Virgil van Dijk warns Liverpool clash ‘perfect game’ to motivate Manchester United

The Reds are looking to secure a first win of the Premier League season, while United are yet to pick up a point.
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Virgil van Dijk has warned his Liverpool teammates that Manchester United will view the sides’ upcoming Old Trafford meeting as the ‘perfect game’ to kickstart their season.

The Red Devils have made a disastrous start to life under new boss Erik Ten Hag, having suffered a home defeat to Brighton on the opening day before being embarrassed at Brentford a week later.

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However, Van Dijk insists there is still plenty of quality in United’s ranks and knows the Reds’ rivals will be desperate to set things right when they meet on Monday evening.

“They are a good team in my opinion, they have good players all over the pitch,” he said.

“Obviously they’re not in the best situation confidence-wise probably, but it’s the perfect game to turn it around for them.

Virgil van Dijk has issued a warning to his teammates.Virgil van Dijk has issued a warning to his teammates.
Virgil van Dijk has issued a warning to his teammates.

“But we’re looking at ourselves and we want to make sure we’re ready for it and we are going to work hard this week again. It’s a big game, a game on its own. We are all looking forward to that.”

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Of course, Liverpool themselves have not had the best of starts to the season, posting back-to-back draws with Fulham and Crystal Palace.

But, while Van Dijk is understandably keen to put things right at Old Trafford, he refused to pile additional pressure on the visitors by suggesting they are out to ‘make a statement’.

“It’s massive but it’s not about making a statement, we want to win and do everything that’s possible to win there,” he added.

“Over the years it has proven tough for us to win there, obviously last year was a great result, we can’t deny it.

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“This year they’ve had a difficult start and we’ve not had the best start that we wanted either, so it will be interesting.”

Liverpool are currently without 10 first-team players as a result of an early-season injury crisis, though they may be able to welcome back Roberto Firmino for Monday’s game.

Of those fitness problems, Van Dijk said: “It’s part of football, unfortunately. We have to deal with it, recover now as well as we can all of us, and then we focus on United.

“It’s going to be a tough game away again but hopefully we get some players back and get a good performance and just be positive and think about winning.”