EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool fear they will be unable to play their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal as squad Covid outbreak causes more problems ahead of Thursday’s trip to London
- Liverpool fear they will be unable to play their Carabao Cup clash at Arsenal
- The growing Covid outbreak has put Thursday night’s semi-final first leg at risk
- Manager Jurgen Klopp and three first-team players tested positive last week
- Covid continues to rip through the Premier League, causing scheduling havoc
Premier League club Liverpool fear they will be unable to play Thursday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal due to a Covid outbreak in their squad.
Manager Jurgen Klopp tested positive last week and was forced to miss Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea while goalkeeper Alisson, defender Joel Matip and striker Roberto Firmino also returned suspected positive tests.
Covid issues have caused some Premier League training grounds to shut in recent weeks but Sportsmail understands Liverpool’s base at Kirkby is still open.
Liverpool fear they will be unable to play their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal
Manager Jurgen Klopp tested positive for Covid last week and missed the draw at Chelsea
Liverpool’s squad is already depleted by the absences of Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Thiago Alcantara is also out injured with a hip problem while Takumi Minamino missed the Chelsea game with a muscle issue.
The Reds were also briefly without Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Thiago because of Covid at the start of December.
Van Dijk, Fabinho and Jones all rejoined the squad for training on Christmas Eve after their Covid-19 isolation came to an end.
All three were out since missing the 3-1 win over Newcastle on December 16 having tested positive and they returned to the squad for last week’s defeat at Leicester.
Alisson (left) and Roberto Firmino (right) both returned suspected positive tests last week
Liverpool have already had one match postponed over the festive period because of Covid cases. However, on that occasion, it was an outbreak and injuries at Leeds that forced the Boxing Day game to be called off.
Southampton’s clash with Newcastle became the 18th Premier League game to be called off because of a Covid outbreak last week, as clubs continue to row over whether injuries can be included in the number of players available.
There was some positive news on Monday though when the Premier League announced the number of new Covid cases in the top flight fell for the first time in eight weeks, with 94 in the latest round of results.
A total of 14,250 tests were carried out on players and club staff between December 27 and January 2, and the 94 new positives were down on the previous week’s record of 103.
More to follow.