‘Fantastic team’: Virgil van Dijk raves about Chelsea after Liverpool’s win last night

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk has described Chelsea as a “fantastic team” ahead of a meeting between the two clubs next month.

Chelsea will face off against rivals Liverpool at the end of February in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium, which is a great opportunity to get some domestic silverware in the bag.

For Thomas Tuchel’s Blues, they breezed past Tottenham over two legs in the semi-final to qualify for the final. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s 2-0 victory last night against Arsenal secured their safe passage.

Reds defender Van Dijk has paid upcoming opponents Chelsea huge respect ahead of the final, albeit both clubs still have plenty of games to play beforehand in various competitions.

“They (Chelsea) are a fantastic team, fantastic individual quality, great manager, structure. It’s going to be tough. We have to prepare well when the game is ahead of us,” Van Dijk said.

“We have the qualities to make it very tough for them and beat them, but they have very good qualities that we have to be very aware of.”

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Chelsea v Liverpool has makings of classic

Thankfully, Chelsea have enough time to play themselves back into form by the time the cup final comes around due to some underwhelming results in the Premier League.

Liverpool’s big hitters Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will be back from the Africa Cup of Nations by next month’s Wembley showpiece, though.

There is just one point between second-placed Liverpool and third-placed Chelsea in the league right now.

It’s been a phenomenal effort during the past 12 months from Tuchel’s side to bridge the gap to Jurgen Klopp’s team, and the final should give a huge indication of how far they’ve come.

It doesn’t look like there’s a great deal to choose between the pair if they both play well, so it could come down to handles the pressure of a final greater. Tuchel’s masterclass in winning last year’s Champions League should give Chelsea fans hope.

It’s ended 2-2 and 1-1 in the league meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool this season.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.