Liverpool hold talks over using TWO DIFFERENT TEAMS in two different countries! Jurgen Klopp could field one XI in Doha and another in Birmingham to solve Carabao Cup fixture meltdown
The prospect of Liverpool fielding two teams in two countries has been discussed in an attempt to ease the club’s chronic fixture pile-up.
Liverpool reached the Carabao Cup quarter-finals in the most dramatic fashion on Wednesday night, beating Arsenal on penalties after a 5-5 draw, but their progress has created a considerable headache.
They have been drawn to face Aston Villa in the last eight but that fixture – set to be played on December 17 or 18 – clashes with Club World Cup in Qatar, which Liverpool are committed to appearing in after winning the Champions League in June.
Liverpool progressed to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals after beating Arsenal on penalties
Jurgen Klopp admitted on Wednesday night Liverpool could withdraw from the Carabao Cup
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s manager, made it clear on Wednesday night that his club would be prepared to forfeit their place in the Carabao Cup if the authorities did not come up with a sensible plan to help release the strain.
Liverpool face Villa on Saturday and that is the start of a run that will see them potentially play 19 times from the beginning of November to January 11, when they face Tottenham at the Tottenham Stadium.
Given they face trips to Salzburg, London (twice), Bournemouth and Doha, Liverpool will travel a minimum of 12,500 miles in that two-and-a-half month period.
The most likely scenario is that Liverpool will play Villa in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, January 8 – the night when the first leg of the semi-finals is due to be staged.
Liverpool are set to play in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar, won last year by Real Madrid
Liverpool’s packed fixture list
Premier League unless stated
December 4 Everton (H)
December 7 Bournemouth (A)
December 10 Red Bull Salzburg (A) Champions League
December 14 Watford
December 17/18 Aston Villa (A) Carabao Cup quarter-final
December 18 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final
December 21 FIFA Club World Cup third place or Final
December 26 Leicester City (A)
December 29 Wolves (H)
January 2 Sheffield United (H)
January 4/5 FA Cup third round
January 7/8 Possible Carabao Cup semi-final, first leg
January 11 Tottenham Hotspur (A)
How Liverpool’s December calendar looks as things stand right now
Sportsmail understands Villa will not be able to protest if the EFL, who run the Carabao Cup, decide that is what will happen.
However, if the EFL decide to stick to the original running order and play the week before Christmas then they have discussed the possibility of Liverpool fielding one team in Birmingham and another in Doha.
It would, inevitably, present a logistical nightmare for Liverpool. Klopp is committed to taking a full strength squad out to the Gulf and many of the young players who helped topple Arsenal would also be involved in the week-long trip.
But fielding an auxiliary XI against Villa remains an option if the EFL insist on their original schedule.