Liverpool to play Carabao Cup quarter-final tie one day before FIFA Club World Cup match
The Carabao Cup match between Aston Villa and Liverpool will be played on the originally scheduled date of 17 December 2019.
Liverpool will play their Carabao Cup quarter-final match against Aston Villa on 17 December at 20:45 CET, 19:45 local time, the day before their FIFA Club World Cup semi-final in Qatar (opponents yet to be confirmed). This decision brings to an end a long-running saga between the club and the English Football League as to how to settle the fixture congestion caused by the club's participation in FIFA's tournament in the same week scheduled for the Carabao Cup games. It does however mean Liverpool will be forced to use "two playing squads simultaneously", according to the club.
Liverpool on Carabao Cup fixture: "Not an ideal scenario"
Liverpool, in a statement, said that this was not "an ideal scenario" but that "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".
The Merseyside club did send a conciliatory message in their statement, thanking the EFL for their efforts to find an alternative date, but saying that none of them were considered suitable, "without compromising the scheduling of the competition itself or placing an undue strain on our playing staff".
Liverpool have committed to playing a team in the Carabao Cup that is "largely consistent" with those that have participated in earlier rounds. The club have fielded a number of youngsters so far in the competition, including 16-year-old Harvey Elliott, but first-team names such as Keita, Lallana, Origi and Milner have also featured, meaning it remains to be seen exactly which players will head off to Qatar and which will remain to play Aston Villa.
LIverpool coach Klopp said after Liverpool qualified for the quarter-final that he wouldn't be able to "spare senior stars for EFL Cup during Club World Cup."
2 - Liverpool will play two competitive games in the space of two days (Dec 17th/18th) for the first time since December 1986 under Kenny Dalglish when they lost 0-1 to Man Utd on Boxing Day before beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 on the 27th, both in the top-flight. Congestion. pic.twitter.com/8I9Pi6hVcS— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 5, 2019
An EFL representative said: "We recognise the challenges Liverpool face in this matter and appreciate the efforts made to find a practical solution. Finally, I would like to wish the Club well in representing the English game at the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.”
🗓— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) November 5, 2019
• Dec 14th: Watford (H) – 12.30pm
• Dec 17th: Aston Villa (A) – 7.45pm
• Dec 18th: Club World Cup Semi-Final – 5.30pm (UK)
• Dec 22nd: CWC Final or Third Place Play-Off – 5.30pm (UK)
• Dec 26th: Leicester (A) – 8pm
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