Football

Merseyside anticipates debut of van Dijk and Tosun

Merseyside is salivating over the prospect of two major January signings making their debut in the Liverpool-Everton Derby tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

The world's most expensive defender Virgil van Dijk, signed by the Reds from Southampton for £75 million (S$135m), could go head-to-head against the Toffees' new £27m striker Cenk Tosun, previously of Besiktas.

Both teams' managers have indicated that there is a likelihood of the two players featuring in the FA Cup third-round fixture during their respective media conferences.

Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp was quoted as saying in Liverpool Echo: "We will see what we do with him.

"I can imagine everyone is desperate to see him on the pitch but, for us, there's no rush. It's not decided yet."

If van Dijk is selected, it will mean Klopp fielding a fourth different central defensive partnership in four games, with Joel Matip playing alongside Ragnar Klavan against Swansea and Dejan Lovren against Leicester, before dropping out as the latter two faced Burnley, reported AFP.

The hope at Anfield is that the 26-year-old Dutchman will be the answer to their defensive woes, which have undermined their English Premier League campaign.

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino believes that he will be a key addition to the squad.

TOSUN TO ADD BITE

The Brazilian told liverpoolfc.com: "He's a really, really good defender. It's always really hard playing against him. He marks very tightly and he's a really high-quality player."

Everton manager Sam Allardyce will judge Tosun's physical condition before deciding if the 26-year-old Turkey international will feature.

He said in the Daily Mail: "Could he be on the bench for the FA Cup? Possibly.

"It all depends on his overall fitness. We wouldn't want to damage him just because it's the FA Cup. He wants this move to happen."

The Goodison Park outfit will be relying on Tosun to sharpen up an attack that has been blunt all season.

With just 25 goals scored in 22 Premier League outings, the ninth-placed team have bagged just one goal more than relegation-threatened West Ham.

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