Liverpool captain, Virgil van Dijk, was shown a red card in the recent victory against Newcastle, with referee John Brooks deeming his collision with Alexander Isak to be a denial of a goalscoring opportunity. Van Dijk vehemently contested the decision before leaving the pitch.
While his suspension for the foul only spans one game, his behavior towards the matchday official, including rumored use of foul language, could lead to an extended ban. This is the last thing manager Jurgen Klopp needs at the moment, despite his team’s solid start to the Premier League season, having secured seven points from the first three matches.
Van Dijk is set to miss Liverpool’s next game against Aston Villa, a home fixture where Ibrahima Konate is also unavailable due to injury. Aston Villa, despite suffering a heavy defeat to Newcastle on the opening day, have bounced back with convincing 4-0 and 3-1 victories against Everton and Burnley, respectively. The absence of the Dutch defender will be a blow for Liverpool, considering Villa’s attacking prowess, with players like Matty Cash, Moussa Diaby, and Ollie Watkins posing significant goal threats.
Following the Aston Villa match, Liverpool’s clash with Wolves is also at risk of being Van Dijk’s absence. If evidence of misconduct from Van Dijk emerges from the aftermath of his dismissal, the ban could potentially be extended. Nevertheless, Liverpool has a favorable record against Wolves, having won nine of their last 11 encounters.
Later in September, Liverpool is scheduled to face West Ham. The Hammers have had a turbulent summer, marked by Declan Rice’s departure to Arsenal and disagreements between manager David Moyes and technical director Tim Steidten regarding transfer targets. However, they have managed to secure consecutive wins against Chelsea and Brighton, showcasing their counter-attacking style that could pose challenges for Liverpool.
The availability of Van Dijk for the West Ham match is uncertain, as any disciplinary action from the Football Association could result in additional games being added to his ban. Liverpool will likely voice their opinion on the matter, but for now, it remains uncertain whether their captain will be able to participate in the late September fixture.
Liverpool’s upcoming fixtures potentially affected by Van Dijk’s ban:
– 03/09/2023: Liverpool vs Aston Villa (H)
– 16/09/2023: Wolves vs Liverpool (A)
– 24/09/2023: Liverpool vs West Ham (H)