When Liverpool take on Paris Saint-Germain this evening in their Champions League group stage opener, all eyes will be on the forward lines of the two teams.
While Liverpool will always fancy their chances with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the side, PSG have three match-winners of their own in Edinson Cavani, Neymar and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe.
But, as well as in attack, tonight’s encounter will also be one that features more than one quality central defender.
Going into the game, at the back, much focus will be on Virgil van Dijk and PSG captain Thiago Silva.
However, the spotlight could yet again be on the talented £19.8m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Joe Gomez.
Having had his injury problems since joining Liverpool from Charlton back in 2015, Gomez now finds himself as a regular in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI, and now looks to be van Dijk’s long-term partner at the heart of the Reds’ defence ahead of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip.
The 21-year-old has started the season in superb fashion, putting in a string of solid performances and gaining many plaudits in the process, and could save Liverpool millions going forward.
Be it next to van Dijk at Anfield or in Gareth Southgate’s three-man defence for England, Gomez has looked calm, composed and confident on most occasions, traits he will need to show when Neymar and co come to town.
Without a doubt, PSG will provide Gomez with arguably the hardest test of his career, and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has been quick to remind everyone that prior to tonight’s game, the former Charlton man would not have faced too many opponents of real difficulty.
In his Telegraph column (via Daily Mirror), Carragher wrote: “Although he played at right-back a year ago, since assuming his favoured position Gomez has been likened to Bobby Moore and Rio Ferdinand.
“Gomez could become a top player, but to get there he will need to overcome sterner tests than Selhurst Park and the King Power Stadium.”
And there will be no sterner test than having to face Neymar and Mbappe dribbling towards you with Cavani running in behind.
For Gomez, however, it will be a stern test that he will absolutely relish.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!