Virgil van Dijk of Holland during the UEFA Nations League A group 1 qualifying match between The Netherlands and Germany at the Johan Cruijff Arena on October 13, 2018 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Tom Bode/VI Images/PA Images)

Neil Warnock on Liverpool’s “best in the world” trio – and how he missed out on Virgil van Dijk

Neil Warnock says Cardiff have a “virtually impossible” task to try and get a positive result at Liverpool.

The Bluebirds climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone last weekend by beating Fulham 4-2 for a first win of the season.

But second-placed Liverpool are unbeaten in the league this term and are only behind Man City on goal difference.

Liverpool thrashed Red Star Belgrade 4-0 in the Champions League in midweek, a game in which the celebrated strike force of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all scored.

Asked about Cardiff’s daunting challenge on Saturday at his pre-match press conference, manager Warnock said: “It’s massive. It’s virtually impossible for any team in the current game.

“I think the front three is probably the best in the world.

“We’ve all got to play at the top of our potential to give them a good game and hope they have an off day.

“It’s a special place in football, a remarkable place, but I think we can go there and cause problems.”

Warnock raised eyebrows last season when he claimed that his Ivory Coast centre-half Sol Bamba is a better defender than Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.

Liverpool paid a world record fee for a defender when they signed Van Dijk from Southampton for £75 million in January, and the Dutchman has made a considerable difference to Jurgen Klopp’s title chasers.

Warnock almost signed Van Dijk for £6 million when he was Crystal Palace manager and, referring to his remark from last December, he said: “I think I’d been drinking if I’m honest!

“What I meant was that if Van Dijk was in our team, you’d see if he was a good defender.

“He doesn’t have to defend that much in Liverpool’s team because they’re usually in the other half.

“I’m pleased Van Dijk is playing like he is because I think we could have bought him at Palace for £6 million.

“But my chief scout said he was too slow. I think he’s still in a job as well!”

Warnock joked that he had looked at bookmakers’ odds which had priced Cardiff 70-1 to win 1-0, yet put Liverpool at 50-1 to triumph 7-1.

And he does not expect Liverpool to rest their top players for what many observers will consider a routine afternoon for Klopp’s side.

“Someone said to me they’d rest Salah,” added Warnock.

“I said ‘what, when he’s got a chance of scoring five or six goals against us?’ He’s going to want to play, isn’t he?

“But if the front three were injured, the next three aren’t bad either.

“It’s still an exciting place for us to be, especially where we were two years ago, and the fans know the boys are giving everything for the cause.”

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