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E. Haaland

Van Dijk details how to stop Haaland and admits Man City striker gives defenders nightmares

19:15 BST 13/10/2022
Virgil van Dijk Erling Haaland Liverpool Manchester City 2022-23
Virgil van Dijk is one of few defenders who can say he has got the better of Erling Haaland this season and the same task beckons this weekend.
  • Kept Norweigian quiet in Community Shield
  • Haaland has scored 20 goals in 12 games since
  • Two teams meet at Anfield on Sunday

WHAT HAPPENED? Only two clubs have been able to stop Manchester City's goal machine from scoring this season. Bournemouth are the only Premier League team to have done it while Liverpool are the other team, in the curtain-raising Community Shield at King Power Stadium. Virgil van Dijk was part of the Reds' backline that day and he hopes to keep the 22-year-old quiet again this weekend.

WHAT HE SAID: "It's definitely not easy – he’s been on fire, you can’t say anything else," the Liverpool centre-back told TV2 in Norway. "I remember after the Community Shield where a lot of people have been writing him off, I remember I was saying, ‘listen, this guy is going to cause so many defenders nightmares’. He’s shown it, he’s been showing a consistent level and obviously in a team like City where chances will always come.

"We have to try to stop the balls going to him, defend at the highest level, and be at our best, and that’s what we always have to be against City and that’s not going to be any different on Sunday. It’s something we should look forward to, it’s definitely not me against him, it’s all of us versus all of them. It’s the outside world that creates battles, one versus one and all this stuff. We want to stop them scoring, regardless of who it is on the pitch. But we know he’s quite good."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Stopping Haaland would go a long to helping Liverpool past Manchester City on Sunday. It is a game that Jurgen Klopp's side need to win if they want any chance of making ground in a title race that already looks beyond them.
STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR VAN DIJK? It has not been the start to the season that the Dutchman - or anyone at Liverpool - will have been expecting over the summer. They are 10th in the Premier League after eight games and already find themselves 14 points behind league-leaders Arsenal.