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Virgil van Dijk on Eden Hazard, Chelsea and how Liverpool are preparing for Super Cup clash

Virgil van Dijk believes Eden Hazard’s Chelsea exit will force Liverpool’s Super Cup opponents into a different gameplan in Turkey.

The Reds meet the Londoners in the season’s European curtain raiser in Istanbul’s Vodafone Park on Wednesday evening.

For new Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, he is attempting to reshape a new-look side without the genius of Belgium international Hazard, who joined Real Madrid earlier this summer for a reported £130million.

Chelsea’s transfer ban means they have largely had to make do with the same makeup of their squad as last season, although the Blues do have one-time Liverpool target Christian Pulisic in their ranks after he signed in January.

Chelsea began their season in contrast to Liverpool’s, going down 4-0 at Old Trafford as Manchester United ran riot in the second half on Sunday.

 

And Van Dijk thinks Chelsea might have to alter their approach from last season without the talented Hazard, who scored twice against Liverpool last term.

He said: “He is a quality player and he was important to them but I think they plenty of quality players.

“I think they play a little bit different than they did last year. We will analyse them over the next couple of days and then we will be prepared.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez of Liverpool combine to block out Eden Hazard
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez of Liverpool combine to block out Eden Hazard

“Nothing that happened last season [against Chelsea] will have any impact on what is going to happen. It is the next game.

“It is going to be a new game. They have a new situation at the club there but we want to do better than we did last year and we will see.

“It is a trophy that we can win and we want to win it so we are going to give it everything we can.”

 

Liverpool are set to be without influential goalkeeper Alisson Becker for the next few weeks after he suffered a calf injury midway through Friday night’s 4-1 win over Norwich.

It means recent signing Adrian is set to be thrust into the limelight to deputise for the Brazilian Golden Glove holder, despite only signing last Monday.

However, Van Dijk believes the Spaniard’s experience means he won’t be ruffled by becoming first-choice for Jurgen Klopp during Alisson’s enforced absence.

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“I think he played many big games in his career so I don’t think he is going to be nervous or anything,” added the Dutch defender.

“It is just that he has to do his job with us and hopefully we can win the trophy in the end.

“Obviously, all the players that come here have to get used to the way of playing but as a goalkeeper I think, and that is my personal view, it is not too difficult but you still have to do it and hopefully we don’t let him make too many saves.”

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