football

Football League rejects idea of scrapping two-legged Carabao Cup semi-finals amid Liverpool mess



November 6, 2019
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The English Football League has no plans to scrap the two-legged semi-finals in the Carabao Cup, following criticism to the schedules after the decision to place Liverpool’s quarter-final with Aston Villa less than 24 hours before a Club World Cup clash.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side are set to tackle Dean Smith’s newly-promoted outfit at Villa Park at 19:45 on December 17, which falls ahead of the Reds‘ FIFA Club World Cup semi-final in Qatar on December 18.

That prompted Klopp to criticise the home and away format in the last four stage but the EFL resisted calls to change that schedule when talks were held with the Football Association and the Premier League ahead of the introduction of the winter break.

Instead, a decision was made to scrap extra-time in the competition with any stalemates going straight to penalties, as witnessed in Liverpool’s dramatic 5-5 thriller with Arsenal last week.

The introduction of the winter break has added further fixture headache for Klopp, who initially ruled out playing two different sides in those back-to-back matches but the club were wary of risking an even bigger headache when they enter the FA Cup in January, which brings with it the threat of replays and draw-dependent postponements.

However, it is worth noting that the issue that Liverpool face this season with the Carabao Cup and the Club World Cup will be redundant next season, as FIFA is moving that tournament to the summer – although Liverpool are expected to be invited, which throws up other problems for the Reds.

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