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Liverpool have been offered a solution to their Covid problem after the Reds sent a formal request to the EFL to have their Carabao Cup clash with Arsenal postponed.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are scheduled to face the Gunners in the first leg of their semi-final tie on Thursday, but have been hit by a number of cases of Covid.
The club’s training ground was closed on Tuesday as a result of the outbreak, which has seen Klopp, Allison, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip all test positive.
The departures of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita to the Africa Cup of Nations have further depleted the Reds’ squad, leading to them submitting their request.
According to EFL rules, clubs can present their case for a postponement to league chiefs, but are expected to do everything in their power to ensure games go ahead as planned.
In addition, if teams are able to call upon a squad of 14 registered players, matches are expected to take place.
In a statement on Tuesday night, Liverpool insisted that there was “no prospect of the current situation improving ahead of Thursday’s fixture”.
As a result, the Reds claim they consider “it both prudent and reasonable to ask for the fixture to be rescheduled”.
Should Liverpool send their Under 23s to play Arsenal in the Carabao Cup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section…
Assistant manager Pep Lijnders was expected to lead a team to play Arsenal, but he also tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, putting the game in serious doubt.
But former England international Danny Mills, who won the League Cup with Middlesbrough in 2004, believes there is a solution.
Mills believes that the Reds should use their Under-23s squad to fulfil the fixture, as they did when Klopp and the first-team group took part in the 2019 Club World Cup.
“You can only call a game off if you’ve got so many cases of Covid. You have a squad of Under 23s that aren’t included in that 25-man squad,” he told talkSPORT.
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“Liverpool played them when they went off to play in the Club World Cup. So, they have the players available, they’ve got Under 23s who can play. Tough, throw them in.”
The Reds had been set to face Aston Villa in the quarter-final of the 2019/2020 Carabao Cup, but the first-team squad instead travelled to Qatar for the Club World Cup.
With Klopp in the Middle East, Liverpool sent their Under 23s to Villa Park for the Carabao Cup clash and they were hammered 5-0.
- Jurgen Klopp
- League Cup
- Liverpool FC
- Arsenal FC
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