Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is well aware of the threat posed by Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowksi when the two sides meet in the Champions League this week.
The Reds travel to Bavaria for the second leg of their last 16 tie with the German champions after a goalless draw at Anfield. Lewandowski is the top scorer in the Champions League this season with eight goals in seven games and has scored four goals in his last two Bundesliga matches.
Van Dijk missed the home leg through suspension but is back for the trip to the Allianz Arena and is ready to deal with the Polish forward. You need to be aware of the qualities of every striker you face, as I always am, Van Dijk told UEFA.com.
But sometimes you need to be smart and more than 100 per cent ready for anything. ‘If he’s trying to run at you, trying to get past you, you need to be ready for that as well. You don’t need to give any opportunities to those strikers because they will punish you and they will score.
Liverpool’s tie with Bayern hangs in the balance, as does their quest for a first Premier League title as they are second, one point behind Manchester City. Every game is crucial at this stage of the season for the Reds, but Van Dijk welcomes the pressure of needing to perform.
There’s always pressure at a big club. I’d rather play with pressure than without,’ said the Dutchman. I’m very proud to play for all these fans, for the manager, with these fantastic players and to wear the shirt every game.
To play with pressure is always a good thing. I like to play with pressure.