EPL

Van Dijk: Fearless Liverpool focused only on beating Manchester City

By Sports Desk November 10, 2019

Virgil van Dijk claimed Liverpool do not feel fear and have no interest in holding Manchester City to a draw in their top-of-the-table Premier League encounter.

Liverpool hold a six-point advantage over title rivals and defending champions City going into Sunday's highly anticipated showdown at Anfield.

Preserving that buffer would ordinarily be seen as a reasonable outcome but the Premier League leaders will be wary of repeating the missed opportunities of last season.

Liverpool earned a stalemate on Merseyside in October then lost 2-1 in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium as City pipped the Reds to the title.

Now, with the chance to surge further clear in first, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are not entertaining the prospect of settling for a point.

"That's something we are not going to think about, or discuss now whether a draw is good enough," star defender Van Dijk told reporters.

"We want to win every game that we play and so it is Sunday of course, and they want to win as well. So we will see.

"I have no fear. You should not have fear when you go out on the pitch. That's not something that we feel.

"We know we have the quality to win games, but we have to be more than at our best at times, and hopefully for the full 90 minutes, and try to grind out games as well.

"I think we have been doing it in some games this season."

Liverpool bounced back from last season's domestic disappointment by claiming a sixth European crown with their triumph over Tottenham in the Champions League final.

Netherlands international Van Dijk believes both events have helped forge a stronger Liverpool side.

"A lot of experience we had last year, winning the Champions League, getting so close to the Premier League, it's always going to benefit us in a good way," the centre-back said.

"Winning the Champions League can get you up in the clouds but the manager, the staff, the players have the right mentality at the moment that we want to do it again, like other teams.

"Everyone knows how difficult it is but we are just going to go for it and see where it brings us at the end of the season.

"If it doesn't bring us what we want it to be, we will just try again next year. That's the mentality we have."

Related items

  • Van Dijk: Klopp the reason I chose Liverpool over Man City & Chelsea Van Dijk: Klopp the reason I chose Liverpool over Man City & Chelsea

    Virgil van Dijk has revealed the Jurgen Klopp factor was the reason he joined Liverpool instead of Manchester City or Chelsea.

    The centre-back left Southampton for Anfield in January 2018 for a reported fee of £75million, which represented a record transfer for a defender.

    There were other interested parties in Van Dijk's services, notably City and Chelsea, but the Netherlands international only had eyes for the Reds due to manager Klopp, who led Liverpool to their first Premier League title this season.

    "I had the chance to go to Chelsea and Man City," Van Dijk said in quotes published in several national newspapers.

    "When you compare the clubs, you look at the history, the town, the current squad, their plans for the near future.

    "But the most important thing you look at is the manager - and Jurgen Klopp is an important reason why I chose for Liverpool.

    "Klopp has something special. Is it his energy? Is it his overall image?

    "I sometimes sit and think about what he does and what he has more than others.

    "I think it is his man-management. These days that is more important than anything in football.

    "Klopp gives you this great feeling. He is genuinely happy when you walk into the club in the morning. It may sound daft, but that really inspires you as a player."

    Van Dijk, 28, has already lifted the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup as a Liverpool player.

    In the coming weeks he will get his hands on the Premier League trophy too, with Liverpool's status as champions confirmed last month with seven games still to play.

    "I have always said that lifting the Premier League ­trophy would be a dream. That dream has become reality now," he added.

  • Mourinho willing to break the rules for his love of Ancelotti Mourinho willing to break the rules for his love of Ancelotti

    Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho said he is prepared to break social-distancing rules just so he can hug Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti.

    Mourinho's struggling Tottenham will welcome Ancelotti and Everton to London for Monday's Premier League clash.

    Spurs boss Mourinho heaped praise on counterpart Ancelotti ahead of the showdown – pitting ninth against 11th in the table – with the Portuguese willing to break coronavirus protocol for his love of the Everton coach.

    "I think everyone in football admires Carlo [Ancelotti] as a coach and as a person," Mourinho told reporters.

