The Reds skipper is absent through illness, with Jarell Quansah stepping into defence in his place. Trent Alexander-Arnold, as vice-captain, takes the armband.
Asked about Van Dijk absence, Jurgen Klopp said: "Virgil is ill. We were actually kind of lucky in the last two, three weeks because a lot of staff had it but not the players.
"And now Virg got the virus and we have to see how he feels tomorrow and if he is available for the next one. But for today there was no chance, so we didn't even try it."
It's one of four changes that Klopp has made going into the contest at the Emirates Stadium, one of which sees Alexis Mac Allister return to the starting XI after a spell on the sidelines.
He replaces Wataru Endo, who is also on international duty with Japan at the Asia Cup.
Jurgen Klopp also names a youthful set of substitutes, with Bobby Clark, Luke Chambers, Kaide Gordon, Conor Bradley, James McConnell and 16-year-old Trey Nyoni all lining the bench alongside Ryan Gravenberch, Diogo Jota and Caoimhin Kelleher.
Liverpool's starting XI to face Arsenal: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold (c), Konate, Quansah, Gomez, Mac Allister, Elliott, Jones, Diaz, Gakpo, Nunez.
Subs: Kelleher, Jota, Gravenberch, Clark, Chambers, Gordon, McConnell, Bradley, Nyoni.