Former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater reckons Virgil Van Dijk will up his game when the Citizens visit Anfield on Sunday.
The Netherlands skipper will be up against the Premier League’s top goalscorer Erling Haaland who has 15 goals in nine league outings for his new side.
The Reds, meanwhile, are 13 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side, albeit with a game in hand, and urgently need to find some form if they’re to climb up the table.
Goater has labelled the clash between the two sides as a ‘beautiful game’ and is looking forward to watching our No. 4 up against City’s Norwegian forward.
“Virgil van Dijk is not quite at his best at the moment but if you love the game, you want to see the two best players facing up to each other,” Goater told Manchester City’s official website (via the Liverpool Echo). “You want to see the great teams facing each other when they’re both in form.
“But I think it’s one of those games where Virgil van Dijk himself, no matter what form he’s in, he wants to be raising his bar back to his best to say: ‘Today Haaland ain’t scoring. City ain’t scoring’. He will be up for that. But at the same time, Haaland will be thinking: ‘It’s about time they know about me, in terms of if they don’t already know, they’re going to know’.
“So I think it’s a beautiful game to be watching and seeing who comes out on top. I think Haaland himself has said that Virgil van Dijk is one of the toughest defenders he’s played against. The two of them will try to get the best of each other.”
Many have claimed that the former Southampton defender is a yard off the pace this season with Liverpool struggling for consistency and leaking goals regularly this term.
The Reds conceded four at Napoli, three at home to Brighton and three again at the Emirates on Sunday and with Guardiola’s men having such world-class quality in their attack, many are fearing the Sky Blues could wreak havoc at the weekend.
We all know what Klopp’s men are capable of, however, and if the atmosphere inside Anfield is electric then there’s no reason why we can’t defeat the Premier League champions.
Another defeat would be seriously damaging for our hopes of tasting success in the league this season as three points for the visitors would see them go 16 points ahead of us already.
Our thrashing of Rangers at Ibrox yesterday provides a huge confidence boost and with the likes of Darwin Nunez, Bobby Firmino and Mo Salah all on the scoresheet, let’s hope for more of the same against City.