into any detail with that, but it is what it is. In the last week or so, we lost so many players for many different reasons and we are trying to adapt to that.

“I used the players we have and make the most out of it. It’s different reasons, some injuries, some Covid, some absence with players that are away with the African Nations Cup.

“You can never guarantee anything because you know this changes dramatically in ten seconds that the doctor comes to the door and gives you the news.

“We’ve had that already twice this season. Our willingness is always to play."

Arteta received the backing of Reds boss Jurgen Klopp ahead of the game.

The Spaniard has just past the two-year anniversary of his appointment as manager of a club he represented over 100 times during his playing career.

Slowly, but surely, he has began to put his own stamp on the Gunners squad and they head into Thursday’s game sat in the top four of the Premier League table.

Progress has also been made in the FA Cup and Arteta will hope to add the Carabao Cup to the FA Cup he won in his first season in charge at the Emirates.

Klopp said: “They play really exciting football, Mikel is doing an exceptional job there, having a lot of young boys in, this front three plus Lacazette which they usually play, is really exciting to watch, good set-up, clear idea.

“I think they improved a lot between then and now, even when they were already good then.

“We just played a really good game against them and that’s the team we will face, so that’s a tricky draw.”

Klopp revealed Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson Becker have both returned to training and Andy Robertson could also be available after recovering from a knock he suffered in the FA Cup win against Shrewsbury.

However, the game will come too soon for Divock Origi and Thiago.