    "If you don't know him as a person at least you know him as a coach. I like him so much as a person that I'm going to say the obvious, which is that he is one of the top managers in the world in the last two decades and of course now.

    "I think it's a privilege for the Premier League to have Carlo back. It's a privilege for Everton to have him as their manager or head coach, whatever you want to call him.

    "As a person, I've had the privilege of knowing him for a few years, to stay and be with him a few times, at UEFA meetings or other different occasions and I just love Carlo.

    "I think he is a fantastic guy so I think I am going to break the rule of one-metre distancing and I'm going to hug him because I like Carlo very much."

    Tottenham have only won one of their past nine games across all competitions following Thursday's 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United.

    Spurs – Champions League runners-up under former manager Mauricio Pochettino last season – are 12 points adrift of the top four with six matches remaining.

    "I believe, but it is also possible that does not happen. And if that does not happen it is not the end of the world. If that does not happen, it is probably the beginning of a new world because things change," Mourinho added.

    "Change for you, change for other clubs. The squads they change. The motivations they change, the group dynamic changes. The group that possibly was strong 10 years is ago is not strong anymore. A player that was in the maximum of his motivation is not anymore and vice-versa.

    "It is also possible that we don't get into a top-six position. And if that happens of course we have to look at it not smiling, but we have to look at it with optimism and look at it with a professional profile of next season has to be different.

    "Because if you analyse Tottenham for example last year, how many matches did Tottenham win away from home? When I arrived I think it was almost a year without an away victory. If it happens [finishing outside of the top six], it happens but we don't want it to happen and we are going to fight for it not to happen."

  • Rumour Has It: Chelsea target Havertz to discuss future, Thiago to join Liverpool or Man Utd Rumour Has It: Chelsea target Havertz to discuss future, Thiago to join Liverpool or Man Utd

    Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz has been tipped to leave the Bundesliga outfit at the end of the season.

    Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are among the possible destinations.

    Havertz's future could become a lot clearer following Leverkusen's 4-2 defeat to Bayern in the DFB-Pokal decider.

     

    TOP STORY – CHELSEA BOOSTED BY HAVERTZ NEWS

    Kai Havertz wants to meet with Bayer Leverkusen to discuss his future after the DFB-Pokal final loss to Bayern Munich, according to Bild journalist Christian Falk.

    Havertz scored a consolation goal as Leverkusen went down 4-2 to Bayern in Berlin on Saturday.

    Chelsea are interested in Havertz, Real Madrid are hesitant about signing the Germany international in 2020, while Bayern are not prepared to make a bid this year.

    Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester United have also been linked.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Falk also claims Bayern star Thiago Alcantara could join Liverpool or United. Bayern are braced for Thiago to leave at the end of the season and the Spanish midfielder has been tipped to move to Premier League champions Liverpool. However, United are also reportedly interested.

    United, Arsenal, Napoli and Atletico Madrid are among the teams eyeing a cut-price deal for Madrid outcast James Rodriguez, says Marca. Everton and Wolves have also been mentioned as suitors.

    - According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are desperate to sign Atletico midfielder Thomas Partey, so much so they are prepared to sell either Matteo GuendouziAlexandre Lacazette or Lucas Torreira to fund the transfer.

    - Gazzetta journalist Nicolo Schirra reports Sporting CP are in advanced negotiations to extend Joelson Fernandes' contract. The Portuguese side are looking to increase the 17-year-old's release clause from €45million to €100m amid interest from Barca, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

    Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing Monaco full-back Djibril Sidibe, Foot Mercato claims. The Ligue 1 champions are looking to sign a right-back after Thomas Meunier left for Dortmund.

    - Madrid forward Luka Jovic remains Milan's first choice to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Calciomercato says. Milan are ready to meet Jovic's agent as they look to pair the Serbia international with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic at San Siro. Patrik Schick – who spent the season on loan at Leipzig from Roma – is another option should Milan fail to land Jovic.

    Inter prefer David Alaba over Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri and have already met the Bayern star twice, according to SportMediaset. Alaba has also been linked to Chelsea, PSG, Madrid and Manchester City.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.