Virgil van Dijk views tonight’s crunch tie with Napoli as a knockout match, but is confident that Liverpool can do enough to progress beyond the group stage.

Jurgen Klopp’s side must win 1-0 or by two clear goals this evening to move on to the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League, with any other result eliminating them from the tournament.

And Van Dijk, who has been a revelation at the heart of the Reds defence since his arrival in January, is aiming for a clean sheet against their Serie A opponents.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates victory with Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool after the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium on September 15, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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“It’s a knockout tie,” the No.4 told “We want to win the game but in this case we need to win 1-0 or by a two-goal difference. We’re going to give everything and hopefully that will be enough.

“I’m always confident in my team and all of the players around me, the whole squad. That’s how you need to play as well, full of confidence, especially at a club like Liverpool.

“[Napoli] are a good side and we need to be 100 per cent ready for a good performance. I have a feeling that we will be.

When asked about having Joel Matip alongside him in defence, van Dijk replied, “He’s a fantastic player. All of our defenders are fantastic players.

“The manager said at the beginning of the season that we’d need everyone throughout the whole season, so we need to be ready. He is showing that he’s ready, that’s good for everyone.

“That’s the message for everyone: you need to be ready whenever we need you. If you’re not playing now, you might be playing tomorrow. That’s the situation. Obviously I saw last season how good he can be and how good he is. We’ll just keep going and do it all together.”

“It would be a big achievement,” added van Dijk, when asked what it would mean to qualify tonight. “If you look back at all the games, we could have made it a little bit easier for ourselves. But the situation is how it is.

“It’s going to be a good game; we face one of the most dangerous teams in Europe and we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

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Freelance writer and passionate Liverpool supporter from Northern Ireland. Married to the beautiful Christine. YNWA.

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