Olivier Giroud says there’s no reason to fear playing against Virgil van Dijk

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League

Chelsea could play a crucial role in Liverpool’s Premier League title bid when the two sides meet at Anfield on Sunday.

The Blues head to Merseyside on a four-match winning streak that has included three clean sheets - a run that will be difficult to maintain against their next opponents.

But having taken two wins and three draws from the five most recent clashes between Chelsea and Liverpool, Maurizio Sarri’s men might well feel confident of consolidating their place in the top four.

On the other hand, Jurgen Klopp hasn’t watched his side lose since a shock FA Cup defeat to Wolves in January.

They boast ten victories in their last 15 outings across all competitions and must make it 11 if they’re to keep pace with Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

The crucial meeting will feature intriguing match-ups all over the pitch, including Virgil van Dijk up against whomever Sarri chooses to deploy up front.

The Dutch centre-back has been a vital contributor to the Reds’ impressive season - so much so he’s a strong candidate for the PFA Player of the Season award.

Despite his credentials, though, Olivier Giroud sees no reason for Chelsea to fear Van Dijk.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League

GIROUD ON VAN DIJK

“I played against him personally a few times and it has always been a tough position because he is very good and very strong, but I’ve scored a few goals playing against his teams,” he said, per football.london.

“[I played against him in] the Netherlands when we played recently but I won last year and scored at Stamford Bridge and scored the winner at the Stade de France against the Netherlands a few months ago.

“We don’t have to be scared and no matter who plays we will be 100% focused on winning the game.”

However, Giroud appreciates the daunting task his own defenders face in trying to control Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-ARSENAL

Speaking of the trio who collectively boast 47 Premier League goals this term, the Frenchman said:

“We need to be careful because we don’t want to expose ourselves too much because we know they are quality, especially on the counter-attack and they have an amazing three strikers so we are aware of that.

“We will work on that and we want to win this game.”

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