Van Dijk is easily the best defender in world football right now and Lionel Messi, well, is just Lionel Messi. So naturally, everyone is excited to see what the likes of Van Dijk and Matip can do to stop the Argentine wizard.
But now former Premier League player Danny Murphy has come out to claim that the Anfield outfit is more than equipped to stop Lionel Messi and in fact, they should be more worried about Jordi Alba.
Murphy wrote: “I don’t want to tempt fate but I think Liverpool are better equipped to deal with Lionel Messi than Manchester United were at the Nou Camp.
“They have to be concerned about Barcelona’s wizard, of course, but not obsessively so. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jurgen Klopp spends as much time working out how to deal with the runs from Jordi Alba at left back.
“If Alba and Philippe Coutinho are allowed to go two-against-one with Trent Alexander-Arnold isolated, that does spell danger for Liverpool.
“I don’t see the benefit in going man-to-man. Condense the space and if Messi ends up dropping too deep, that will suit Liverpool.
“I think they have to be careful in the wide areas because Jordi Alba likes to bomb forward and the strengths of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah are going the other way.
“If Alba is in advance of the Liverpool wingers and Coutinho cuts in from the left, it will give Alexander-Arnold a major headache. I think Henderson or someone like him might be detailed to be vigilant and move across to double up with the Liverpool right back when required.”
Just to defend Lionel Messi for a minute, even the Man United fans thought that they had been successful in stopping the Argentine after the first leg of the previous round.
And then at Camp Nou, the magician showed exactly why one should never write him off.
So, clearly, no matter what Danny Murphy says, Jurgen Klopp will surely devise a plan to stop Lionel Messi this week at Camp Nou.