Liverpool will be without a manager for the Arsenal game on Thursday due to another Covid outbreak.
LIVERPOOL face a fresh dilemma after assistant manager Pep Lijnders tested positive for Covid, leaving the Premier League title-contenders without a manager for the Arsenal game on Thursday, January 6.
38-year-old Pep Lijnders joins Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who missed his side’s 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Sunday, January 2, a game that saw Lijnders take charge from the dugout, in having to self-isolate.
This latest outbreak at the club means Liverpool are without Thiago Alcantara, Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi, Nat Phillips and Harvey Elliott through injury on top of Alisson, Firmino and Matip’s enforced absence due to Covid. The side are now also without Naby Keita, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, who all flew out to Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations following the game at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Reds assistant manager was due to lead today’s (January 5) pre-match press conference ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with Arsenal tomorrow, however, he is now self-isolating.
Liverpool now face the prospect of having no recognised manager on the touchline for a game they desperately want called off.
Yesterday, the club submitted a request to the EFL to have the game postponed due to the virus outbreak at the club.
The club statement read: “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.”
The EFL confirmed the receipt of Liverpool’s request at the time and were said to be assessing the situation – which has now got a little worse for the Anfield club.
In a statement, the governing body said: “The League has this evening received a request from Liverpool FC to postpone Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg versus Arsenal FC which will now be considered in accordance with the competition rules as set out at the start of the season alongside information submitted by the Club.
“We will look to confirm the League’s position as soon as possible once the circumstances have been fully reviewed.”
The club also confirmed that the first-team training facilities at AXA Training Centre have been temporarily closed due to a rapidly growing number of suspected positive COVID-19 cases.
The first-team training facilities at AXA Training Centre have been temporarily closed due to a rapidly growing number of suspected positive COVID-19 cases.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 5, 2022
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