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Liverpool in Virgil van Dijk fitness race as Real Madrid tie looms

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By Martin Graham | 6th Jan 2023

Virgil van Dijk took a knock against Brentford in a Premier League tie which keeps him on the sidelines for a while. The Dutch defender is in a race to be fit for the Champions League tie against Real Madrid next month.

They say when it rains, it pours. Such seems to be the case with Liverpool this season. It is hard for the club to shake off the feeling of having a hex upon it. The Reds have moved from one misfortune to another and are currently struggling to turn things around. Klopp must find answers quickly to the problems bedevilling the team.

Liverpool has had several players in the treatment room this season. The spate of injuries has derailed their plans for the season. With the misfiring of their expensive purchase of Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez, the signs then become evident that Jurgen Klopp is in deep doo-doo and seems not to have the boots for it.

The latest victim of the injury hex ravaging the Reds is Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch defender did not finish the game against Brentford, as Klopp had to substitute him after the first half. Van Dijk is now in a race to be fit for the upcoming vital clashes on the calendar for Liverpool.

Van Dijk in a race against time for Real Madrid
Liverpool may have to rejig their options as the Champions League round of 16 matches looms. With the Reds set to face defending champions Real Madrid next month, the Anfield side suffered a massive blow in their last game against Brentford. Virgil van Dijk did not finish the game as he fell to a hamstring injury. He was substituted at half-time as Liverpool lost 3-1 to the Bees.

The Dutchman is now in a race against time to recover for the Real Madrid tie. He faces weeks out on the sidelines, giving Jurgen Klopp a massive headache.
Klopp was initially upbeat over the condition of Van Dijk, but the recent prognosis is worse than feared, with a scan lined up to ascertain the length of time he would be out. The earliest they expect Van Dijk back is the Merseyside derby next month.

Liverpool players were due a day off on Tuesday, but the injury to Van Dijk will see him undergo a scan to determine the extent of the problem. Liverpool fears he will be out for at least a month.

Key matches ahead for Liverpool
Undoubtedly, the loss of Van Dijk is a massive blow for Klopp. With several injuries in the squad, the German tactician needs his top players available for the rash of matches on the calendar.

There is the FA Cup tie on Saturday against Wolves which the Dutch defender will miss. He will also be unavailable for crucial Premier League games against Brighton and Chelsea.

Next month is not going to be any easier. Liverpool starts February with a trip to Wolves. There is also the Merseyside derby before a massive tie against Newcastle on February 18. The clash with Real Madrid comes three days after the Newcastle tie.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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