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10 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Van Dijk lays foundation for Reds’ title finish

Afp, Liverpool
Van Dijk lays foundation for Reds’ title finish

Liverpool’s attacking power kick-started their challenge for a first English title in 29 years, but with the finish line in sight, the focus is on a rock-solid defence led by Virgil van Dijk as Burnley visit Anfield on Sunday.

The arrival of Van Dijk in a £75 million ($97 million) transfer from Southampton was met with scepticism in some quarters 15 months ago, but the Dutch star’s imperious form quickly quietened such concerns.

This season, in particular, the durable centre-half -- Liverpool’s only outfield ever-present in the Premier League -- has been particularly outstanding.

His high-level displays have been crucial for Liverpool in recent weeks as his attacking team-mates have, by their previous standards, failed to hit the heights of months gone by.

Watford were swept aside 5-0 at Anfield at the end of last month, but those goals were the only ones scored by Liverpool in a spell that has featured goalless draws with Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Everton.

The Merseyside derby saw van Dijk in formidable form, an indication of his importance to the team as the forward line of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino struggled for form.

Van Dijk, 27, is a pivotal figure for Liverpool as they prepare for the Burnley fixture.

Liverpool’s defence has struggled with injuries to key personnel, aside from van Dijk this season, with the loss of Joe Gomez, coincidentally against Burnley when his side won 3-1 at the start of December, a particular loss.

The young England international had emerged as an important figure in Klopp’s back four prior to suffering a fractured leg, although the fact he returned to running in training on Thursday suggests he could be in contention for the meeting with Tottenham at the end of the month.

“It’s a rather positive moment. Most of the players will probably be better after the international break. For example, Joe,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said.

Additional defensive options and cover will be welcome for Klopp although, as long as he has van Dijk at the centre of his defence, his team can be confident of maintaining their current impressive record at the back.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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