Liverpool confirm plans to play Carabao Cup & Club World Cup simultaneously

Jurgen Klopp
The Reds will be fighting on two fronts across two continents in December in a novel solution to their fixture pile-up prior to the Christmas period

Liverpool have confirmed that they will play both their Carabao Cup quarter-final clash at Aston Villa and their Club World Cup semi-final clash in Qatar within the space of a day - by using two squads.

Having been drawn against Villa, the Reds were expected to take to the field against their fellow Premier League side in the week commencing December 16, the same time they are in Qatar for Club World Cup duties.

Manager Jurgen Klopp recently claimed that he would need his entire squad for the club's Middle East excursion, stating at a press conference: “We cannot leave any players at home for the Carabao Cup.

“It's not that we can go there with 11 players and say they play the two games in Qatar and the other guys play in England against Aston Villa. It doesn't work like that.”

Now, however, the club have announced their intention to play both matches with two different teams, which is likely to mean that the Premier League leaders will send a second-string side to Villa Park, consisting mainly of youth-team players.

A statement on the club's official website reads: "Liverpool Football Club can confirm our Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at Aston Villa will take place on Tuesday December 17, 2019.

"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."

The EFL released a statement of their own, which reads: "The Carabao Cup quarter-final tie between Aston Villa and Liverpool has been confirmed for Tuesday 17 December (7.45pm kick-off) as originally scheduled.

Article continues below

"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.

"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'."