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Van Dijk on Europa Push: “Responsibility Falls on Everyone’s Shoulders”

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk believes whoever gets the nod against Toulouse, the side will have the quality to earn the result they want.

Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

Jürgen Klopp has signalled there may be fewer changes for Liverpool’s Europa League tie against Toulouse than some would expect, but there are certain to be some. Whoever does start, captain Virgil van Dijk says rotation is the name of the game.

With top teams expected to play a minimum of 50-60 games in a season, plus international commitments, long gone are the days of rolling out an unchanged for every match. So far this season, though, Liverpool have shown they have quality in depth.

“With the way modern football is, with games coming thick and fast all the time, the days of a ‘first-choice’ XI rolling on from one match to the next are long gone,” Van Dijk noted. “It is a squad game now and this means every player has a job to do.”

After starting on the bench following his exertions for Uruguay over the international break, one player who seems certain to rotate into the starting eleven is Darwin Nuñez. The same is likely true for Curtis Jones, ruled out in the league due to suspension.

Elsewhere, it’s anybody’s guess who gets the nod—but whoever it does, the fans as well as the players themselves will likely be able to look at the team selection and expect that it’s one that, if they play to their expected standards, should win the game.

“Our form so far this season has been good but it is only October so we are still looking for improvements,” Van Dijk added. “The desire to get better, the graft that is being put in, and the quality of the squad have been a big feature of the first few months.

“I’ve lost count of the number of times players have come off the bench to make a positive difference for us and we saw it again in the derby. This is what we want. Responsibility falls on everyone’s shoulders these days, much more than it did in the past.”

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