Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has insisted that the Reds have ‘nothing to lose’ in the Premier League title race this season because there is more pressure on Manchester City as defending champions, but he is refusing to think about the possibility of winning it just yet.
Liverpool have made a perfect start to the 2019/20 campaign by winning all eight of their Premier League fixtures so far – part of a longer winning streak that is 17 games and counting – and saw their lead grow to eight points in the last round of fixtures when City lost to Wolves.
Whether seriously or not, some dubbed that as the moment Liverpool won their first league title since 1990, while the pressure from fans on the media is on the Reds not to throw away the commanding lead that has been built up in a little over two months.
“I don’t think we have anything to lose,” Van Dijk has told Sky Sports.
“Man City are the champions, they're defending their title and we want to get it. In my point of view, we just have to go for it,” he added, while suggesting they also need to ‘enjoy’ being top.
“The pressure gets bigger, but that comes from the media. They love to put more pressure on us and that’s something we have to deal with. I don't mind because I’m not thinking about what other people say, I just want to win every game that is ahead of me.”
Van Dijk explained that it is ‘not realistic’ for Liverpool to think about winning the Premier League title yet, owing to the number of games still be played – 30 to be precise. However, he is well aware that his team is in a ‘better situation’ than City by being on top as things stand.
“We all have dreams, we all have targets,” the Dutch international captain continued. “With the Champions League last year, we all started the competition hoping to win it and it’s the same with the Premier League. Hopefully it’ll happen this year but if not, we go again next year.”
Liverpool and Van Dijk can make it 18 Premier League wins a row if they can beat fierce rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, a game the Reds are expected by many to win handsomely as a result of the contrasting fortunes of the two sides.
But Van Dijk is taking nothing for granted and is well aware of the dangers of complacency.
“[United are] not in the best way, they’re not fully confident and they’re not in the situation they want to be in. But the good thing about football is you can bounce back in any game,” he said.
“They might think this is the best occasion to bounce back from it but we know that.”