Virgil van Dijk is not expecting an easy evening when Liverpool square up against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.
The Dutchman was suspended for the first leg at Anfield three weeks ago when the Reds earned a 0-0 draw against the Bavarian giants.
With Bayern Munich having trounced Wolfsburg 6-0 at the weekend to move back to the top of the Bundesliga on goal difference, the £75m Liverpool centre-back reckons that while it should be an ‘exciting’ tie, he knows he will be in for a ‘big fight’ when he comes up against Robert Lewandowski and co.
“It is going to be an exciting tie,” Van Dijk said in the pre-match press conference.
“They played very well here, kept it tight especially at the back and obviously showed us a lot of respect. They changed a bit the way they played I think, so we need to be up for a big fight because they are probably going to come all in, especially in the beginning. It is going to be tough and we need to do better than we did in the last away games in the Champions League.
“The group stage games were not as good as we wanted but we got through to the knockout phase. Now we have a 0-0 and we want to do everything that is possible to get through. We know it is going to be a very hard and tough game.”
Interestingly, Liverpool have lost all three of their Champions League away ties this season, and van Dijk said that the Reds will need to be ‘patient’.
“Sometimes you have to know how to manage games because at times it is going to be very hard and we will need to be patient, ready for what is coming.
“There will be times when it is going to be very tough and we are going to be under pressure because they have a lot of quality and they showed that. But we will definitely have our own moments because of the quality we have as well.
“Everyone can see how tough it is already in the Champions League. The situation is we have a 0-0 to start with and hopefully we can get the job done.”