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Virgil Van Dijk Ready for “War” as Liverpool take on Manchester City.

Israel Oluwaseg Lawal
Virgil Van Dijk has promised a Fierce war against Manchester City as the Reds look to secure top 4.

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk is ready for a fierce battle with his close friend and international teammate Nathan Ake, as Liverpool prepare to face Manchester City in a crucial Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. While City are competing with Arsenal for the league title, Liverpool are desperate to keep their hopes of a top-four finish alive. With seven points behind, but with two games in hand, Liverpool has a tough challenge ahead.

Van Dijk, who played alongside Ake for the Netherlands in the recent Euro qualifiers, acknowledged the pair’s close relationship but made it clear that their friendship will not matter on the pitch. “When the whistle blows, it’s battle and a war on the pitch. After that, we pick up the friendship again,” said Van Dijk.

He also praised Ake’s consistent performance this season, both at the national and club level. However, Van Dijk hopes his Liverpool teammate Mo Salah will have the upper hand against Ake in the upcoming match.

“I am very close with Nathan, also in everyday life,” explained Van Dijk. “We live close to each other, our families get along very well and we see each other every week. Nat has been in a good flow all year but he is also modest. He is playing so well at the moment and is so important for our national team and Man City. He is achieving a very consistent level and people do not realise that is the hardest thing for a footballer to do.

“I am happy for him because I see what’s going on behind the scenes and how much he’s put in for it. On Saturday, he will probably be up against Mo Salah and hopefully we can get a good result. When the whistle blows, it’s battle and a war on the pitch. After that, we pick up the friendship again and there are more important things in life than football

After facing Manchester City, Liverpool will face Chelsea and Arsenal in an eight-day period, which could have a significant impact on their chances of participating in the Champions League next season.

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