Liverpool close training ground due to further Covid-19 positives with Arsenal semi-final in doubt

Decision on postponement of Thursday’s first leg at the Emirates pending

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Wednesday 05 January 2022 11:02
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<p>Liverpool’s AXA Training Centre headquarters in Kirkby</p>

Liverpool’s AXA Training Centre headquarters in Kirkby

Liverpool have closed their training ground following further postive Covid-19 tests within their first team group, leaving their Carabao Cup trip to Arsenal on the brink of postponement.

Assistant manager Pep Lijnders was confirmed as the latest member of staff that would miss Thursday evening's semi-final first leg at the Emirates, with manager Jurgen Klopp already in isolation.

Liverpool have since confirmed that more suspected positive cases in addition to Lijnders emerged among players and staff on Wednesday morning.

It is understood that the AXA Centre in Kirkby will be closed for at least the next 48 hours in an effort to stop the virus' spread within the squad.

Liverpool have already applied to the competition's organisers, the EFL, to postpone Thursday's first leg of the semi-final against Arsenal due to player availability issues, linked to illness and injury.

Alisson, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino were all missing from Sunday's 2-2 Premier League draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after suspected positive tests.

Thiago Alcantara, Divock Origi and Harvey Elliott are among the injury absentees, while Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Naby Keita have left to report for international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.

EFL rules states that teams who have at least 14 players available - including a goalkeeper - will be expected to fulfill fixtures. A decision on the postponement of Thursday's first leg is still pending.

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