Sometimes, as I’m watching Liverpool Football Club play, I wonder to myself what it must be like for their opponents to get the ball to their feet, look up, and see Virgil van Dijk bearing down on them. Probably not great, I tend to think. The Dutchman is one of the most intimidating defenders in the world, because he’s one of the most technically gifted and very rarely makes mistakes.
Though he was kept quiet in the first leg of the Round of 16 tie last month, Robert Lewandowski playing at the Allianz Arena is certainly a formidable threat. Thankfully it’s van Dijk who is, in part, being tasked to stop him. And he had some thoughts on the subject, having missed the last match up due to suspension.
“You need to be aware of the qualities of every striker you face, as I always am, but sometimes you need to be smart and more than 100 per cent ready for anything,” he explained.
“If he’s trying to run at you, trying to get past you, you need to be ready for that as well. You don’t need to give any opportunities to those strikers because they will punish you and they will score.”
It takes quite a bit to score against Liverpool’s talented number four, and hopefully Wednesday will prove no different in that regard. Liverpool need to either win outright or earn a score draw to advance into the quarter-finals once again.