Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk says he still has plenty of room for improvement after his knee surgery as he prepares to test himself against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night (Atletico 23/10, Draw 11/5, Liverpool 7/5 – match odds).

The Netherlands international suffered a serious knee injury 12 months ago this week, after a challenge by Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby.

Van Dijk has recovered to play every minute of all eight Premier League matches, but he has been rested for the European games against Porto and AC Milan.

Reds (15/2 to win the Champions League – outright) boss Jurgen Klopp is planning to recall Van Dijk for Tuesday’s clash in Madrid, and the former Southampton man says he is ready for the occasion, although he says he has yet to reach the peak of his powers.

Van Dijk told reporters: “I know there are a lot of eyes pointing in my direction, wondering ‘Is he going to be back in the same way’.

“They were already before but will be now even more, but it’s something I’m not thinking about. The only thing I can do is try my best each and every game.

“I feel like I am improving. I have work to do but I don’t think about what others have to say or judge.

“I’m playing at the highest level again, playing with a lot of joy, so far it is going in the right way and I am feeling fine, but there is always room for improvement.”

Liverpool duo Alisson Becker and Fabinho are set to return to the starting XI after missing Saturday’s 5-0 win over Watford.

However, Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott all remain out.

Atletico (25/1 to win the Champions League – outright) boss Diego Simeone is without Stefan Savic due to suspension, but Jose Gimenez, Matheus Cunha and Marcos Llorente are all set to return to the fold.

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