Virgil van Dijk is facing a spell on the sidelines with the Liverpool defender’s hamstring injury ‘worse than first feared’.
Van Dijk was substituted at half-time during Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat at Brentford on Monday evening, with it later revealed that the Dutch international had sustained a hamstring issue.
The news will come as a major blow to Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool battle to keep in touch with the Premier League’s top four and secure Champions League football.
Van Dijk has started all 17 of the Reds’ league fixtures so far this season, but will now face a period out of the side as he continues his recovery.
Joel Matip – who came on for the 31-year-old during the defeat at Brentford – is expected to replace Van Dijk in the side and partner Ibrahima Konate at centre-back. Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips offer alternative options in Klopp’s squad.
Liverpool return to action with a home clash against Wolves in the FA Cup’s third round on Saturday, before resuming their Premier League campaign at Brighton on January 14.