It’s fun to play against Virgil van Dijk, says Timo Werner, Latest Football News - The New Paper

It’s fun to play against Virgil van Dijk, says Timo Werner

Germany striker Timo Werner admits he will quite literally be playing in the shadow of Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk when Joachim Loew's side host Holland in Hamburg on Saturday morning (Singapore time) in a clash of the European powerhouses.

In-form Werner, 23, is expected to lead the attack for Germany in the Group C Euro 2020 qualifier, as he returns to the starting XI in the absence of Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, who tore knee ligaments last month.

The 1.80m-tall RB Leipzig striker said he was looking forward to facing Liverpool defender and 2019 Fifa Best Player candidate van Dijk, who towers over him at 1.93m.

"If I stand next to him, it gets dark pretty quickly," joked Werner, who has five goals from his first three Bundesliga matches.

"He is one of the best defenders in the world, if not the best. It is fun to play against such players."

Werner's Germany know all about van Dijk, 28, as he nodded home a late header to snatch a 2-2 draw for the Dutch in Gelsenkirchen last November, which relegated the hosts from the top tier of the Nations League. Die Mannschaft gained revenge with a 3-2 win in a Euro 2020 qualifier in Amsterdam in March. - AFP