The £75million centre-back, who netted on his debut in a 2-1 FA Cup win over Everton, has been ruled out with a tight hamstring.

It means Jurgen Klopp is poised to recall Dejan Lovren to the side to face league leaders City, who haven’t lost a game all season.

City haven’t won at Anfield for 15 years but they have never been in better form having cruised to a 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

They crushed the Reds 5-0 last time they met after Sadio Mane was sent off.

There was drama ahead of the game when police ordered a nine-metre gold statue of Van Dijk to be removed from Anfield amid fears of a bomb threat.

Workers arrived to erect a huge replica figure of Van Dijk at 4.30am this morning ahead of Liverpool‘s clash with Manchester City as part of a Paddy Power stunt.

It was all supposed to be a good-natured gesture to suggest Van Dijk really was worth his weight in gold following his debut goal against Everton.

Anti-terror police first arrived scene shortly before 9am today as the Paddy Power plan backfired.

They demanded to see safety paperwork and, when that was produced, they still feared there could be a bomb in the statue.

Four police cars then arrived and ordered the statue to be taken down immediately and insisted it was due to fears of a ‘bomb threat’.

A source said: “The only thing it threatens is Liverpool fans’ sense of humour.

“The one danger was after seeing his statue, Van Dijk might defend like a statue. It was a harmless stunt and it actually looked quite impressive.

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“The whole thing must have cost a bomb!”

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