Arsenal optimistic Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Liverpool will go ahead

·2 min read

Arsenal are optimistic their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Liverpool will go ahead as planned on Thursday night.

The Gunners successfully appealed to the Premier League to have Sunday’s north London derby away to Tottenham called off in the absence of a number of players.

Injuries, suspension, coronavirus cases and losing players to the Africa Cup of Nations saw Mikel Arteta’s ranks depleted enough for the league to postpone their scheduled fixture.

Liverpool and Arsenal played out a goalless draw in the first leg at Anfield last week.
Liverpool and Arsenal played out a goalless draw in the first leg at Anfield last week (Peter Byrne/PA)

However, the PA news agency understands there have been no additional Covid-19 cases in the past two days and a couple of players are now likely to be fit following short-term injury problems.

The rules for the Carabao Cup, governed by the EFL rather than the Premier League, also offer a wider scope to those players who are deemed to be available for the competition.

The first leg finished goalless at Anfield last week, with Granit Xhaka sent off in the first-half for the visitors.

The match at the Emirates Stadium should have been the first of the two-legged semi-final but it was rearranged after a number of positive coronavirus cases for the Reds.

Chelsea await the winners of Thursday’s tie in the final, scheduled to take place at Wembley on February 27.

Arsenal also confirmed the termination of Sead Kolasinac’s contract at the Emirates Stadium, with the Bosnia and Herzegovina international signing an 18-month deal with Marseille hours later.

The 28-year-old joined the Gunners in 2017, playing 118 times across all competitions and winning the FA Cup in 2020.

He spent the second half of last season on loan at previous club Schalke but has become the latest Arsenal player to have the last months of his contract torn up to allow him to move on.