Liverpool assistant Lijnders tests positive for Covid-19 with Arsenal tie in doubt

EFL yet to decide if Thursday night’s League Cup semi-final first leg will be postponed

Liverpool's assistant manager, Pepijn Lijnders, is the latest member of Jürgen Klopp's staff to test positive for Covid-19 and is in isolation.

Lijnders, who has been in interim charge of the first team while Klopp isolates after a positive test, received the result late on Tuesday night. The positive test result was received after Liverpool had requested the postponement of their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Arsenal on Thursday on the grounds of player availability and an escalating Covid outbreak.

The EFL has yet to decide whether to grant Liverpool’s request for a postponement. The club has cancelled its scheduled pre-match press conference on Wednesday, which was due to be taken by Lijnders, and have temporarily closed their first-team training facilities.

The club said that was because of “a rapidly growing number of suspected positive Covid-19 cases” and that the decision had been made after consultation with the relevant public health authority.

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The club want the Arsenal match to be postponed after they cancelled a planned training session on Tuesday in response to a rising number of positive tests, other illnesses and injuries. Nine Liverpool players were missing at Chelsea last Sunday, and Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Naby Keïta have subsequently reported for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Liverpool said on Wednesday: “With no prospect of the current situation improving ahead of Thursday’s fixture and the potential for it to worsen, the club considers it both prudent and reasonable to ask for the fixture to be rescheduled.” - Guardian