Liverpool vs Arsenal: Jurgen Klopp believes one-leg Carabao Cup semi-final would help with congestion

The first leg of their semi-final against Arsenal was postponed last week due to false Covid cases

Carl Markham
Wednesday 12 January 2022 22:30
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wanted a one-off semi-final against Arsenal
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wanted a one-off semi-final against Arsenal

Liverpool did not ask for their Carabao Cup semi-final to be reduced to a one-off game but manager Jurgen Klopp believes a solution has to be found in future to reduce fixture congestion.

When his side were drawn against Arsenal in the last four Klopp said he would happily concede home advantage and play a single tie at the Emirates Stadium.

The cancellation last week of what would have been the first leg due to the 48-hour closure of Liverpool’s first-team training ground due to a slew of false positive Covid results has seen the order of the ties now flipped but only added to the chaos which is currently affecting the programme.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would prefer to see an end to two-legged Carabao Cup semi-finals (Mike Egerton/PA)

Klopp believes it would be helpful to permanently return to last season’s single-match semi-final but does not think the EFL will be keen.

“Covid is around and with the amount of fixtures we have it is really tricky to fit them all in so a second semi-final is actually only good for one thing – it’s for the EFL probably from a financial point of view,” he said.

“But we should or could find a solution in the future, not for this year obviously because we didn’t ask for it, no, just in general.

“I think all top-class people in football, especially the coaches, agree that we have to reduce the amount of games, in the long-term definitely.

A second semi-final is actually only good for one thing - it's for the EFL probably from a financial point of view

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

“But a lot of people around try to do it the other way and that will not lead in the right direction definitely. It will not be the right outcome.

“So at one point we have to talk about these things but not for this game: we have two semi-finals and we are happy and hopeful that we can play both and that’s what we want to do.”

The League Cup has been designated for Liverpool’s second-choice goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher but Klopp admits the period of Covid-enforced inactivity for Alisson Becker – who has not played since December 28 – means the Brazil international could be drafted in for this game.

“Caoimhin is the goalkeeper for this competition but there is a chance that Ali will play tomorrow,” added the manager.

“I think he needs a game now just because of the situation with Covid and everything when he was out.

“We need to make sure that the boys have as much rhythm as they can get.”

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