Liverpool vs Arsenal, Carabao Cup semi-finals: live scores, team news and the latest updates

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meIn an alternate reality, Arsenal could arrive at Anfield tonight with a healthy lead in the first leg after beating a weakened Liverpool team at the Emirates.

When that happens, the whimsical fate of Covid changes the dynamics of this tie. Liverpool have back some key players – including Alisson and Trent Alexander-Arnold – and Arsenal must now manage their resources to stay on par for the rematch and manage energy levels ahead of Sunday’s crucial match at Tottenham.

Both clubs are weakened by the African Cup of Nations, Liverpool are missing Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita, and Arsenal are feeling the absence of Thomas Partey, Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (depending on how you view the status of his team) and Mohamed Elneny . . Arsenal are also without Takehri Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard in tonight’s game, so to say Liverpool’s advantage. Mikel Arteta has at least Granit Xhaka at his disposal after Covid and Gabriel returned from suspension.

Jurgen Klopp has not reached the home cup final since losing in that competition in 2016 against Man City at Wembley, but the trophies might have gained more importance given the deficit Liverpool has to make up for in the league. Under Klopp, Liverpool have scored more goals (43) against Arsenal in all competitions than against any other opponent, and Diogo Jota has five in his last seven games against him.

Apparently, Arsenal’s recent record at Anfield is appalling and they beat it 4-0 here in the Premier League in November. However, they made progress on penalties in the Carabao Cup at Anfield last season after a goalless draw and were involved in a headless 5-5 draw here in this competition in 2019. even a close defeat could be an acceptable outcome for guests hoping for better health in the return leg.

Full team news coming soon.

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