Van Dijk looking for inspiration from dream Barca night
Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk is looking for inspiration from last season's semi-final comeback against Barcelona ahead of their clash with Atletico Madrid.
The task against Atleti on Wednesday night is not as extreme as last May’s second leg – when they had to overturn a 3-0 deficit – but it will still be a tough ask to break down the visitors who lead 1-0 from three weeks ago.
Anfield has seen some famous nights over the years but the 4-0 win over the Catalan giants which set up a sixth European Cup triumph is still fresh in the minds of players and fans alike.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico are likely to come looking to frustrate and take their chances on the counter-attack and Jurgen Klopp’s side can ill afford to concede again against a team renowned for their defensive capabilities.
“We couldn’t give any chances away against Barcelona, either,” said Van Dijk. “We will go with the same mindset as always. Hopefully win the game and play good football, but first and foremost, we have to deliver a lot of passion and hard work.
“We have to get everyone going from the first second to the last. Things can happen and they could be the better team but we all want to show why we want to go through with our qualities and deserve to be in the next round.”
The Reds go into the encounter on the back of a 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Liverpool have been forced to do without first-choice keeper Alisson who is currently struggling with a hip injury and will miss the clash with the La Liga giants on Merseyside.
Allison is also set to miss out on the derby encounter with rivals Everton on Monday night.
However, there is better news on the fitness of skipper Jordan Henderson after he returned to training having been out of action since the first leg in Madrid with a hamstring.