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“The only thing I can do is to work hard”: Liverpool star backs himself for Ballon d’Or title

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Latest Liverpool news: Van Dijk backs himself to land Ballon d’Or

Virgil van Dijk is possibly the best defender in the Premier League and has turned out fortunes around since arriving from Southampton.

The Dutch defender has made it difficult for the opposition to score goals and helped Liverpool win the Champions League last season.

The 28-year-old was named as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and is set for another great campaign with the Reds.

The Liverpool Echo reports that Van Dijk’s performances have made him one of the favourites to land the Ballon d’Or and the centre-back believes he can land the top honour.

Speaking on Graham Hunter’s Big Interview, the Dutch defender said (h/t Liverpool Echo):

“I have no explanation [why more defenders haven’t won it], I can only talk right now and that people are putting me in that bracket now for the Ballon d’Or is a massive honour.

“You have to back yourself [to win] and you know if you don’t, no-one will. We will see, but that people are already talking about it is such a great honour.

“The only thing I can do is to work hard, stay humble and keep improving.”

Van Dijk deserves the honour but faces competition

Most of the recent Ballon d’Or winners have been attackers or midfielders, and it would be incredible if Van Dijk receives the honour.

No defender was even close to Van Dijk’s performances last season and winning the Champions League should count for a lot.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo failed in their attempts to land the trophy but they won their respective domestic leagues.

Read more Liverpool news, click here – Latest Liverpool news

There could be some Manchester City players in the running too, while Riyad Mahrez lifted the Africa Cup of Nations in the summer.

Ditching a corporate job to follow a dream isn’t easy, but when football comes calling, who can say no? Been following the beautiful game since 1998. Liverpool addict, F1 fanatic!

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Good news for Liverpool as injured star takes part in training ahead of RB Salzburg clash

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Jurgen Klopp and Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren takes part in training ahead of RB Salzburg clash

Liverpool were handed a major injury boost ahead of their crunch Champions League clash against RB Salzburg on Tuesday.

Dejan Lovren limped off in the 3-0 win over Bournemouth at the weekend and had to be replaced. There was a re-jig in the defence with Joe Gomez moving to the centre-back’s role and Trent Alexander-Arnold coming on.

Liverpool would then have just two fit senior centre-backs with Joel Matip also on the injured list. However, the Liverpool Echo reports that Lovren was seen in training on Monday.

Jurgen Klopp and Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren (R) left the field with an injury at the Vitality Stadium (Image credit: Getty)

The Croatian has done a great job alongside Virgil van Dijk this season and it will be interesting to see if he starts in Austria.

Gomez also did a decent job as the right-back on Saturday against the Cherries. But the Englishman has looked a little rusty this season.

Liverpool need to avoid defeat

The Reds just need to draw at Salzburg to ensure their place in the last 16 of the competition.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Jurgen Klopp
Xherdan Shaqiri has struggled for game time this season (Image credit: Getty)

However, the Austrians are in great form and have hotshot, Erling Haaland, on their side too. They troubled us at Anfield and that cannot be ruled out on Tuesday.

Jurgen Klopp was able to rest a few players before the clash though. Sadio Mane was given a rest while Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino didn’t feature in the Merseyside derby win.

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Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri looked great in the win over Everton, and we need to put out a good side to get the job done tomorrow.

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“That’s why we loaned him” – Klopp backs Liverpool star to succeed at Anfield after sending him away on loan

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Harry Wilson

Jurgen Klopp backs Harry Wilson to succeed once winger returns to Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp believes Harry Wilson will be a success at Anfield after his stint with Bournemouth.

The Welsh winger was excellent with Derby in the previous season and narrowly missed out on gaining promotion to the Premier League.

Wilson was part of Liverpool’s pre-season but joined Bournemouth on a season-long loan. The 22-year-old was slowly brought into Eddie Howe’s team and has become one of their best players this season.

Harry Wilson
Harry Wilson celebrates after scoring for Bournemouth (Image credit: Getty)

Wilson has six goals for the Cherries and has scored some great free-kicks for them too. The Welsh international was unable to play against the Reds in the previous outing, and Klopp highlighted why the winger was sent out on loan.

The German told the Mirror that Wilson has a chance to do well at Anfield too (h/t Liverpool Echo):

“Of course he can [succeed at Anfield]. That’s why we loaned him, so he can make the steps.

“It would have been difficult for Harry and I would have loved to have had him here if we had another choice, especially when Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] was injured.”

Klopp also claimed he was happy that Wilson couldn’t feature against the Reds and highlighted his free-kick abilities.

The manager added that Wilson was at the Cherries to improve his all-round game.

Wilson has to take his chance

The Welsh winger has to impress for the remainder of the season if he wants to be part of the Liverpool squad next season.

The Reds can do with quality cover for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. However, Wilson has to improve his game further.

Harvey Elliott
Harvey Elliott joined Liverpool from Fulham (Image credit: Getty)

Harvey Elliott is another youngster who has impressed since joining the Reds this season, and it will be interesting to see if the former Fulham winger gets more first-team minutes.

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Wilson has to improve his consistency during the 90 minutes as he is often left out of the game, and hopefully, he does that in the coming months.

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34-goal Brazil international wants to play alongside Firmino at Liverpool

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Gabriel Barbosa

Gabriel Barbosa open to playing with Roberto Firmino at Liverpool

Gabriel Barbosa has had an excellent season with Flamengo this time around.

The 23-year-old Brazil international has 34 goals in all competitions and is on loan from Italian giants Inter Milan.

The forward is a regular for the national side too and can play as the central striker and in the wide positions.

Gabriel Barbosa
Gabriel Barbosa is on loan at Flamengo from Inter Milan (Image credit: Getty)

Barbosa, who is also known as Gabigol, is expected to feature in the Club World Cup too. Flamengo could face Liverpool in the final if both teams win their semifinals, and the striker spoke about playing for the Reds.

The 23-year-old spoke highly of his Brazil teammate Roberto Firmino and wanted to play alongside him at club level too (h/t Liverpool Echo):

“Firmino is great. He’s been successful for many years in Europe. He is a powerful forward and he has been great for Brazil. He is an inspiration that I look up to.

“It would be a pleasure to play with him. Maybe we could team up for Brazil in the future and Liverpool is a team that everyone wants to play for.”

However, the forward added that his attention is on the Club World Cup but praised the Premier League.

Gabigol wants to play in the Premier League

The Brazil international claimed he wants to play in the league but also added that he has a contract to honour:

“It’s one of the best leagues in the world. Every player dreams of being a champion and winning the Premier League must be indescribable.

“But I still have a contract with Inter Milan and Flamengo until the end of 2019.”

Barbosa further added that he would think of his “future after the competition” and it will be interesting to see how he performs in the clash.

Divock Origi
Divock Origi scored a brace in the 5-2 win over Everton (Image credit: Getty)

Liverpool could do with another quality forward to add more competition for the starting places. However, Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri have done really well in recent outings.

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The pair scored three goals in total against Everton and could feature more in the coming weeks.

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