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Liverpool request Arsenal postponement and confirm training cancelled

Liverpool have confirmed that they have formally requested a postponement of Thursday’s League Cup semi-final first-leg at Arsenal due to new covid cases.

The Reds, already without Roberto Firmino, Alisson and Joel Matip – plus manager Jurgen Klopp – discovered a number of new cases on Tuesday.

Some reports earlier on Tuesday had suggested that all the club’s goalkeepers have tested positive, which is likely a reason for postponing the match.

When the club revealed that Klopp had tested positive, they added that “three backroom staff members” had also returned positive results.

Goalkeeper coaches John Achterberg, Claudio Taffarel and Jack Robinson were all missing from the trip to Chelsea, with under-23s’ goalkeeper coach Mark Morris instead in attendance at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool FC statement:

Liverpool Football Club can confirm an application has been submitted for the postponement of Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final, first-leg tie with Arsenal due to an escalating number of suspected positive COVID-19 cases and player availability.

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.

Liverpool FC will offer a further update on the application process, as well as the resumption of training, in due course.

Given that new cases would require seven days isolation, you can assume that Liverpool will also request Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Shrewsbury Town at Anfield be postponed also.

Liverpool are also without Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita due to the AFCON, plus Thiago, Harvey Elliott, Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi and Nat Phillips due to injuries.

The Football League confirmed the request on Tuesday evening, and said: “We will look to confirm the League’s position as soon as possible once the circumstances have been fully reviewed.”