Pep Lijnders tests positive for Covid-19 as doubts grow over Arsenal vs Liverpool Carabao Cup tie

Lijnders took charge of Liverpool’s draw against Chelsea on Sunday in the absence of Jurgen Klopp but has now tested positive for Covid-19

Jamie Braidwood
Wednesday 05 January 2022 09:41
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FILE: Liverpool request postponement of Carabao Cup semi amid Covid cases

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of his side’s Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg against Arsenal on Thursday, the club have confirmed.

It comes after Liverpool made a formal request to the EFL for the tie at the Emirates Stadium to be postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak among players and staff.

Lijnders was set to take charge of the fixture, with manager Jurgen Klopp still in isolation following his positive test last week, but the Dutchman returned a positive test on Tuesday evening.

Liverpool’s assistant manager was due to give a press conference on Wednesday morning ahead of the semi-final first-leg but that has now been cancelled.

The club’s Kirkby training ground was closed on Tuesday amid more suspected positive cases in the Liverpool camp. As well as Klopp, Alisson, Roberto Firmino, Joel Matip and three members of staff missed the trip to Stamford Bridge after returning positive tests.

Other injuries and illnesses in the squad, combined with the absence of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita following their departure to the Africa Cup of Nations, left Liverpool struggling to pull a team together ahead for Thursday’s match.

The club said they are still awaiting the EFL’s decision on whether the tie will go ahead.

In a statement on Tuesday, before Lijnders’ positive test had been recorded, the EFL said: “We will look to confirm the League’s position as soon as possible once the circumstances have been fully reviewed.”

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