Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that star defender Virgil van Dijk is fit ahead of their crucial fixture against title rivals Manchester City on the weekend.
The Reds host Pep Guardiola’s side, who currently sit second in the Premier League, in what is already a potential title decider as both sides require three points.
Manchester City are 6 points behind Liverpool and thus, are slight underdogs coming into the fixture with the bookies having a City win at 13/8.
The Reds, on the other hand, are 6/4 for a win and a draw is currently 13/5, highlighting how close this match-up is.
Virgil van Dijk missed training on Thursday afternoon causing Liverpool fans to fear whether their talisman would be unable to feature in a game that could put the Reds 9 points ahead of their rivals.
However, manager Jurgen Klopp eased the fears as the charismatic German confirmed that the defender returned to the Netherlands to have dinner with the Dutch Royal family.
The Dutch captain has been a crucial part of Liverpool’s success since his £75m move from Southampton as evidenced by the fact that he has played every minute in the Premier League.
His contribution to the Reds has been unparalleled so much so that last campaign, the defender beat both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to grab the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.
Therefore, the 28-year-old is a heavy favourite to win the Ballon D’or and would be the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 to win the prestigious award.
The bookies have van Dijk at 4/9 to lift the golden trophy whereas Messi and Ronaldo have odds of winning the trophy of 9/4 and 6/1 respectively.
This is due to the fact that van Dijk helped Liverpool win their sixth Champions League title and guided his national team to the final of the Nations League, where they lost to Ronaldo’s Portugal.
The Dutchman’s partner in defence for Liverpool, Joel Matip, is said to miss the Manchester City fixture with Xherdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne already on the sideline for Klopp’s side.
Skipper Jordan Henderson is available, however, having missed Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Genk in the Champions League due to illness.
Liverpool’s task of winning has become easier following Ederson’s injury in the Champions League earlier this week, which means Claudio Bravo will start, despite his red card in the same game.
Spanish midfielder David Silva is also set to miss the clash in what will undoubtedly be an exciting affair between two of the most dominant sides in Europe, let alone in the Premier League.