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Arsenal semi-final in doubt as Liverpool suffer further Covid cases

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Liverpool are reported to have cancelled their training session two days before the League Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal, due to further concerns over COVID-19.

The Reds are due to head to the Emirates for the first leg of their semi-final on Thursday night, but that is now in doubt according to the Merseyside press.

Jurgen Klopp is already in isolation along with Alisson, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino, with Pepijn Lijnders standing in for the manager for Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea.

It is far from ideal for Liverpool, but there had been no suggestion that the club would push for the postponement of that Premier League game.

However, according to The Athletic‘s James Pearce among others, there are now fears the League Cup tie will be called off.

Pearce reports that there have been “further positive COVID-19 tests” within the first-team squad, with a scheduled training session having been cancelled on Tuesday.

Rumours that Kirkby has been closed are as yet unfounded, though, and Pearce adds that “no formal application has been put in to postpone the game.”

“As it stands the match remains on,” he writes, “although it is believed discussions have taken place between Liverpool and the EFL.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 2, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeping coach Mark Morris (C) with goalkeepers Marcelo Pitaluga (L) and Adrián San Miguel del Castillo (R) during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Along with Klopp, three staff members tested positive ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge, and with under-23s goalkeeping coach Mark Morris taking sessions, it could be deduced that any of John Achterberg, Claudio Taffarel and Jack Robinson could be affected.

There are rumours that as many as 14 positive tests emerged on Tuesday morning, which would almost certainly lead to the semi-final being postponed.

That is as yet unconfirmed, and as it stands Lijnders is due to speak to the media on Wednesday morning in his pre-match press conference.

If the Arsenal game is off, the visit of Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Sunday will almost certainly be postponed too.

Where these cup games would fit into the calendar is unclear, with Liverpool also required to reschedule their home clash with Leeds in the league.

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