Van Dijk against Lukaku the key battle

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Mike Hughes, BBC Radio Merseyside

With the new Premier League season in its absolute infancy, it’s far too early to be talking about a fixture being one of the biggest games of the season.

However, it’s difficult to get away from the feeling that Liverpool against Chelsea at Anfield has the hallmark of a battle between two teams that are definite title challengers.

There’s a look of renewed energy and vibrancy about Liverpool and they will benefit more than most from the return of matches being played in front of capacity attendances.

The duel between Virgil van Dijk and Romelu Lukaku embodies the nature of this contest and just that facet is absolutely intriguing. Van Dijk, a Rolls Royce of a footballer and one of the greatest defenders ever, up against Lukaku, whose game has hit new heights in the last 12 months.

Virgil van Dijk has only just returned to action after a long absence through injury. Jurgen Klopp has already made it clear that he’ll “manage” his central defenders this season and there will be frequent rotation.

The outcome of this hugely anticipated fixture won’t depend solely on who comes off best between Van Dijk and Lukaku, but it will go a long way towards deciding who’s victorious.

Image source, Getty Images