Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk sends strong warning message to Erling Haaland ahead of Man City clash
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has sent a strong warning message to Erling Haaland on how the Reds plan to try and stop the Norwegian and his team-mates during their clash against Manchester City on Sunday.
Since joining the Citizens in the summer after leaving Borussia Dortmund, Haaland has dominated the Premier League.
This season, the Norwegian has scored 15 goals in nine games. Only Bukayo Saka, Bernardo Silva (four), and Kevin De Bruyne have more assists than he has, with three (nine). Also, he has five goals in three Champions League games.
Only one team, Bournemouth, has prevented Haaland from scoring in the league so far, yet despite this, the Cherries fell to Manchester City 4-0. That demonstrates that City continues to perform at an incredibly high level even when Haaland is not at his best.
In contrast, Liverpool have conceded 12 goals in just eight games this season, which is already close to half of their 26 total from all of last season.
However, Van Dijk claims he and his fellow defenders have a strategy to attempt and stop that number from increasing at Anfield on Sunday.
Speaking about the crunch fixture on Friday, Van Dijk revealed (quotes via Manchester Evening News): “We have to try to stop the balls going to him, defend at the highest level, and be at our best. That’s what we always have to be against City, and that’s not going to be any different on Sunday.
“It’s something we should look forward to. It’s definitely not me against him, it’s all of us versus all of them. It’s the outside world that creates battles, one versus one, and all this stuff.
“We want to stop them scoring, regardless of who it is on the pitch. But we know he’s quite good.”
Haaland, mentioned earlier in October how City’s Community Shield loss to the Reds by a score of 3-1 served as inspiration for his current success. The Norwegian had a clear chance to score during the game but failed to do so.
He explained (quotes via MEN): “I think it was good that match happened, that something happened, and [I thought], I have to be a bit more ready.”
Can Virgil van Dijk and his teammate stop Erling Haaland from scoring on Sunday, on time will tell?