Shropshire Star

Liverpool v Shrewsbury Town FA Cup clash currently ON despite Arsenal postponement

Shrewsbury Town's FA Cup third round trip to Liverpool on Sunday is currently set to go ahead, according to the hosts.

Last updated

League One Town have received no communication from the weekend's hosts to suggest the tie is under any threat due to rising coronavirus issues.

Steve Cotterill's men and the club are working on the assumption the Anfield clash will go ahead.

The EFL revealed today that tomorrow's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between Arsenal and Liverpool has been postponed due to a rise in Covid-19 cases among the Reds.

But Town's Anfield clash, for which tickets went on general sale in the away end today, is still scheduled for its 2pm kick-off, less than 72 hours after The Emirates tie was postponed.

Liverpool will now play their first leg against the Gunners at Anfield next week – the date of the original second leg – and the new second leg in North London will be the following week, an EFL statement confirmed.

An official Liverpool FC help page on Twitter tweeted: "The match against Shrewsbury on Sun 9th Jan is still scheduled to go ahead but please keep checking our website for updates. Thanks!"

The Football Association insists it is up to the Professional Game Board to decide whether Shrewsbury Town's FA Cup tie at Liverpool goes ahead if Sunday's hosts claim insufficient numbers.

Uncertainty surrounds Town's trip to Anfield in the third round tie as the Reds are currently battling a Covid-19 outbreak in their camp.

Liverpool revealed on Tuesday that they have lodged an application to postpone Thursday's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Arsenal due to "an escalating number of suspected Covid-19 cases and player unavailability".

Manager Jurgen Klopp is among those known to be isolating, as well as three backroom staff and assistant boss Pep Lijnders. Three players - Alisson Becker, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino - all returned suspected positive Covid tests and were forced out of the Reds' last Premier League fixture at Chelsea.

It has also been confirmed this morning that Liverpool have closed their AXA Training Centre, with its numerous training pitches also home to the club's academy, due to the "rapidly growing number" of positive cases. The decision was reached in consultation with Public Health.

There could be youngsters from Liverpool's under-18s involved against Shrewsbury on Sunday after Friday night's FA Youth Cup tie against Burnley, due to be played behind closed doors at Kirby, was also postponed.

The Reds also have injury concerns and players away on international duty.

When approached for comment by the Shropshire Star, the FA said all clubs are expected to fulfil their third round fixtures as scheduled. The national body added that if there is an issue of eligible players then a report should be made at the earliest possibility, for the Professional Game Board to reach a conclusion.

No comment was given on the possibility of the tie being re-arranged at a later date, though the FA reiterated their decision to cancel replays for this season's third and fourth round ties was to alleviate fixture congestion amid the mounting Covid uncertainty.

An FA spokesperson told the Shropshire Star: “Clubs competing in the 2021/22 Emirates FA Cup are expected to participate in fixtures as they are currently scheduled. However, if a club does not have the sufficient number of eligible players available due to COVID-19, this should be reported to The FA at the earliest opportunity and would be referred to the Professional Game Board for consideration.

“Replays have been removed in both the Third and Fourth rounds of the 2021/22 Emirates FA Cup to alleviate the possibility of fixture congestion following several postponements in recent weeks and continued uncertainty ahead due to Covid-19.”