Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has claimed that the Premier League championship will not be decided by the clashes between the title contenders, but rather by the matches against the rest of the league.
Jurgen Klopp's side have started the season well domestically, accumulating 20 points from their first eight games, and currently sit joint-top of the table alongside Manchester City and Chelsea ahead of the international break.
Their fixtures so far have include a victory over Tottenham and draws to City and Chelsea, but the 27-year-old believes that the Reds' performances against teams lower down in the division will be the deciding factor of the destination of the Premier League title.
"I think it is not about these games, it is all about the other games, the difficult games which we have against mid-table and lower teams," he said, as quoted by The Mirror.
3 - With Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City all yet to suffer a league defeat this term, this is just the second time in Premier League history that as many as three teams have gone unbeaten in their opening eight games of a single season (also 2011-12). Race.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 7, 2018
"We aim to improve every game, even if it is against Chelsea, for example, and we want to win every game. After the international break there are three important games against Huddersfield, Red Star and Cardiff so we want to be ready for that."
Liverpool have come off the back of a difficult run of fixtures against Chelsea twice, Napoli and Manchester City in three different competitions, with defeats coming in the EFL Cup to the Blues and in the Champions League against the Italian side.
Despite the losses, Van Dijk refuses to use that as an excuse, admitting it's become the norm for the club as his attention now turns to the Dutch national team.
He continued, stating: "Yeah, it was not an easy month playing against Champions League teams. But it is tough week in, week out, and playing with a little injury is not easy. We have to all keep going and now it is internationals."