Over the weekend, Liverpool were forced to field a weakened side against Chelsea in the Premier League with Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, and Joël Matip forced into isolation along with manager Jürgen Klopp after returning positive Covid tests.
The first team trio and manager were also expected to at least miss Thursday’s first round of the League Cup semi-final against Arsenal as a result, but now the situation at has worsened and the club have officially requested for the game be postponed.
Following earlier news Liverpool’s second recent outbreak—after Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Thiago, and Curtis Jones were out over Christmas—had grown, The Times’ Paul Joyce reports the club have contacted the EFL seeking to delay the first leg.
That the request comes with two days yet to go before the match is scheduled to kick off suggests that the situation at Liverpool is likely to be especially serious. Africa Cup of Nations absences will have further complicated the situation for the Reds.
Before going into isolation himself, manager Jürgen Klopp had described the recent spread of Covid at the club as like a lottery, with players and staff arriving each day and awaiting the results and new positives being returned with growing regularity.
The EFL will now have to decide whether they will attempt to force Liverpool to play in spite of the situation, potentially undermining the integrity of the competition, or if they’re willing to postpone the match or perhaps even reduce the tie to a single leg.