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Brentford boss backs Ivan Toney against “decent defender” Virgil van Dijk

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Brentford boss Thomas Frank has backed Ivan Toney to give Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk another good battle on Sunday.

While Toney largely got the better of Van Dijk in the 3-3 draw, the Dutch centre-back did produce a game-saving tackle late on to deny the former Peterborough striker a potential winning goal.

After scoring five times during the opening months of the campaign, the 25-year-old has now gone seven weeks and seven games in all competitions without finding the net.

Ahead of Sunday’s trip to Anfield, Frank said with a smile: “Virgil is a decent defender so it will be a good battle.

“I still think they have very good players in Jota, Firmino, Minimino, Jones.

“It is going to be a good game for us.” Toney goes into this weekend’s clash against the club he supported as a boy without a goal since the end of November.

A bout of COVID-19 in December has contributed towards the length of the mini-goal drought but Frank showed his forward some clips this week to point out he continues to get in good areas but just needs to improve his sharpness.
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