Liverpool vs FC Porto - Van Dijk: Liverpool not contemplating dream double

Posted Tuesday, April 09, 2019 by PA

Liverpool vs FC Porto - Van Dijk: Liverpool not contemplating dream double

Virgil Van Dijk insists Liverpool’s players are refusing to contemplate a Premier League-Champions League double as they know one stumble could derail that dream.

It was impossible for the Holland international to disagree with the suggestion that Jurgen Klopp’s side could win both competitions, but he stressed that lifting trophies could not be further from their minds at present.

Liverpool lead the Premier League by two points from Manchester City, who have a match in hand, and host Porto on Tuesday in the first leg of a favourable Champions League quarter-final draw.

“We are still in the race, so it’s possible. But I think it’s still a bit too far to think about it,” said Van Dijk when asked about any potential double.

“We have to take it game by game. We know in the Premier League any points dropped or slip-up can end our title dreams.

“That’s the same for them (City), so the only thing we can do is just keep going.

“The only thing we can do is focus ahead of us, first Porto and after that Chelsea. It’s the only way we should think.

“I don’t think there’s any time for slip-ups in the Champions League either.

“Porto are at this stage as they deserve to be, they are going to be coming for revenge as well.

“We just need to keep doing what we have been doing all season; playing well, defending well and enjoying every bit of it as well.”

Andy Robertson serves a one-match suspension, with midfielder James Milner expected to deputise at left-back.

Adam Lallana is a doubt with a minor muscle injury which forced him to miss Friday’s win at Southampton.

Porto manager Sergio Conceicao insists revenge will not be the motivating factor for his side.

Last season the pair met in the last-16, but a 5-0 drubbing in the Estadio do Dragao in the first leg meant a goalless draw in the return at Anfield resulted in an early exit for the Portuguese side.

As humiliating as that defeat was, Conceicao insists it has been forgotten.

“I’ve heard you constantly ask this question, ‘Liverpool, will it be revenge?’ I didn’t talk about it, you keep asking me about it,” he said.

“There is no question of revenge, it is a game of football. All games have a history to them, some different to others.

“No single game can change the characteristics of our team. What happened last year was last year, end of story.

“I don’t like losing. No-one likes losing in the final stages of the Champions League, particularly the first leg at home.

“But we don’t need to be obsessing about that, negative thoughts are in the past. You don’t measure the value of teams by that one day.”

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