Liverpool host Arsenal in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday as the Gunners look to bounce back from the disappointment of their FA Cup elimination at the hands of Nottingham Forest last Sunday.
This game is the rescheduled one after the original date was postponed after a raft of COVID-19 cases saw Liverpool’s squad depleted and their training ground closed. Many of those cases were supposedly false positives, however, meaning that Jurgen Klopp will have several of his first-choice players back available again.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have also had a number of COVID-19 cases in their squad, with Granit Xhaka the latest to test positive at the weekend. When you add in various other injury problems and players absent due to the African Cup of Nations, both teams’ squads are looking a little thin.
Between them, the clubs have seven players on international duty in Africa, as well as a number of other injury concerns. Liverpool will be missing Harvey Elliott, Divock Origi, Thiago Alcantara and Nat Phillips due to injury, while for the visitors, Emile Smith-Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu are doubts.
The prize for the victors over the two legs is, of course, a place in the final against Chelsea who beat Tottenham Hotspur with 3-0 Agg in both legs.
In the two sides’ Premier League meeting earlier this season, Liverpool well and truly got the upper hand, winning 4-0, but Arsenal did knock them out of this very competition last year.
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