Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders tested positive for Covid-19, casting further doubts on Thursday’s Carabao Cup game against Arsenal.
Lijnders served as Liverpool’s interim manager while Jurgen Klopp is in solitary confinement and was scheduled to host a press conference on Wednesday morning in the Liverpool manager’s absence.
That press conference was canceled, with Liverpool confirming Lijnders had returned a positive test.
Liverpool have formally asked to postpone Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal after further Covid-19 cases within the team forced training to be canceled on Tuesday.
A Liverpool statement on Wednesday said: “Liverpool Football Club can confirm that Pepijn Lijnders has returned a suspected positive test for COVID-19, further influencing the club’s preparations for Thursday’s Carabao Cup game with Arsenal.
“As a further consequence, the press conference scheduled this morning for the preview of the match has been canceled.
“The assistant coach should have been handling pre-match media duties at the AXA Training Center in place of Jürgen Klopp, who he is continuing to isolate after testing positive for the virus last week.
“However, Lijnders also recorded a positive test late on Tuesday evening which means he has now also gone into solitary confinement.
The 38-year-old had taken the interim lead of Liverpool for the weekend draw at Chelsea in Klopp’s absence and was scheduled to continue at the helm of Emirates Stadium on Thursday.
“The result of Lijnders’ test adds to a series of suspected positive cases among players and football staff recorded last Tuesday, which forced the cancellation of the scheduled training session of the day.
“Following the epidemic and the suspension of preparations, as well as other illnesses and injuries recorded within the squad, the club has applied to the EFL for the postponement of Thursday’s match with Arsenal, with the news of the result positive from Lijnders following the submission of the application.
“The outcome of this request is still pending.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and three players – Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip – were forced to miss Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea after testing positive.
Liverpool were without a total of nine players for the match at Chelsea due to illness and injury, and subsequently lost Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane in the Africa Cup of Nations.
The postponement request will also raise a question about Sunday’s FA Cup third round match at home against Shrewsbury.
The return of the Carabao Cup semi-final to Anfield is scheduled for January 13.
Which Premier League matches have been canceled?
Brighton-Tottenham – Sunday 12 December
Brentford vs Man Utd – Tuesday, December 14th
Burnley v Watford – Wednesday 15 December
Leicester vs Tottenham – Thursday 16 December
Man Utd vs Brighton – Saturday 18 December
Southampton vs Brentford – Saturday 18 December
Watford vs Crystal Palace – Saturday 18 December
West Ham vs Norwich – Saturday 18 December
Aston Villa vs Burnley – Saturday 18 December
Everton-Leicester – Sunday 19 December
Liverpool-Leeds – Sunday 26 December
Wolves versus Watford – Sunday 26 December
Burnley-Everton – Sunday 26 December
Leeds-Aston Villa – Tuesday December 28th
Arsenal vs Lupi – Tuesday December 28th
Everton vs Newcastle – Thursday 30 December
Southampton-Newcastle – Sunday 2 January
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