Arsenal vs Liverpool
| Thursday, January 20th |
Carabao Cup | The Emirates
7:45PM BST / 2:45PM EST
After an unseemly amount of drama given the status of the competition — and provided The Virus doesn’t have further say in the next 24 hours — the second leg of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup semi-final with Arsenal will finally take place tomorrow night.
It is unclear exactly which players Mikel Arteta will have available given the ravages of covid and injury, but it will certainly be a more complete squad than was available at the weekend, when the Gunners postponed the North London Derby.
At any rate, this is Liverpool’s chance to partake in their first non-European cup final under Jürgen Klopp, and following the 0-0 draw at Anfield last week, a win, any win, in any manner, is what’s needed tomorrow to make it happen.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Jones; Minamino, Firmino, Jota
With just one more game to go until the international break, one expects Jürgen Klopp to run out his best possible squad in the coming matches, including Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson at fullback, with one of Joël Matip and Ibrahima Konaté joining Virgil van Dijk in central defense.
Harvey Elliott is back in training but remains weeks away from competitive participation, Naby Keïta is still in Cameroon, and both Thiago and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss out with injury, which means a combination of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones and James Milner will feature in midfield.
Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah have both qualified for the knockout stages of the African Cup of Nations, and Divock Origi remains sidelined with an injury, so the stage is set for Takumi Minamino to join Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota up top again tomorrow.
What the Managers Said
Pep Lijnders: “We are going to try with everything we have to reach Wembley, to compete there. It’s clear we need to go there and win but hopefully we can create a special game.”
Mikel Arteta: “We’re going to put out the strongest team that we can with only one intention; after the final whistle, we are at Wembley and playing in the final..“
Referee: Michael Oliver?
Assistant referees: ??
Fourth official: ???
Kickoff is set for 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.