‘There will times when it is going to be very tough, we are going to be under pressure’: Virgil van Dijk preparing for hard Bayern Munich clash upon his return from European suspension
- Virgil van Dijk believes Liverpool must be braced to go through pain in Munich
- The Dutchman returns from suspension for the second leg tie in Bavaria
- Bayern brought a rigid gameplan to Anfield and left Liverpool with a 0-0 draw
- Van Dijk admits the Reds’ away record in European football has to improve
Virgil van Dijk believes Liverpool must be braced to go through pain if they are to upset the odds and reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
Bayern Munich are favourites to progress to the last eight after securing a 0-0 draw three weeks ago at Anfield and they warmed up for the second leg clash by thrashing Wolfsburg 6-0 on Saturday; the Germans have their tails up and will be ready to attack.
Van Dijk, Liverpool’s outstanding performer this season, missed the first leg through suspension; he is well aware of the attacking threat Munich pose and feels there will be long periods when he and Liverpool’s defenders find themselves taken far out of their comfort zone.
Virgil van Dijk believes Liverpool must be braced to go through pain in Munich
The Holland international, however, is confident that he and his team-mates can withstand the torrent and provide the foundation for Liverpool’s forward to score the goal that will change the dynamic of the tie.
‘Sometimes you have to know how to manage games because at times it is going to be very hard and we will need to patient, ready for what is coming,’ said van Dijk. ‘There will times when it is going to be very tough, we are going to be under pressure because they have a lot of quality.
‘They showed that already at Anfield. But we will definitely have our own moments because of the quality we have as well. We know they have lots of quality. They showed us a lot of respect here already and we need to use that respect and play our game and go through.
The imposing centre half is set to return for the Munich showdown, following a suspension
‘It is going to be exciting tie. They played very well here, kept it tight and they showed us a lot of respect. They changed a bit the way they played I think, so we need to be up for a big fight because they are probably going to come all in, especially in the beginning.’
Liverpool have lost their last four away matches in Europe and van Dijk is conscious of that record, saying: ‘We need to do better than we did in the last away games in the Champions League.
‘The group stage games were not good but we will do everything we can to get through.’
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s fitness is causing some concern for Jurgen Klopp. The right-back was substituted with a stiff back in the final moments of Liverpool’s 4-2 win over Burnley but the club hope he will receive the all-clear to travel to Munich.
Bayern have been preparing for the contest this week in torrid weather conditions
Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, has allayed fears that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has suffered significant damage to his hamstring.
The England midfielder played his first game for 11 months in an Under-23 fixture at Derby last Friday but came off after 41 minutes.
He was scanned on Saturday and Klopp said: ‘The good news is that there is no reaction to the knee. He just needs time. It is all good.’