Liverpool vs Arsenal Carabao Cup LIVE Football Score 13/01/2022
The 2021/22 Carabao Cup is reaching its climactic end, with the final set to be played next month. On Wednesday, the game between Tottenham and Chelsea will confirm the first of the two finalists. And the second semi-final between Liverpool and Arsenal will kick off on Thursday, with the second leg set to be played at Anfield. Liverpool cruised through their opening two Carabao Cup fixtures, beating Norwich City and Preston North End before being made to work hard by Leicester City in the quarter-finals. The Reds’ recent form has been shaky as they have only won two of their last six games in regulation time.
On the other hand, Arsenal’s Carabao Cup campaign has been a memorable one thus far, with the Gunners easing past West Bromwich Albion, AFC Wimbledon, Leeds United and Sunderland to reach the semi-finals. However, the north Londoners come into this game on the back of an ouster from the FA Cup at the hands of Nottingham Forest. Liverpool and Arsenal have locked horns once this season, with the Reds clinching a 4-0 win in a Premier League clash in November. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Jurgen Klopp has been handed a double boost on the team news front ahead of the visit of Arsenal. On Thursday, the Liverpool manager will be without seven first-team players, but two of the most pivotal members of his squad are back in contention. Alisson Becker and Trent Alexander-Arnold have rejoined training after recovering from COVID-19 and will likely return to the starting eleven. Alisson and Alexander-Arnold’s return leaves Harvey Elliott (ankle), Thiago Alcantara (hip), Nathaniel Phillips (head) and Divock Origi (knee) on the sidelines with fitness issues, while Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita are at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Andrew Robertson has shrugged off the heavy knock he picked up against Shrewsbury Town last weekend but is likely to be rested here. Kostas Tsimikas is expected to start in place of Robertson, with Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk forming the central defensive partnership for Liverpool. Up ahead in midfield, Jordan Henderson will be in contention to start, with Fabinho and cup regular Tyler Morton starting alongside him. Morton will once again reprise a more advanced midfield role, with Fabinho sitting at the base of the midfield. Henderson’s first-time passes will also hold the key in midfield for Liverpool.
The major positive news is that Gabriel Magalhaes has served his suspension and will pair up with Ben White at the heart of the Arsenal defence. Aaron Ramsdale should return between the sticks in place of Bernd Leno, with Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney being the two full-backs. Former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are in Cameroon representing their respective nations. Granit Xhaka (COVID-19), Emile Smith Rowe (groin), and Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf) are all facing a race against time to make themselves available to take on Liverpool. Still, they should be at Arteta’s disposal on Thursday.
Jota has been one of the revelations of the season for Liverpool. While the Portuguese international had enjoyed a strong debut season at Anfield, he has stepped his game up a notch this term, proving that he can potentially fill the void of Roberto Firmino if and when the Brazilian is on the sidelines. One of the top scorers across competitions among Premier League players, Jota also has a remarkable record against Arsenal. The 25-year-old has scored five goals in his last seven appearances against Arsenal in all competitions, with four of those strikes coming in his four games against them for Liverpool. Another big performance could bring Liverpool closer to clinching a finals berth.
Arsenal supporters were less than impressed when the news of Liverpool’s apparent COVID-19 outbreak forced the postponement of the first leg at the Emirates Stadium, and Jurgen Klopp’s admission that most of the Reds’ cases were false positives has reportedly not gone down well with many a club in the country.
Liverpool could supposedly face an investigation into their batch of false positives – with such a high number considered almost impossible – but a mixture of youth and experience did their talking on the pitch as Shrewsbury Town fell to a 4-1 defeat in the FA Cup at the weekend.
Up-and-coming starlet Kaide Gordon netted before Fabinho’s brace and Roberto Firmino’s cheeky backheel helped Liverpool avoid quite the giant killing, as the League One side took the lead through Daniel Udoh within 27 minutes. That success represents just a second for Liverpool in their last five matches across all tournaments, although they have now marched to eight successive wins at their Anfield headquarters, only failing to score at least two goals in one of those successes.
Norwich City, Preston North End and an inspired Leicester City outfit have all fallen to the Reds’ superiority in the EFL Cup this season, but the eight-time winners – who last won the tournament in 2012 – are unlikely to be cheered on by the neutrals this weekend. If Arsenal had performed like they did against Nottingham Forest in the first leg at the Emirates, Mikel Arteta’s side were possibly saved from a humbling, as the Championship side deservedly advanced in the FA Cup at the expense of the record 14-time champions.
Granted, Arteta’s ranks were thinned by AFCON, injuries and COVID-19 cases, but Arsenal’s second-string XI looked devoid of any sort of inspiration at the City Ground and ultimately succumbed to Lewis Grabban’s late winner on Sunday night. Such a result was a sure-fire way to dampen the spirits in Arsenal’s ranks a week after they produced one of their best showings of the season against Manchester City, and four of the Gunners’ last six away games in all competitions have ended in defeat.
Arteta’s side have enjoyed a smooth run to the semis – scoring 16 goals in four victories against West Bromwich Albion, Wimbledon, Leeds United and Sunderland – and the opportunity to win a first EFL Cup since 1993 should certainly lead to a greater sense of urgency from the Gunners here. However, Arsenal fans will need no reminding of how Liverpool taught them a footballing lesson 4-0 on Merseyside earlier this season, although they did advance on penalties at Anfield in the 2020-21 EFL Cup after a goalless draw.