Football News

Liverpool’s Van Dijk gives vote of confidence to Adrian ahead of Super Cup

By CJ Smith

Published: 11:45, 14 August 2019

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is confident goalkeeper Adrian can step up in the absence of Alisson during Wednesday’s Uefa Super Cup clash with Chelsea.

The Spaniard was a free summer signing after being released by West Ham but made an unexpected debut during Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Norwich City on Friday after Alisson was withdrawn due to injury.

Adrian’s unexpected chance: Five key things to know…

  • Adrian signed for Liverpool in the summer after being released by West Ham.
  • The Spaniard has eplaced Simon Mignolet as back-up for Alisson at Anfield.
  • But Alisson suffered an injury during the first half of Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Norwich.
  • Adrian took up the gloves and will now also start against Chelsea in Istanbul.
  • Van Dijk has confidence in his deputy goalkeeper’s ability.

The Brazil No.1 went down while taking a goal kick during the first half and the pain was such that Jurgen Klopp revealed Alisson felt like “something hit him in the calf”.

Alisson will now face a couple of weeks on the sidelines, meaning Adrian will take his place between the sticks for Wednesday’s showpiece, which is something Van Dijk has no worries about.

“I don’t think it is too easy to come on in a game as a goalkeeper but he did well and hopefully he can just keep on going what he is good at,” he said.

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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. 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.”

Van Dijk wary of Hazard-less Chelsea

As European champions and Premier League runners-up, Liverpool head into Wednesday’s game as big favourites, especially considering Chelsea lost Eden Hazard to Real Madrid over the summer and went down 4-0 to Man Utd in their opening game of the season.

But Van Dijk is still wary of the threat posed by Chelsea’s other talents, with Frank Lampard having the likes of Christian Pulisic and Pedro at his disposal.

“He is a quality player [Hazard] and he was important to them but I think they [have] plenty of quality players,” he added.

“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. Nothing that happened last season 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.”