Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has talked up the possibility of Virgil van Dijk returning to face Chelsea in Saturday’s Premier League clash. The 27-year-old has been sidelined all week with a rib injury but could play through pain at Stamford Bridge to help Liverpool get a result against their title rivals.
Klopp said: “Virgil will try everything to be ready and I know how it sounds but as long as you are not seriously injured, like broken or ruptured or a proper strain, then the boys play constantly with pain.
“And if you no pain before the game, then you will have it after the first challenge. That is how football is. It is important how you can deal with the pain and how strong is the pain, but if he is able to deal with it then he can play.”
Van Dijk has played in every league game so far for Liverpool and played a full 90 minutes in the Champions League as the Reds dispatched of Paris Saint-Germain. He’s drawn the plaudits from Klopp and will likely be called upon for such an important game, even if he’s not 100%.
The Dutch international has been a terrific servant in a short space of time for Liverpool, who signed from Southampton in January 2018, making 29 appearances in all competitions.
Liverpool are currently top of the table with 18 points from six games this season, boasting a 100% record after coming up against the likes of West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Brighton & Hove Albion, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton.
Chelsea are third with only two points less than Klopp’s side, kept away from second placed Manchester City by goal difference. The Blues are a real threat to Liverpool on Saturday, not least because of home advantage and the face they won at Anfield in the League Cup days previously.
Stats from Transfermarkt.