Arsenal v Liverpool League Cup Covid confusion – Two legs or one?

If Arsenal are to win the Carabao Cup they will have to do it the hard way, first beating Liverpool, then a London Derby with either Chelsea or Spurs.

It’s still to be confirmed if we are one or two games away from a trip to Wembley after the Premiership held a meeting on Monday.

Representives of the 20 clubs decided on a Zoom call that the Xmas schedule would go ahead despite 6 fixtures postponed last weekend due to COVID.

The consensus is that if teams can field 13 players, they are safe to play.

Yet, they could be asking the FA and EFL for a favour.

Struggling to find dates to rearrange the cancelled fixtures (a number that is expected to increase) the PL are asking for Cup replays and the two-legged League Cup semifinal to be discarded to make up some space in the calendar.

Jurgen Klopp told the BBC: “I think it would be better with one game absolutely, but obviously what I say is not too important,”

“If there are two games, then we will play two games. But it would be helpful if there was only one, true.

“If the draw has us at Arsenal, I’m fine with that – we play there and see who is better and go for it.”

The EFL are likely to say ‘no’, for the same reason the Prem and UEFA have rules for domestic football to not take place on the same night as a European tie …… money!

Why should the Football League pass up on the payday of two 2-legged semi-Finals to help out an organization who wouldn’t do the same if the roles were reversed?

From a selfish point of view, we have more chance of beating Liverpool in a one-off fixture, compared to a tie spread over 2 legs.

Jurgen Klopp might continue his policy of playing the youngsters in the cup, but could bring the big hitters back for Anfield if things don’t go well at the Emirates.

Regardless he won’t have Salah or Mane to call upon as they will be at the African Nations Cup.

If it’s decided the final 4 of the Cup will be decided by a one-off game, will that be held at our ground based on us being drawn first or will the tie be switched to a neutral venue?

The Gunners need luck to win silverware and if there’s a way, we can avoid a trip to Merseyside that can only help us.

Morally though clubs can’t have it both ways. They either think it’s safe to play or it’s not.

It can’t be a convenient excuse to reduce a fixture list.

Clubs seem to want the best of both worlds.

They want the revenue of playing lots over Xmas, but then want to complain about their players welfare.

They complain about no room in the calendar, but in the case of an Aston Villa or Spurs could play games in hand on Champions League or Europa League nights. But they won’t because UEFA are greedy and want all eyes on their product only.

They then have the nerve to say how the players’ welfare is a priority.

This the same governing body who punished Spurs for having COVID!

How many other workplaces would you get punished for getting the virus?

Would you rather face Liverpool in a straight knock out tie or over two legs?

Should Football even be going on while the UK are putting restrictions on other sectors?

Be kind in the Comments

Dan Smith

Tags Covid

13 Comments

  1. PJ-SA says:

    Straight knockout rather than 2 legs.

    Yes football should continue, if you are cautious then stay at home and don’t leave. Simple

  2. fairfan says:

    Arsenal has had an incredibly lucky run in the draw in the Carabao cup.
    WBA kids. Away.
    Wimbledon AFC 57 places below us. Home
    Leeds. Home
    Notts Forest 42 places below us. Home.
    A one off encounter v Liverpool at home with out having to go to Anfield would continue Arsenals incredible jammy luck in the Cup.
    Liverpool don’t even want to be in this competition so they are pepared to sacrifice home ground to prioritise other comps.
    And Salah and Mane are unavailable(at this stage the AFCONS are still on).
    Chelsea are decimated while Spurs have a long backlog of games. Arsenal must be considered favourite to win the cup now
    Lucky Arsenal for sure.

    1. PJ-SA says:

      I think it would be arrogant to consider us favourites when Chelsea and Liverpool are still in the comp….have you looked at the EPL log?

    2. John63 says:

      fairfan – it seems a bit ambitious to me to call this young team of ours which are still very up and down in their performances “favorites”. We have a chance, for sure, if we play our very best game. But anything less than our best game and we might very well get knocked out by a Liverpool reserve team.

    3. fairfan says:

      Sunderland 42 places below us not Forest.

  3. John63 says:

    One leg is always better IMO for the weaker team, which is us.
    In one game, as the PL often shows, anything can happen. Over two games it is harder for the weaker team to “surprise” the better team.

