‘We are not going there to defend’ – Virgil van Dijk insists Liverpool will play their usual game against Villarreal in next week’s Champions League semi-final second leg

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Virgil van Dijk has sent a resounding message of confidence ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final second leg clash with Villarreal in Spain.

The Reds hold a 2-0 lead over the La Liga outfit heading into next week’s clash and the towering centre half has insisted that his side will play their normal game at El Madrigal and ‘are not going there to defend’.

“We are not going there to defend and defend the lead,” the 30-year-old told the club’s official website.

“We know we have to be very mature there as well, we know it’s going to be tough, probably a little hostile atmosphere, but it’s something we should enjoy as well.

“You don’t get to the final the easy way, it’s never the case, especially at this stage of the Champions League. You play against fantastic teams. So, it will be tough there but we have to be confident, work hard for the full 95 minutes and hopefully we can get the job done.”

READ MORE: ‘I don’t want to be facing any of our strikers’ – Virgil van Dijk marvels at Liverpool’s ‘incredible’ attacking options

Jurgen Klopp’s side are at their best when they’re on the front foot and attacking sides from the off.

With the amount of quality in the attacking department something that our No. 4 was also keen to highlight, there is no reason why we should change our usual game plan for the return leg against Unai Emery’s side.

The Yellow Submarine did defend resolutely during the first period at L4 on Wednesday, but we came out firing in the second half and goals from Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane have us in a rather comfortable position ahead of the game on Tuesday.

van Dijk has been at his brilliant best in recent weeks and he’s helped his side keep three successive clean sheets in recent games with Manchester United, Everton and Villarreal.

We travel to Newcastle in tomorrow’s Premier League lunchtime kick-off with a great opportunity to leapfrog Manchester City at the top of the table for at least a few hours before they travel to Leeds United in tomorrow’s late kick-off.

We’ll need a combination of solid defensive showings and clinical attacking displays in the coming weeks to ensure we finish this season as strongly as possible.

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