‘Virgil van Dijk still makes mistakes’ – Nicholas ‘not convinced’ by Liverpool defence

LIVERPOOL defender Virgil van Dijk “still makes mistakes”, according to Charlie Nicholas, who has backed Southampton to get a shock result against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.

Liverpool’s defence won’t be as strong this season, according to Arsenal legend Nicholas, who “isn’t convinced” by the Reds this season.

Klopp’s team relied on Van Dijk last season, but Nicholas has warned that the Dutch centre-back still has a mistake in him.

Liverpool failed to keep a clean sheet in their opening Premier League match of the season last week; a 4-1 win against Norwich City.

But, the Canaries split the Liverpool defence on a number of occasions, and could have scored more goals with better finishing.

Nicholas thinks Southampton could shock the Reds today (3pm) at St Mary’s.

He’s backed the Saints to sneak a 2-2 draw, after getting taken apart by Burnley last weekend, ultimately losing 3-0.

“I am not convinced by Liverpool this season,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“Are they going to be good enough for second? Yes they are.

“Liverpool cannot and will not be as good defensively – Alisson is out already, too.

“Southampton will be looking at different things and how to exploit this Liverpool team.

“Virgil van Dijk still makes mistakes and is an elegant, beautiful footballer to watch, but he is expected to win headers and play how he does.

“I think Southampton, after the rotten result, will be at it here.”

Liverpool have only kept one clean sheet in their past 10 matches since the Champions League final; a pre-season 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers.

Klopp may be without either of his two first-choice goalkeepers against Southampton.

Alisson Becker picked up a calf injury at Carrow Road last week, while Adrian suffered a freak injury after the UEFA Super Cup final.

The goalkeeper was celebrating after winning a penalty shootout, before a fan ran onto the pitch and accidentally tackled Adrian. He suffered a swollen ankle, and is a doubt for the match despite telling Liverpool’s official website that he was feeling better yesterday afternoon