[ENT] Virgil van Dijk admits Liverpool are facing “challenging times”

Virgil van Dijk believes Liverpool are facing “challenging times” – because everyone wants to see them fall after finally ending their 30-year championship wait.

The Reds claimed the Premier League title last term, ultimately strolling to victory.

Now, with eyes on a repeat, Jurgen Klopp’s men entered the international break reeling after a shock 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa on Sunday.

That came after they had opened up the campaign with three successive wins, and was just one of a number of surprise results in the early part of the campaign for the league’s supposed elite.

That has led to suggestions that – alongside a number of other external factors – this year’s title race could be an open one.

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Liverpool’s £75million defender believes that the Reds, as they look to retain their title are the team everyone now wants to beat.

The Reds were left unhappy with their 7-2 loss to Aston Villa at the weekend

“I think trying to stay at the top is the hardest thing to do,” he told Eddie Hearn’s ‘No Passion No Point’ podcast on BBC Sounds. “Everyone wants to see you fall when you reach the top.

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“That is what life is about, especially these days. For me, I want to give everything I have got until I retire and then have no regrets after.

“I don’t want any regrets afterwards, I think that would be the worst feeling you can have. It is going to be challenging times coming up.

“We are champions – something that took a while.

“We should enjoy the moment and go for it.”

Van Dijk is currently on international duty with Holland

Since being crowned champions, Liverpool are yet to play at Anfield in front of supporters.

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And the backing of the Kop is something which Van Dijk continues to miss – as are the cat calls and booing from supporters of rival sides at away grounds.

Thiago Alcantara blew fans away on his Liverpool debut – but he came close to signing for rivals Arsenal

Liverpool are keen to repeat last season’s success – and you don’t want to miss a thing, surely?

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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.

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In terms of transfers the Reds have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara and Wolves’ Diogo Jota has arrived too, in a shock deal worth a potential £45million.

Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is set to head to Wolves in a £10million deal, while Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There’s a lot to keep track of.

The easiest way to keep up with Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool? It’s by signing up. Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.

“The fans can play a massive part in difficult times during games and also at good times in games,” the Liverpool defender added.

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“When you concede the fans will lift you and when you score they make the opponent go further away from you.

“It’s the same case for everyone, but for us in particular everyone knows how difficult it is to play at Anfield with the fans behind us. Hopefully, things can change as soon as possible because we need fans.

“It lifts our performances at home but when you play away and the home fans turn against you – I like that.

“It gives you that motivation sometimes to do better. It’s something I definitely enjoy and that I miss.”

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