In the end, finding a date proved so difficult for the Villa vs Liverpool Carabao Cup quarter-final, that Liverpool opted for a date their first team squad won’t actually be in the country to play it.
The game as previously reported by MOMS, will take place on its original date, Tuesday 17th December. Despite the EFL’s statement, trying to suggest that Liverpool will field a team to upheld the competition’s supposed integrity.
While Liverpool have supposedly given the EFL reinsurances they will field a team, ‘largely consistent with those that have participated in earlier rounds of this season’s competition’, it’s unlikely to be as strong as the reserve team they put out in the previous round against Arsenal.
Kelleher, Williams, Gomez, van den Berg, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Keita, Elliott, Brewster, Origi
From the above first XI that started at Anfield, you’d expect the likes of Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana and Origi, at least, to all be off to Qatar.
Liverpool’s own statement on the situation (see below), suggested that having to form two squads was not an ‘ideal scenario’ and implied that they would potentially just send a ghost squad of youth players to Villa Park, to keep the Carabao Cup ticking by and not infringe on any other competitions (there was a possibility of it impacting on the FA Cup third round).
Obviously, Liverpool know where their priorities are and Jurgen Klopp even suggested one alternative was to not fulfil the fixture with Villa.
Hopefully, Dean Smith and his players can take advantage of the situation and beat whoever is in front of them on the night.
Liverpool Statement on Carabao Cup Villa Fixture
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.