LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 13, 2023: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk (R) and goalkeeper Alisson Becker look dejected as Chelsea score a second goal, before it was disallowed following a VAR review, during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

How many Liverpool matches Virgil van Dijk could miss after red card

With Virgil van Dijk receiving a straight red card during Sunday’s clash with Newcastle, Liverpool are now forced to plan without their captain.

Van Dijk was sent off midway through the first half at St James’ Park, having brought down striker Alexander Isak as the last man.

The Dutchman was deemed to have denied a clear goalscoring opportunity, though there remained question marks over whether he won the ball first upon broadcast replays.

Either way, it makes it two red cards in two games for Liverpool, with it less likely that Van Dijk’s dismissal is overturned.

Jurgen Klopp will almost certainly be required to plan without his first-choice centre-back for the visit of Aston Villa on September 3.

A red card for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity warrants a one-match ban, though there is still a chance Van Dijk’s punishment is extended.

That comes following a heated exchange with referee John Brooks on the pitch and then fourth official Craig Pawson in the technical area.

Van Dijk appeared to have told Pawson “don’t touch me,” after the official attempted to explain the situation before the player headed down the tunnel.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, captain Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If the 32-year-old faces a two-match ban he would also miss the away clash with Wolves on September 16 – the first game back after the international break.

It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will appeal Van Dijk’s red card, though there are less obvious grounds to do so than with Alexis Mac Allister‘s sending-off against Bournemouth.

Liverpool were already set to be without Van Dijk’s centre-back partner, Ibrahima Konate, when Villa arrive at Anfield next month.

The Frenchman is sidelined through injury, with Klopp revealing before kickoff on Sunday that he is not expected back until the trip to Wolves.

Supporters could, therefore, see the pairing of Joel Matip and Joe Gomez reprised in a week’s time, though the hope will be that another centre-back is signed before then.

The transfer window closes for Premier League at 11pm on September 1, with youngster Jarell Quansah and Nat Phillips the other options in the squad.