Danny Murphy explains why it is ‘beneficial’ Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk will miss first leg of Champions L

ON THE VIRG The Netherlands international picked up a booking against Napoli which ruled him out of the clash at Anfield Danny Murphy believes it is ‘beneficial’ Liverpool will be without Virgil van Dijk for the home leg of their Champions League clash with Bayern Munich. The Bundesliga champions will travel to Anfield in February…

Danny Murphy explains why it is ‘beneficial’ Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk will miss first leg of Champions L


ON THE VIRG

The Netherlands international picked up a booking against Napoli which ruled him out of the clash at Anfield

Danny Murphy believes it is ‘beneficial’ Liverpool will be without Virgil van Dijk for the home leg of their Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

The Bundesliga champions will travel to Anfield in February for a titanic clashbetween two of Europe’s best sides for a place in the quarter-finals.

Van Dijk looks horrified after receiving the yellow card which means he will miss the first leg

However, the Reds will be without their Dutch defender after he was shown a controversial yellow card for a tackle on Dries Mertens in the final group game against Napoli.

Murphy, who spent seven years with the Reds, believes the timing of the subsequent suspension for Van Dijk is beneficial for the Reds.

With the away leg in Germany two weeks later, the world’s most expensive defender would be available after serving the one-match ban.

He said on theJim White Show: “I think actually that it’s beneficial to Liverpool that they are going to be losing him for the home game rather than the away game.

The Netherlands international won the ball, but caught the man

“That’s actually a little plus from the situation.

“I thought he was dreadfully unlucky to be honest. I was not of the opinion that he has done anything wrong with that tackle at all.

“Gomez should be back I think – and Matip – and actually what Gomez, Matip and [Dejan] Lovren have shown recently is that they are all very capable.”

Both Gomez andMatip have suffered injuriesin recent weeks, with Dejan Lovren partnering van Dijk at the back.

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However, in three months the current injury crisis at the back is set to subside and Murphy believes Jurgen Klopp has more than enough to cope for one game.

“Are they going to be better with Van Dijk? Yes, but they can’t have him,” he continued.

“So what they’ll do is what they normally do whether Van Dijk is playing or not.

“They’ll be on the front foot, they’ll go after them, they’ll make them play, they’ll press all over the pitch and the defenders will have to cope.

“Ideally, you would like Van Dijk in this type of game. But if you were going to choose one (if they were allowed) you wo0uld choose him to miss the home one because they will be on top.”

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