Virgil van Dijk claims the Liverpool squad are feeling the power of their supporters from their homes as they prepare to return to an empty Anfield. The Reds host Crystal Palace on Wednesday (8:15pm) after making their Premier League return on Sunday in a dour 0-0 stalemate at Everton.
It was clear that Jurgen Klopp’s side may need time to adjust to the new normal both on and off the field.
The European champions used a portacabin in the Goodison Park car park as their dressing room before the Merseyside derby and now they’re relishing the chance to be back on home soil.
Liverpool have already played an inter-squad game at Anfield two weeks ago whilst they later welcomed Blackburn Rovers in a recent friendly behind closed doors, a match they won 6-0.
Both sets of supporters successfully managed to stay away from Sunday’s derby and now Van Dijk has urged Kopites to do the same again in midweek, with their support still driving them over the line from home.
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“The supporters not being there will be so strange,” he told the Official Liverpool FC matchday programme.
“Particularly as our supporters are so important to us.
“But, like so much in this time, we have to make the best of it.
“The supporters haven’t disappeared, they will just be somewhere else.
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“We know we will have millions of people watching us from their homes so we still have the responsibility to perform for them and ourselves.
“The whole world has had to make sacrifices in the last three months or more and unfortunately the way things are at the moment means we play at the stadium and the supporters watch from their homes.
“But we have a strong enough connection to our fans to know they’ll be with us for every kick, header, pass, shot and save.
“It’s not that Liverpool fans aren’t around anymore – they just have to watch from home. I think we can still make this cool if we all really give our best. We’ll do that as players.
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“The supporters know we feel them still. I really hope we can help bring some joy with what we do on the pitch. That will be a motivation for us.”
Liverpool are set to welcome back Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson to the starting line-up.
The duo sat out of their side’s Premier League opener following a 16-week break in play.
Both have been nursing minor fitness problems and Klopp was cautious about throwing them in at the deep end of the back of missed sessions.
James Milner (hamstring) and Joel Matip (toe) picked up injuries against Everton and are likely to miss the clash with the Eagles.
Order the official matchday programme for home delivery from reachsportshop.com.
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