Klopp hopeful over Van Dijk fitness

Virgil van Dijk may have to play through pain for Liverpool against Chelsea, manager Jurgen Klopp said.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk   -  Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed he may use Virgil van Dijk against Chelsea, even if the defender has to play in pain.

Van Dijk, 27, missed his team's EFL Cup defeat to Chelsea due to a rib injury and is in doubt for the blockbuster Premier League clash between the sides on Saturday.

Klopp is yet to decide if the Netherlands international will feature, as Liverpool heads to Stamford Bridge looking to maintain its perfect start to the league season.

But the German seemed somewhat upbeat about Van Dijk's chances of playing.

"I will decide if he plays. If the player goes out and says, 'No chance', then I cannot decide, but in all other situations I will decide," Klopp told UK newspapers.

"Virgil will try everything to be ready and I know how this sounds but as long as you are not seriously injured, like something broken or ruptured or a proper strain, then the boys play constantly with pain.

"And if you have no pain before the game then you will have it after the first challenge. That is how football is.

"It is important how you deal with the pain and how strong is the pain, but if he is able to deal with it then he can play."

Liverpool is two points clear atop the table ahead of its trip to Stamford Bridge.