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Liverpool will have no fears in cauldron of the Nou Camp

Van Dijk and the front three would strike fear into any team - Barcelona included


Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk poses with his PFA Player of the Year award

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk poses with his PFA Player of the Year award


Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk poses with his PFA Player of the Year award

We have reached that time of the year when the Player of the Year awards are announced, but I think there can only be one winner when it comes to the Manager of the Year gong.

While it is hard to pick between Virgil van Dijk and Raheem Sterling for the players of this memorable season in the Premier League, the best manager has to be the guy that ends up with the big prizes and at this moment, that looks like being Pep Guardiola.

Mauricio Pochettino would have a strong claim to have been the Premier League's great over-achieving manager if he guides Tottenham past Ajax in the Champions League semi-finals, while Wolves boss Nino Espirito Santo has done a fantastic job in his first season in the Premier League and Watford manager Java Gracia has also excelled.


Yet the top two teams in the Premier League have detached themselves from the pack this season and for that reason, Guardiola and Klopp will be first and second in any manager of the year poll.

You could argue that Klopp's achievements with Liverpool are more impressive because he has not had the ridiculous financial backing Guardiola has been working with, but I think it's a little too simplistic to say money alone has got City to the position they are in.

Guardiola has been given an incredible opportunity to build a dream team, but he still had to make the right decision at that club and had put his philosophy and DNA at the heart of a side that are a joy to watch.

I've been at City's last three Premier League matches and they have won them at a canter. Okay, so they needed a bit of luck with the goal that won them the game at Burnley on Sunday, but they could have won that match by a distance and I don't see they dropping any points in their last two matches.

City are the complete team and Guardiola deserve all the credit for building them into that, with Liverpool and Klopp needing to accept that 97 points probably won't be enough to win the Premier League this season.

Liverpool's best chance of winning a trophy now appears to be in the Champions League, with their semi-final against Barcelona on Wednesday night a game we can all look forward to with real relish.

One thing I like about this Liverpool team is that they will go to the Nou Camp and play the way they have played all season.

They won't go there and try to defend or cling on. They will try and take a share of the ball, take on the newly crowned Spanish champions and back themselves to come out on top.

Klopp took that approach to the Champions League ties against Manchester City last season and came out winning 5-1, so Barcelona will be wary of the threat Liverpool will pose tomorrow.

In fact, every team in world football will be fearful of this Liverpool side as their front three are so clinical, their full backs are incredible at both ends of the pitch.

And in Virgil van Dijk, they have the best centre-back in the game. I would support the theory that the current Liverpool team deserve to be recognised among the best in the club's history, even if they end up finishing second in the title race to Manchester City.

To have 91 points on the board with two games left to play is truly incredible and the brand of football they play under Klopp is fantastic to watch and they should be lauded for what they have achieved.

The trouble for this great Liverpool team is they are operating in a brief period in history when they need to overcome a team that may well be one of the best of all-time, with Manchester City's brilliance from a technical perspective matched by their incredible will to win.

As a Liverpool man, I'd love to see my old team get the break they need with City dropping points against Leicester at the weekend, but that isn't going to happen and for that reason, I can only nominate Pep Guardiola as my manager of the year.