Liverpool will play their Carabao Cup quarter final away to Aston Villa on Tuesday December 17th.
It is a decision sure to be mired in controversy given the fixture pile-up it leaves Jurgen Klopp’s side to contend with.
And it also means Liverpool will use “two playing squads simultaneously” to play two games in two different competitions within 24 hours.
The Reds progressed into the quarters after beating Arsenal on penalties at Anfield last week, following a thrilling 5-5 draw in normal time.
And they were paired with Villa in the last eight in the draw the next morning. But finding a spare date for the clash proved tricky.
The other quarter final ties are set to be played during the week commencing December 16 – and that is when Jurgen Klopp and his side fly out for the Club World Cup in Qatar.
Liverpool are scheduled to play on the 18th and again on the 21st over in Doha.
But now the Reds must also contest the Carabao Cup tie less than 24 hours before one of those encounters, leaving Klopp and the club with a nightmare scenario.
A Liverpool statement released today read: “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.
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“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.”
Speaking after the Arsenal win, Klopp warned that his side could potentially withdraw from the Carabao Cup if a suitable date was not found for the clash.
Klopp said: “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.
“We will not be the victim of this problem. We play tonight, we wanted to win it, we did that, and if they don’t find a proper date for us, then we cannot play the next round and whoever is our opponent will go through. Or Arsenal play them.
“We are going to ignore that problem completely for tonight. A lot of people from the Premier League were sitting in front of the television hoping that Arsenal can do it. But, I’m sorry!”
The suggestion that discussions were taking place around the idea of fielding two teams in two different competitions on the same date in December emerged last week in a Telegraph report.
The ECHO understood at the time Klopp was likely to be against the proposal. But now it seems it has been agreed it was the most sensible way forward given the amount of matches coming up.
Man City are favourites to lift the Carabao Cup, with Man United, Leicester City, Everton, Oxford United and Colchester City also remaining in the competition along with Liverpool and Villa.
It has also been confirmed that Liverpool’s quarter final will be broadcast live on TV.