When Liverpool’s postponed Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal will take place

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The venues for the first and second leg clashes will now be switched.

Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Thursday has been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the Merseyside club.

The Reds closed their training centre in Kirkby on Wednesday after assistant manager Pep Lijnders became the latest member of the Liverpool camp to test positive.

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With Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita now departed for the Africa Cup of Nations, the COVID outbreak means Liverpool where left threadbare for the fixture.

The rearranged cup games will now be switched, with the first leg against the Gunners played at Anfield on Thursday 13 January and the second leg at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday 20 January.

Both matches will kick-off at 1:45.

A general view of Liverpool’s training ground. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty ImagesA general view of Liverpool’s training ground. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
A general view of Liverpool’s training ground. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images | Liverpool FC via Getty Images

COVID in the Liverpool camp

Amid a record number of coronavirus cases in the Premier League, Liverpool have had their own struggles.

For Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea, trio Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip were all absent after testing positive.

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Manager Jurgen Klopp was also forced to miss the game having contracted the virus, with assistant boss Lijnders, who has now also tested positive, taking charge.

All five are now isolating and Alisson, Firmino and Matip would have been unavailable for the clash with Arsenal.

Thiago Alcantara, Takumi Minamino, Nat Phillips, Divock Origi and Harvey Elliott are absent through injury and Salah, Mane and Keita are at the AFCON.

Due to the lack of available players and the risk of spreading further infection with a trip down to London, the EFL reluctantly postponed the game.

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What’s been said

“The outbreak has left Liverpool without a sufficient number of players and staff to fulfil the contest as originally scheduled,” Liverpool said in a statement.

“Liverpool Football Club would like to place on record its thanks to the EFL and Arsenal for their understanding, as well as supporters of both clubs, as we continue to navigate through this challenging period.”

The EFL said: “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.”

What’s next?

Liverpool are due to play an FA Cup third-round tie at home to Shrewsbury Town on Sunday, but that match could also now be in doubt.

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