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Liverpool set to play two games in just 24 hours as Carabao Cup fixture confirmed

The Reds have agreed to play their Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa the day before a Fifa Club World Cup game in Qatar.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
Image: Mike Egerton

LIVERPOOL ARE SET to play two games in the space of just two days after the club reached an agreement with the English Football League (EFL) regarding their Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa.

That game will go ahead as originally scheduled on Tuesday 17 December, the day before Liverpool play in the Fifa Club World Cup in Qatar, 4,000km away.

As a result, Liverpool will split their squad in two to fulfill the two fixtures.

The club had looked to arrange an alternative date for their Carabao Cup game, with manager Jurgen Klopp even threatening to quit the competition, but were unable to secure a suitable arrangement.

In a statement, Liverpool confirmed that they will now take the unusual move to play the games one day after another.

“Liverpool Football Club can confirm our Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at Aston Villa will take place on Tuesday December 17, 2019,” the statement read.

“As a result, we will be utilising two playing squads simultaneously, with one squad participating in the Fifa Club World Cup in Qatar and another in the Carabao Cup.

“The club would like to take this opportunity to underline that while this is not an ideal scenario, it is an outcome which was arrived at with the best interests of the competition, our fellow clubs and ourselves as the sole motivating factor.

“We would like to thank the EFL for their efforts to accommodate us and we can confirm alternative dates were discussed, but ultimately none were considered suitable without compromising the scheduling of the competition itself or placing an undue strain on our playing staff.”

It is anticpated that Liverpool will field a shadow side for the clash with Aston Villa, with the club’s primary focus on the Club World Cup. 

The EFL stated that they had been engaged in arranging solutions to such a scenario for “a number of months” with the club, with Liverpool aware of the possibility of a fixture clash, but that the agreement to play the fixture as scheduled came at Liverpool’s request.

“The EFL has been engaged in discussions with Liverpool for a number of months regarding the possibility of needing to find a suitable date for the Club to meet its commitments to the Carabao Cup, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup,” a statement read.

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“Having considered all possible scenarios, the EFL has now accepted a request from the Club to play the fixture on the scheduled date, during the designated week for the quarter-finals in the domestic fixture calendar, with Liverpool committing to fielding a team that is largely consistent with those that have participated in earlier rounds of this season’s competition.

“The players selected on the teamsheet must meet the competition’s selection requirements, which are outlined in the competition’s rules with, Regulation 6.5 stating: “Each Club shall play its full available strength in and during all Cup Competition matches, unless some satisfactory reason is given.”

“The EFL’s overwhelming priority is to maintain the integrity of the Carabao Cup and the decision taken is intended to protect the best interests of a competition that attracts millions of viewers at home and abroad with the final broadcast in more than 130 territories worldwide.

“It is also the best decision in minimising the impact of rescheduling the final stages of the competition on those Clubs who remain in the Carabao Cup and the knock-on effect this would have in both the FA Cup and the Premier League.”

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