More doubt over Liverpool's cl...


More doubt over Liverpool's clash with Arsenal as Lijnders tests positive for COVID

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Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of their EFL Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

It casts further doubt over tomorrow's first leg of the tie, with Liverpool having already requested a postponement due to a coronavirus outbreak at the club.

Lijnders stood in for boss Jurgen Klopp for Sunday's Premier League clash with Chelsea and Klopp is continuing to isolate.

Alisson, Roberto Firmino, and Joel Matip were all absent from the game at Stamford Bridge and a further round of testing found more cases within the first-team bubble, forcing the cancellation of yesterday's training session.

Thiago Alcantara, Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi, Nathaniel Phillips and Harvey Elliott are all injured with Naby Keita, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane all away at the African Cup of Nations.

"Liverpool Football Club can confirm Pepijn Lijnders has returned a suspected positive test for COVID-19, further impacting the club's preparations for Thursday's Carabao Cup tie with Arsenal," the Merseysiders confirmed in a statement.

"As an additional consequence, this morning's scheduled press conference to preview the fixture has been canceled.

"The assistant manager had been due to handle pre-match media duties at the AXA Training Centre in place of Jürgen Klopp, who is continuing to isolate having tested positive for the virus last week.

"However, Lijnders also recorded a positive test late on Tuesday evening, meaning he has now also gone into isolation.

"The 38-year-old had taken interim charge of Liverpool for the weekend draw at Chelsea in the absence of Klopp and had been set to continue at the helm at Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

"Lijnders' test result comes in addition to a number of suspected positive cases among players and football staff recorded earlier on Tuesday, which forced the cancellation of the day's scheduled training session.

"As a result of the outbreak and the suspension of preparations, as well as other illnesses and injuries recorded within the squad, the club submitted an application to the EFL for the postponement of Thursday's tie with Arsenal, with the news of Lijnders' positive result coming after the request was lodged.

"The outcome of this application is still pending."

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