Van Dijk backed to contain fellow £75m man Lukaku by Liverpool legend Hamann

Virgil van Dijk will relish the challenge of facing Romelu Lukaku, says Dietmar Hamann, with Liverpool preparing to visit Manchester United.

Two £75 million talents are set to lock horns at Old Trafford on Saturday in what is always a highly-charged encounter.

The pair have crossed paths before in Premier League competition, but this will be a first meeting on opposite sides of the Manchester-Liverpool divide.

Hamann believes Van Dijk is capable of winning a physical battle, with the Dutch defender boasting all of the attributes required to contain a 23-goal striker.

The former Reds midfielder said: “I think he will. He is probably as tall as him, think he’s probably as quick as him, and I don’t think Van Dijk minds a physical challenge.

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“You know you can never keep him out the game for 90 minutes Lukaku, because he is just too powerful and too quick and too strong for that. But I think Van Dijk will stand up to that challenge.

“The less service you give Lukaku, or the less you can stop the people giving service to Lukaku the better.”

While keeping one eye on Lukaku, Liverpool and Van Dijk will need to keep another on Alexis Sanchez.

Hamann is, however, of the opinion that the Chilean will provide less of a threat following an uninspiring start to his spell with United.

“I’m not sure whether he has got the impact he had got three years ago,” added the former Germany international.

“I think he’s in his late twenties now, he is a very physical player, you have to see how long he can play at a very good level or the top level. And I’m just not sure whether he is the same player that he was when he first came to Arsenal.”

Dietmar Hamann Tag Heuer

Jose Mourinho will be hoping that Sanchez can deliver against Liverpool, but Hamman is expecting another cagey performance from United to mirror that put in during a 0-0 draw at Anfield back in October.

“I think again against United you have to be patient and I don’t think United will approach the game any differently to when they did at Anfield,” he added.

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“They do sit back, they like to play deep and play on the counter attack. And I think Mourinho has always been like this.

“He doesn’t concede many goals, or his teams don’t concede many goals, and I think patience will be key because when you’ve got a lot of possession against United then I think the most dangerous thing is always to think we’ll be fine, we won’t concede, now let’s commit one or two players more forward, and I think this is where they can hit you.

Dietmar Hamann was speaking on behalf of TAG Heuer to promote the TAG Heuer Premier League Pressure Test. TAG Heuer is the Official Timekeeping Partner of the Premier League.

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