Premier League football club Liverpool FC is set to play back-to-back games across two different continents in December following confirmation that the Carabao Cup quarter-finals will go ahead as originally scheduled.
The Reds, who take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on 17 December as part of the cup competition, will also be competing at the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar on 18 December as a result of the UEFA Champions League triumph last season.
The organisers of the competition, the English Football League (EFL) released a statement which read: “The EFL’s overwhelming priority is to maintain the integrity of the Carabao Cup and the decision taken is intended to protect the best interests of a competition that attracts millions of viewers at home and abroad with the final broadcast in more than 130 territories worldwide.
“It is also the best decision in minimising the impact of rescheduling the final stages of the competition on those Clubs who remain in the Carabao Cup and the knock-on effect this would have in both the FA Cup and the Premier League.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp originally threatened to pull out of the Carabao Cup after beating Arsenal on penalties due to fixture congestion, however, the European Champions have since announced that two playing squads will be utilised to cope with the demands of fixture clash.
Following the announcement of the fixture confirmation the club released a statement: “We will be utilising two playing squads simultaneously, with one squad participating in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar and another in the Carabao Cup.
“The club would like to take this opportunity to underline that while this is not an ideal scenario, it is an outcome which was arrived at with the best interests of the competition, our fellow clubs and ourselves as the sole motivating factor.
“We would like to thank the EFL for their efforts to accommodate us and we can confirm alternative dates were discussed, but ultimately none were considered suitable without compromising the scheduling of the competition itself or placing an undue strain on our playing staff.”
As well as these back-to-back matches, Liverpool will also need to contend with six midweek fixtures in a row between 27 November and 2 January as a result of the rescheduling of fixtures due to its participation in the Club World Cup.