Virgil van Dijk: Liverpool are not concerned about other Premier League rivals this early on
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Virgil van Dijk: Liverpool are not concerned about other Premier League rivals this early on

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk insists that despite the hype surrounding their attempts to challenge for the Premier League that the team are only concerned about themselves and not of the results of other rivals.

Joshua Kerr

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk insists he and his teammates are only concerned with themselves and are not monitoring Premier League rival's results this early on in the season.

The Reds began their domestic campaign with huge intent after blowing apart West Ham United at Anfield in a convincing 4-0 victory.

The victory left Jürgen Klopp's side reminding the country that Liverpool can oppose a serious threat to reigning English champions Manchester City in the title race this campaign.

Despite the bookies placing the Reds as the second favourites to snatch the Citizens crown, Liverpool defender van Dijk isn't concerning himself with the hype surrounding their potential title-credentials.

“We’ve seen the media writing about us as the new champions and stuff but we don’t really look at those things. We need to just focus game by game,” said van Dijk.

“We want to do well. We want to achieve greater things so we need to be ready for any challenge, any battle that comes to us.

“We are very well prepared, we were looking forward to this game and I think everyone could see it.

“For us it is key that we don’t look too much at other teams. We need to look at ourselves and be ready every week for any opponent we face. That is key at the moment.”

Expectations "the highest you can imagine"

The Reds enthralling start to the season was encapsulated by the sheer dominance they displayed from the opening minute against a Hammers side that had also been severely strengthened in the summer transfer window. 

The addition of fresh faces in the starting eleven alongside the recruitment of Premier League winning manager Manuel Pellegrini wasn't enough to stop the East Londerners from losing their 12th season opener - more than any other Premier League team.

However, Liverpool's next opponents Crystal Palace will certainly prove a sturdy test for Klopp's side with the Eagles earning an impressive 2-0 victory at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Goals from Jeffrey Schlupp and Wilfred Zaha lifted Roy Hodgson's side to third in the league table as well as earn the club only their third opening day victory since the Premier League began.  

Despite the tough trip to the capital on Monday Night Football for the Reds, their German manager spoke of the team’s own expectations for the season being ‘the highest you can imagine’ as they try to build on successive top-four finishes.

The Reds' last trip to Selhurst Park was one of pure drama and relief for Klopp and his side as Liverpool had to come from behind from a Luka Milivojevic penalty before Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah fired back to earn a crucial victory for the club that set them on their way to a second successive European finish.