After a tense and exciting first leg ended goalless, Arsenal and Liverpool meet at the Emirates on Thursday to decide the EFL Cup second-place finisher.
Chelsea have already booked their place at Wembley with an emphatic and dominant two-game performance over Tottenham, but this semi-final has provided much more parity.
After Granit Xhaka was sent to the showers with a straight red card before half an hour last week, Arsenal had a real battle on their hands, but managed to finish the game without conceding a goal. The Gunners calmed down and collectively blocked Liverpool despite the Reds’ lead, leaving the winner of the series yet to be determined.
Arsenal face an uphill battle with a depleted squad that required last weekend’s North London Premier League derby against Tottenham to be controversially postponed. Still, the Gunners now have some players available for selection, allowing this Carabao Cup semi-final to continue.
If the game remains tied after the regulation 90 minutes, it would go to extra time and penalties, according to Carabao Cup rules (rule 14.5).
Sporting News will follow the match live and provide score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
(All times Eastern)
Ben White, the hero of the Gunners’ first leg, graces the day’s program at the Emirates.
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is back from the African Cup of Nations thanks to injuries to his heart stemming from a fight with COVID-19 and is therefore unable to participate tonight, out indefinitely. However, that hasn’t stopped teams from showing interest in the Gabon international. Teams that submit a bid will be pushed by Aubameyang’s belief which is “totally fine”.
As first reported @skysports_sheth — Marseille, PSG and AC Milan are among the clubs that have expressed interest in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. So far the only offer has come from Al Nassr, as revealed yesterday. Still no response from Arsenal.
—James Benge (@jamesbenge) January 20, 2022
The lights are on at the Emirates, which sets the stage for tonight’s high-profile Cup showdown.
: In case you’re wondering, Thomas Partey won’t be in this game, but he’s in contention for the weekend after Ghana was eliminated.
#afc Thomas Partey is back in London and is hoping to play Burnley on Sunday.
However, don’t expect to take a taxi from the airport directly to the Emirates for the Liverpool match.https://t.co/J1gniJsm8l
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) January 20, 2022
Arsenal vs Liverpool Lineups
While Arsenal have enough players available to greenlight the match, team news still makes for eager reading.
is suspended for his red card in the first leg, while both and have left the club in recent days. He will return shortly after Ghana were eliminated early from the African Cup of Nations, but this match comes too soon for his arrival as he continues his run in the tournament. he has returned from AFCON competition but is out indefinitely after a bout of COVID-19 left him with heart problems.
Then comes the long list of players with unknown availability status. , one of the heroes of the first leg, was hit late in the match and his condition remains unclear. He just returned from his COVID-19 isolation, and while he’s expected to play, it wouldn’t be crazy to see him unavailable due to health concerns.
, , and all face belated fitness tests to determine how ready they are to play. The first leg Man of the Match may be forced to push into midfield to help fill out the midfield.
Leno (GK) – Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney – White, Lokonga, Odegaard – Martinelli, Nkeitah, Lacazette.
(Lineups posted one hour before kickoff)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has a number of questions to answer after failing to build an aggregate lead in the first leg. The midfield, without an AFCON player, was terribly static, while the absence of the AFCON duo and up front was all too apparent.
and remain sidelined with long-term injuries, and although they have returned to training due to their ailments, it is still too early for them to participate.
The biggest question mark for Klopp will come in midfield, with ineffectiveness in the first leg of this matchup. He could be replaced by the one who shone towards the end of last week’s match, while he is also an option.
Alisson (GK) – Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson – Henderson, Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain – Minamino, Firmino, Jota.
(Lineups posted one hour before kickoff)
- Date: Thursday, January 20
- Hour: 2:45 p.m. ET
- Television channel: – None –
- Transmission: ESPN+ (subscription required)
The second leg between Arsenal and Liverpool is available exclusively on ESPN’s streaming platform ESPN+ at 2:45 pm ET. The winner of the match will advance to face Chelsea in the final on February 27.
If the match ends in a draw after 90 minutes, extra time and, if necessary, a penalty shootout will be used to determine a winner.
Arsenal-Liverpool betting lines, selection and prediction
: Arsenal or Tie (Double Chance) and Sub 2.5
: Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (Liverpool goes on penalties)
- money line: Arsenal +285 / Draw +275 / Liverpool -105
- spread: Liverpool -0.5 (-105) / Arsenal +0.5 (-105)
- O/U 2.5 total goals: More than -125 / Less than +105
- Both teams to score: Yes -150 / No +115