Virgil van Dijk can’t wait to take on Manchester City despite facing Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne.
Liverpool will face the Premier League champions on Sunday in a game that is far less at stake than in years past.
The two teams have set the standard in England and Europe with some jaw-dropping encounters over the past five seasons, but a defeat would put the Reds 16 points off their rivals.
Despite a tough start to the season with Liverpool in the middle of the pack, Jurgen Klopp’s men looked reborn last time in a 7-1 Champions League win over Rangers with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah at their best.
And Van Dijk explained what that result has done for his squad’s mentality, especially to see their attackers all in shape
“I think it gives a lift”, he told the club’s website. “The point is that it doesn’t guarantee anything for Sunday, but it’s much better than losing or drawing here, for example, especially if everyone expects you to win.
“So I think it was a great performance overall given the circumstances. I’m buzzing, you know, I’m buzzing about the result, the performance, especially the second half.
“Now is the time to recover and prepare for a special Sunday where we all need to be at our best.
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Asked about his team’s forwards, Van Dijk said: “These guys, they have so much quality, they’ve shown that over the past four, five years.
“Obviously the last eight or nine games in – I don’t know how many games we’re playing in – it’s not going as well for almost everyone as everyone wants and the confidence has dropped a bit at times.
“But I think we all showed the quality we have [against Rangers]. In front of [Salah] to also arrive at the right time when they need to push a little bit more space will be more – it is beneficial for all of us. ”
Van Dijk holds the Premier League record for consecutive unbeaten home games with 68 at Anfield, but he may face the toughest task yet when Erling Haaland shows up.
The City machine has already scored 15 league goals in just nine games and is a terrifying prospect for any player in the world, but Van Dijk is excited.
“It sounds cliché, but these are the games you want to play,” he said.
“You play against the champions, you play against one of the best teams in Europe with probably the most in-form striker, with one of the best midfielders, in my opinion, in the world.
“So they have a great side, a great manager and it’s always been difficult for both sides – it won’t be any different.
“So we have to look forward to it. This one [win over Rangers] will definitely give a little boost – and it should give us all a little boost – that we can be very, very good.”
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