The English Football League (EFL) have confirmed that the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday has been postponed amid a fresh coronavirus outbreak within the Liverpool squad.
Arsenal were scheduled to host the Reds at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow, but the latter made a request for postponement yesterday, citing further positive tests among players and coaching staff.
After a gap of nearly 18 hours, the EFL have officially confirmed the rescheduling of the semi-final tie. The first leg will now be played at Anfield on January 13 with the return leg in north London a week later.
The news will come as a huge disappointment for the Gunners. They had an excellent chance to beat the Reds, who were missing key players with injuries and African Cup of Nations duty.
The Merseyside outfit could welcome a few players from injuries and Covid-19 next week, but the Gunners should still be optimistic about their chances of beating the Reds across two legs.
They produced a fantastic first-half showing against Manchester City lately. The Cityzens were outplayed in the opening half where they registered zero shots on target.
The result eventually did not go in their favour (2-1 loss) amid some controversial refereeing decisions, but on a whole, it was a huge improvement on their recent displays against City.
Two postponements in as many weeks are far from ideal with the Gunners’ recent upturn in form. The Gunners will now focus on their FA Cup third round tie at Nottingham Forest.
They travel to City Ground for the Sunday afternoon clash. The Gunners boss could be tempted to make multiple changes with the view to the first leg at Anfield four days later.
The club will have a big boost for the Merseyside trip. Gabriel Magalhaes will now serve his one game domestic suspension in the FA Cup tie rather than the semi-final first leg.