Liverpool to use two squads for two games in 24 hours
courtesy of RTE
Liverpool’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa has been fixed for 17 December – just 24 hours before the Reds play in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.
The club will field two entirely different squads to cope with the unique challenge of playing two games, in two separate competitions, in the space of 24 hours.
“Liverpool Football Club can confirm our Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at Aston Villa will take place on Tuesday December 17, 2019,” the club said in a statement.
“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.”
Manager Jurgen Klopp had threatened to quit the Carabao Cup if the EFL did not accommodate his team’s packed fixture schedule.
The Champions League holders beat Arsenal on penalties in the last round of the competition, Corkman Caoimhin Kelleher making a match-winning save in the shootout, but celebrations were overshadowed by the prospect of a major festive pile-up.
“FIFA told us the Club World Cup will be there (Qatar) and we have to come there and we will do,” said Klopp at the time.
“The Premier League tells us we have to play in the Premier League, which we do obviously. The Carabao Cup, if they don’t find an appropriate place for us – not 3am on Christmas Day – then we don’t play it.
“If you have a fixture list where one team cannot be part of all the games, then you have to think about the fixture list.
“Hopefully it starts now. I really think that’s fair, and this problem is obvious now.”