Virgil van Dijk was forced to stop Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea due to illness.
The 31-year-old missed training in the lead-up to the match at Stamford Bridge which resulted in him being subsequently ruled out of the competition.
An ever-present when he’s been fit this season for Liverpool, Van Dijk missed just seven matches in January and February with a hamstring injury.
Jurgen Klopp made six changes to his starting line-up from the team that lost 4-1 to Manchester City, with Van Dijk withdrawing along with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Harvey Elliott, Kody Gakow and Mohamed Salah.
Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, Roberto Firmino, Darwin Nunez and Curtis Jones participated. The latter is his first start in the Premier League since Liverpool’s defeat away at Nottingham Forest in October.
Liverpool enters the match in the capital on the back of three consecutive defeats.
Van Dijk said after Liverpool’s last match against City on Saturday that there would be some “serious talk” in the dressing room.
“(It was) frustrating,” Van Dijk added. “I think the first half was quite even, obviously a great goal from Mohamed Salah, and then they scored a really good goal as well.
“The 2-1 second half was a huge blow and a very disappointing second half.”
Klopp added that “about four performances were good” against City, and name-checked Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Cody Gacbo and Alisson.
The guest team took the lead in the 17th minute through Mohamed Salah, before Julian Alvarez equalized ten minutes later. Kevin De Bruyne put City ahead just after half-time, with Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish also scoring.
Van Dijk has made 32 appearances this season for Liverpool, starting each time he has appeared.
Liverpool: Alisson, Gomez, Matip, Konate, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Jota, Nunez, Firmino.
Submarines: Kelleher, Milner, Salah, Gakbo, Robertson, Carvalho, Arthur, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold.
Van Dijk makes Liverpool better – here’s how to deal with his absence
(Photo: Getty Images)
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