Reds to face Villa in Carabao Cup…. maybe


Liverpool have been drawn away to Aston Villa in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup but there are doubts over whether the tie will take place.

Liverpool were involved in an all-time classic fourth round clash with Arsenal at Anfield on Wednesday, battling back from 3-1, 4-2 and 5-4 down to eventually secure a 5-5 draw after 90 minutes before they won the subsequent shootout 5-4 to book their place in the last eight.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have now been rewarded with a trip to Villa Park in the quarter-finals, although they may not even be able to fulfil that fixture, as the tie is due to take place the week commencing December 16 – two days before Liverpool are supposed to be competing in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.

The EFL have already entered talks with Liverpool over an alternative date for the fixture to take place, with Klopp having admitted after Wednesday’s win that his side are ‘not able to play’ the fixture as it stands.

The likelihood is that an alternative date will be found for the fixture to take place, but that will add to what is already a packed schedule for Liverpool over the coming weeks, with the Premier League leaders trying to maintain their interest in a number of competitions.

In a quirk to the fixture schedule, Liverpool’s next game is a Premier League clash at Villa on Saturday, a match that (perhaps) may act as the dress rehearsal ahead of the Carabao Cup showdown.

Things appear to be less complicated for the two Manchester clubs, as they have been handed favourable ties against lower league opposition.

Defending champions City will travel to the Kassam Stadium to take on League One promotion hopefuls Oxford, while United will welcome the lowes -ranked team left in the competition to Old Trafford when they take on fourth-tier Colchester, who have already knocked out Premier League opposition in Crystal Palace and Tottenham on their way to the last eight.

The other quarter-final tie is an all Premier League affair between Everton and Leicester at Goodison Park.

The Toffees helped ease the pressure on underfire boss Marco Silva by seeing off Watford 2-0 in the fourth round on Tuesday, while Leicester won 3-1 at last season’s semi-finalists Burton Albion – although they were not quite as dominant as they were when thrashing Southampton 9-0 in their last Premier League fixture.

The two teams are now set to face each other twice in December, as they are also scheduled to meet at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League at the start of the month.