The Reds' season isn't going well - and now Van Dijk's injured...
Liverpool aren’t enjoying the best of seasons. They’re out of the Carabao Cup and are struggling to get past Wolves in the FA Cup…
In the Premier League, meanwhile, they’re out of the title race. After 17 games, the Reds sit sixth in the table, 16 points behind leaders Arsenal.
Liverpool have only been up to the mark in the Champions League. Though Napoli beat them to top spot in Group A, they won 15 out of 18 points.
The Merseysiders were unlucky in the last-16 draw: they’ll face Real Madrid once more. Nevertheless, Jürgen Klopp says they can’t wait for the clash…
“This is a tie that speaks for itself. Real’s European record is the best around. We know this. But we also know that ours is not too bad.”
“It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to think what the atmosphere will be like at both games […]. This draw has given us something special to look forward to.”
He's not wrong - it’s a mouth-watering match-up. But if Virgil van Dijk misses out through injury, Liverpool’s task will be made that bit harder.
The Reds’ boss says the central defender will be out “for a few weeks” after suffering a hamstring injury, telling reporters: “[It’s] a big blow.”
Van Dijk is a key component of the Liverpool backline - but, given the first leg against Madrid is on 21 February, he faces a race against time to be fit.
Liverpool are winless so far in January. With just over a month to go until the European tie, they’re turning to players like Cody Gakpo and Stefan Bajcetic.
January signing Gakpo was one of the revelations of the World Cup, having been on fire for PSV in the early-season period (15 goals and 18 assists).
Bajcetic, 18, is forcing his way into the team. He has opened his Liverpool goalscoring account and is one of the club’s brightest prospects.