POSTPONED: Liverpool v Arsenal semi-final first leg switched
Liverpool will not face Arsenal on Thursday in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg as the EFL confirmed the game is postponed.
Jürgen Klopp's side have shut down their training ground due to players and staff isolating, including Klopp and his assistant Pep Lijnders, who took charge of Sunday's draw with Chelsea
As a result, the EFL have decided to switch the two legs, with Anfield playing host to the first leg instead of the second. The date of that game remains 13th January with kick off at 7.45pm.
The Emirates Stadium will now be the venue for the second leg instead of the first, and will now take place on 20th January.
An EFL statement read: "The first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool scheduled for Thursday 6 January 2022 has been postponed following a formal request by Liverpool due to a severe outbreak of COVID infections amongst their management and playing staff.
"The EFL has been in regular dialogue with the Club over the past 48 hours in an attempt to understand whether the tie could proceed but significant developments over this period have resulted in the Club reporting an ever-increasing number of COVID cases.
"Having now fully reviewed the circumstances involved, the League has accepted Liverpool’s request after determining, albeit reluctantly, that a postponement was the only option as the Club looks to mitigate against the further risk of infection amongst its squad and staff alongside ensuring public health was protected by not travelling from Liverpool to London.
"As a result of the postponement the order of the ties has now changed with the first of the two-legs to take place at Anfield on 13 January 2022 at 7.45pm. The rearranged game (now the 2nd leg) is scheduled to be played at the Emirates on 20 January 2022 at 7.45pm. "
On their website, Liverpool posted a statement of their own confirming the EFL's decision to postpone the game.
It read: "The club’s submission to have the fixture rescheduled has been approved by the EFL due to the increasing number of suspected positive COVID-19 cases among players and staff.
"The latest round of testing on Tuesday returned a significant number of positives, including Pepijn Lijnders, who was due to take charge of the Reds at Emirates Stadium.
"The outbreak has left Liverpool without a sufficient number of players and staff to fulfil the contest as originally scheduled.
"As a result, the first leg of the last-four encounter will now be played at Anfield on Thursday January 13, kick-off 7.45pm GMT. The return will take place at Emirates Stadium on Thursday January 20, also getting under way at 7.45pm.
"Tickets purchased for this match will remain valid for the new fixture date. The club will email all supporters who have purchased a ticket with details on refunds for those unable to attend the rescheduled date. Please don’t contact ticketing or fan services on this matter.
"Liverpool Football Club would like to place on record its thanks to the EFL and Arsenal for their understanding, as well as supporters of both clubs, as we continue to navigate through this challenging period."
Liverpool's next game is due to be Sunday's FA Cup Third Round tie with Shrewsbury Town, however, that will now be in question due to this game's postponement.
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