Liverpool ask for postponement in Carabao Cup semifinal vs. Arsenal due to COVID-19, injury

Liverpool have formally requested the postponement of Thursday's Carabao Cup semifinal first-leg tie against Arsenal due to a further outbreak of COVID-19 cases at the club's training complex, which led to the cancellation of first-team training on Tuesday.

Manager Jurgen Klopp and three senior players -- Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip -- are still in isolation after missing Sunday's Premier League game against Chelsea due to positive COVID-19 test results and additional cases, combined with injury issues, forced the club to speak to the English Football League (EFL) on Tuesday in an effort to secure the postponement of Thursday's tie at the Emirates.

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The club then released a statement on Wednesday to say that they were cancelling their pre-match news conference after assistant manager Pep Lijnders, who had taken interim control of the team while Klopp had to isolate, has tested positive for COVID-19. A further statement that day also announced that they were closing down the first team training facility. The club didn't say how long the facility would be closed but it is likely to be for the next 48 hours at least.

Liverpool added that they didn't have details of any additional COVID-19 cases in the squad or an update on their request to postpone the game against Arsenal.

In addition to the issues with illness and injury, Liverpool are also without Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, who have all now reported for international duty with the respective countries at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

There are a number of possibilities open to the EFL in regards to a postponement, including the possibility of re-staging the first-leg at a later date or reducing the tie to a one-off fixture rather than play it over two legs.

If the tie cannot be played to the EFL's satisfaction, there is also the remote prospect of Arsenal being awarded a bye to the final.

Liverpool, who saw their Premier League game on Boxing Day postponed because of COVID-19 in the Leeds United camp, have applied for the Arsenal game to be postponed and are now awaiting a response from the EFL.

Liverpool are due to host the second-leg of the semifinal at Anfield on Jan. 13.