But Jurgen Klopp hopes to have him back to face City on Sunday with the Egypt worldwide having already returned to full training.
Before a time when Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and Nicolas Otamendi were held up as examples of his catalytic coaching and to a series of turning points in what threatened to be an uncertain start to the season. 'Of course we can lose the title because you never know what is going to happen in the next 13 or 14 games you have to play.
Then there was Sadio Mane's first-half dismissal when Liverpool visited the Etihad Stadium.
When is Liverpool vs Manchester City in the English Premier League?
It was no exaggeration. Only City themselves have scored more Premier League goals this season than the home side.
Will Mohammed Salah start for Liverpool? City began routing opponents. They can go to the market and Jurgen [Klopp] knows exactly what he has to do with his team. Liverpool, you need to see what renowned European soccer expert David Sumpter has to say.
From how Liverpool can beat City, to who each side should look to sign in the January transfer window, we round up the best of our big match preview content.
Guardiola invariably gives the impression he is not concerned by statistical distinctions but this is the biggest obstacle in City's path to becoming the division's second "Invincibles". 'Without that spirit you can't win trophies in any competition.
They score in copious quantities but Liverpool have conceded the fewest goals at home, City the fewest away.
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Shubman Gill then hammered home the advantage with 63 runs off 54 balls with six boundaries and a six. The Indian captain faced 100 balls and scored eight boundaries, including two sixes in his knock.
The Belgian defender is sidelined by the latest occurrence of a troublesome calf injury which forced him off after only 11 minutes of the win at Newcastle United on December 27.
The 27-year-old feels Sunday's game versus Liverpool at Anfield could be a highlight of the season.
However, Klopp was coy in his response on Van Dijk's involvement for Sunday's blockbuster clash.
Last season's clash was a tense 1-0 win for the Reds, from an early goal by Georginio Wijnaldum. There is the fit-again Salah, ready to resume his place in Liverpool's forward line.
But since Champions League action took a back seat the Reds have been more unsafe than ever.
There is the compelling contest between Klopp and Guardiola, renewing a rivalry that began in the Bundesliga. "Jurgen is a guy who always tries to play on the front foot, with no fear", Guardiola said.
This time it can not derail a title charge.
As Liverpool fans mourn the loss of one of their "fab four" to Barcelona the team can't afford to let it affect them.