Liverpool have formally requested to have Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Arsenal postponed after further cases of Covid-19 within the squad forced the cancellation of training on Tuesday.
Liverpool played Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea without manager Jurgen Klopp and three players – Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip – after they returned positive tests for coronavirus last week.
A further round of testing found more cases within the first-team bubble, forcing the cancellation of Tuesday afternoon’s scheduled training session and raising question marks over both Thursday’s match against Arsenal at the Emirates and Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Shrewsbury at Anfield.
The Covid outbreak within the squad comes at a time when Liverpool have lost Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane to Africa Cup of Nations duty, while Thiago Alcantara has been out with a thigh injury.
A statement issued by the club 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.”