Virgil van Dijk sends message to Erling Haaland ahead of Man City showdown

Virgil van Dijk says he’s looking forward to facing Erling Haaland at Anfield, but has played down suggestions that Liverpool and Manchester City are effectively battling for the Premier League title when they face off on Sunday.

The two dominant forces in English football over the past five years will meet at Anfield on Sunday, with victory enough to carry either side to the top of the Premier League table heading into the final ten games of the campaign.

Arsenal are currently top of the tree after a late Kai Havertz winner saw Mikel Arteta’s side past Brentford, with momentum seemingly on the Gunners’ side after a run of eight successive wins.

The direct challenge for Van Dijk is dealing with the division’s top scorer Haaland – the Norway international has 18 goals in 22 games this season. But Van Dijk is relishing the chance to slow him down and is confident he can turn the tables and cause problems of his own.

“It’s always good to come up against one of the best and most in-form strikers in the world,” he said.

“[Haaland] is a natural goalscorer, he has proven it and his numbers are speaking for themselves so it will be a tough afternoon but it’s a battle I am looking forward to. I’ve caused him problems, he’s caused me problems – that’s how it works.”

Erling Haaland, Virgil van DijkErling Haaland, Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk is ready to do battle with Haaland / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages

Despite claims that the winner will likely go on to secure the Premier League title, Van Dijk wants to treat Sunday’s game like any other and insists the fate of the title will not be decided at full time.

“There’s too long to go,” the Liverpool captain explained. “Obviously it is a massive game, you can’t deny that. There will be a lot of eyes on it but we have one aim and that’s to try to win the game.

“We are at home and we are looking forward to a big challenge but a big opportunity as well. It will be tough but you want to play these games. We want to get a good result. That’s the only thing we will try and do, it’s not about going out there to make statements.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of facing the treble winners.”


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