The influential Belgian brought a trophy-laden seven-season stay at Stamford Bridge to a close this summer as he completed a £130million move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
As well as bookending one of the great Premier League careers, the transfer no doubt prompted a huge sigh of relief on the red half of Merseyside.
Hazard regularly tormented the Liverpool defence during his time in England, clocking up six goals from 16 appearances in typically crucial meetings between the teams.
And so Van Dijk believes the 28-year-old’s absence, combined with Frank Lampard’s appointment as manager, makes Chelsea a different prospect to last season.
He said: “He is a quality player and he was important to them but I think they [have] plenty of quality players.
“I think they play a little bit different than they did last year. We will analyse them over the next couple of days and then we will be prepared.
“Nothing that happened last season will have any impact on what is going to happen. It is the next game. It is going to be a new game.
“They have a new situation at the club there but we want to do better than we did last year and we will see.”
In the absence of injured goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Van Dijk will have an unfamiliar face behind him at Istanbul’s Vodafone Park.
But the Dutchman is confident that summer signing Adrian, who made his debut as a first-half substitute against Norwich on Friday, can adapt quickly.
He added: “I don’t think it is too easy to come on in a game as a goalkeeper but he did well and hopefully he can just keep on going what he is good at.
“I think he played many big games in his career so I don’t think he is going to be nervous or anything. It is just that he has to do his job with us and hopefully we can win the trophy in the end.
“Obviously, all the players that come here have to get used to the way of playing but as a goalkeeper I think – and that is my personal view – it is not too difficult, but you still have to do it and hopefully we don’t let him make too many saves.”
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