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Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk warns Chelsea not to make huge mistake in Carabao Cup final


Virgil van Dijk is aiming to win his first trophy as Liverpool captain (Photo: Getty)

Virgil van Dijk has warned Chelsea not to underestimate his injury-ravaged Liverpool side ahead of the Carabao Cup final.

The two sides meet at Wembley on Sunday, with Liverpool looking to kick-off Jurgen Klopp’s farewell tour with a trophy.

Chelsea meanwhile will be looking to win their first piece of silverware under Mauricio Pochettino, which could well save the manager’s job after an underwhelming season thus far.

The match will also mark the first time that Van Dijk will lead his team out in a major final having taken over the Reds captaincy last summer following Jordan Henderson’s departure.

But the XI that he skippers will hardly be out full strength with the Premier League leaders going through a massive injury crisis which threatens to derail their campaign.

10 players are currently in the treatment room, with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker, Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones all ruled out.

Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai face late fitness tests.

Liverpool thrashed Chelsea 4-1 just several weeks ago (Photo: Getty)

As a result, the game is expected to be a lot closer than first thought, with some believing that Chelsea may now hold the advantage, especially after their impressive display at Manchester City last weekend.

But Van Dijk says any team who underestimates the Reds do so at their own peril, backing the club’s young and fringe stars to step up to the plate.

‘I think the players coming in have to step up and show they’re wrong. I think that’s the only way to do it,’ the 32-year-old said ahead of the final.

‘If they take us lightly, then that’s their problem. I think we have enough quality to read the opponents. Players who come in have to show that

‘That fear factor, we don’t have influence on that. Everyone has to step up, the ones that play have to deliver to get results.

‘Younger players as well, everyone has to take responsibility. They also have to enjoy that. I think everyone wants to get the opportunity and show themselves, and they have to be confident.

‘I’m not worried about that. They just have to go out there and show their qualities. I think if you play for Liverpool, you’re quite a good player already, so go out there and make everyone proud.’

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