The Dutch captain told Nettavisen that the absence of Erling Braut Haaland represented a major loss for Norway ahead of the Battle of Destiny.
Zeist, Netherlands (Nettavizen): Van Dijk met the press alone at the Netherlands’ robust training facility on Monday, while coach Louis van Gaal snapped a photo via a video link afterward. He was injured in the hip as a result of a bicycle overturn.
Dozens of Dutch and international journalists and TV stations were at the KNVB Campus, less than an hour from the match ground in Rotterdam, before the Group G decider match.
The Dutch put themselves in a somewhat more difficult position after they missed their 2-0 lead against Montenegro on Saturday, and they could end up in third place in the group.
– Savner Haaland
But Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk will not have to defend himself against Erling Braut Haaland on Tuesday, who scored Norway’s goal and created the most risks during the settlement at Ullival.
Read also: Drama by Van Gaal before the Norway match
When asked by Nettavisen what the 30-year-old considers Norway’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, the Liverpool star referred, among other things, to Haaland’s absence.
I think Norway is a good team as a whole. They will fight throughout the match and will never give up no matter the outcome. They have an individual quality, but they miss Haaland. He says it is a big loss for them.
However, the Dutch star adds that Norway still has players to fight against.
They have players who can stand out, they have players who can make a difference, but their greatest strength, as I said, is that they never give up. We should be able to match that, says Van Dyck.
Read also: Van Gaal slaying: Let’s be honest
Watch the video: Van Dijk also met Haaland when the Norwegian played for Red Bull Salzburg, but was silent about Yarbuen when Natavizen spoke to him after the match at the time:
– You don’t talk about it
Van Gaal also notices Haaland’s absence and is aware that the Battle of Orange’s plan is changing due to Norway’s loss of the bull from Gaeren.
He first cited Netavizen’s Mohamed Elionosi, Martin Odegaard, Christian Thorstedt and Alexander Sorloth as players to watch out for on Tuesday, but they are clearly happy they won’t have to face Haaland.
My entry is different. Haaland has exceptional qualities, he says, and at the same time sends him a kick.
– But we also have players off the field. You don’t talk about it. So maybe I should ask you how Solbakken got into the match, says Van Gaal with a smile.
The veteran coach is expected to lead the team in a wheelchair on Tuesday after a thigh injury he sustained.
Lifting opportunities are now being investigated at De Kuip in Rotterdam, so he can move onto the training bench.
– I have a clear mind, so I can think. I am always positive. Don’t worry, the 70-year-old said when asked by NRK.
The second best team in the group
However, the Dutch national team manager is honest that although Haaland is left out of the Norwegian squad, a player like Sorloth has other qualities to be aware of.
The former Manchester United manager appears to be expecting stiff opposition when Solbakken’s men meet them in Rotterdam on Tuesday night.
Van Gaal also believes that Norway is the toughest opponent in the World Cup qualifying group.
As a team, Norway is the best team (in the group) apart from the Dutch national team, says the veteran with a smile.
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