    Football should go on and life should go on IMO. Clearly, if there is a team that has significantly more positive cases than their opponent AND is hardly capable of fielding a starting 11 it should be considered to postpone that game. This should preferably be a mathematical formula like “If less than 15 fit players available then postpone” or something like that which makes more sense. But postponing for a virus that will likely never go away seems pointles.

  4. gotanidea says:

    I agree with Klopp, one game is better. I’m sure our B team can hold off Liverpool’s

  5. Wayne says:

    Why should the rules of the competition change now to accommodate Tottenham and Liverpool. They’re in more different cup competitions than Arsenal , which, is taking a toll on their squads, but, that’s not Arsenal fault or concern. Arsenal should not agree to the one legged knock out game proposal by Klopp and Conte. The more games they play weekly, it’s to Arsenal advantage in the premier league. At the start of the season, Arsenal lost their first three games conceding 9 goals and not scoring , with key players missing games from covid to injury issues and there was no sympathy. If this competition is making their match schedule too hectic, they either forfeit or play weaken squads and rest their star players, but,either way, Arsenal should not support the sudden change proposal of Klopp and Conte.

    1. Arsenal2win says:

      Right behind u Wayne, if we could play against Chelsea & City with a depleted squad, without the FA’s consideration. It will biase 2 consider others now.

  6. FingersFurnell says:

    All things being equal two games for me, being a supporter my only role is to watch Arsenal as often as possible, win lose or draw, it’s as simple as that

    By the way I am a bit concerned about Klopp, I just saw his rant on Sky Sports News after last night’s game, it was supposed to be on this subject but he was frothing at the mouth about playing Boxing Day and the 28th, which has been scheduled from the off, nothing to do with COVID or League Cup Semi(s)

    When he first came in I liked him, never considered Mourinho the “breath of fresh air” that the media did for obvious reasons but I did Klopp as a footy fan, he now seems to be turning into Fergie at his worst in my opinion

  7. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    one game would be favoured, especially if we could get the kind of performance that occurred the last time our “B” sides faced-off in a Cup competition, which included an absolute screamer from Willock…for all those who seem hellbent on slagging off Klopp at every opportunity, give your head a shake, as this individual would have been the perfect post-Wenger hire and there’s no doubt in my mind that we would be challenging for major trophies if we had displayed some semblance of foresight

    1. Daniel Smith says:

      We lost that game so no wouldn’t want that performance

  8. GunnerSince2004 says:

    Even though Liverpool is losing Salah, Mane and Keita to AFCON, they can still clobber us if they want to as by the 3rd/4th of Jan most of their other first teamers will be available for selection.

    Alisson back in goal.

    VVD back from Covid isolation to be partnered with Gomez or Konate.

    TAA is available while Robertson would have served his 3 match ban by then.

    Thiago and Fabino will be back from Covid isolation to add to Henderson, Ox and Milner who are available for selection.

    Upfront, Firminho, Jota and Takumi are capable of doing a job in the absence of Mane and Salah as witnessed in the Leicester QF game.

    I’m not saying Klopp will field the strongest team available to him but at the rate that EPL games are being postponed he might as well as his players will get enough rest before this Cup game, which could possibly be one leg by the way.

    I’m just saying let’s not be cocky with Liverpool. Remember in October 2019 when our first team lost to their 3rd team in this same cup after we had led 4-2 and 5-3 at some point only to lose 5-4 on penalties.

    The loss of Auba and Pepe to AFCON may not seem a big issue to some fans as one is not in form while the other rarely plays these days anyway but it greatly affects our depth. To be fair Pepe would have probably started this Cup game given his last performance.

    Speaking of depth we’re also losing Partey and Elneny who are important to the team as one is a starter in midfield and the other is a utility player with experience.

    The reason why I have to bang on about us losing these 4 players to AFCON is because in January we play Man City, Liverpool (possibly twice) and Tottenham plus other games in and around those games. Ivory Coast (Pepe), Ghana (Partey) and Egypt (Elneny) usually reach the latter stages of AFCON so that means a prolonged absence into February for these players. Auba (Gabon) could come back only to be sold, who knows.

    So unless we have players coming in right at the beginning of the transfer window, it’s gonna be a muddy January.

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