Liverpool have kicked off their 2021/21 Premier League campaign in impressive fashion, with Jurgen Klopp’s side picking up six points, scoring five times and being yet to concede a single goal over their opening two fixtures of the season.
However, with an equally impressive Chelsea side being the visitors to Anfield on Saturday afternoon, the Reds are set to face a very different challenge to the one posed by both Norwich City and Burnley in their previous games.
Indeed, Thomas Tuchel’s side have also picked up six points over their first two fixtures of the season, have also scored five times and are also yet to concede in the league.
As such, the Reds must be at their very best to get a positive result from the top-of-the-table clash, and, with Klopp recently confirming that Andy Robertson, who is yet to feature in the league this season due to an ankle injury, is in contention to start the fixture, it would seem as if the 54-year-old has been handed a rather significant boost ahead of the match.
While Robertson’s stand-in at left-back, Konstantinos Tsimikas, has highly impressed over his two Premier League appearances in the absence of the Scotland international, with the 25-year-old averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.20 in the league, should Robertson indeed be fit enough to start the Chelsea game, it is undeniable that Klopp simply must start the 27-year-old.
Indeed, since joining the Reds from Hull City back in 2017, the defender has been one of the club’s most consistent performers in the league, as well as a fantastic creative outlet.
This is perhaps illustrated best by the £58.4m-rated man’s form in Liverpool’s title-winning 2019/20 campaign, in which, over his 36 appearances, the defender helped his side keep nine clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.1 interceptions, 1.5 tackles, 1.6 clearances and winning 3.4 duels per game.
The man Darren Fletcher dubbed an “inspirational” player also scored two goals, registered a whopping 12 assists and created 14 big chances for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 1.7 key passes per match.
As such, while Tsimikas is undoubtedly a decent stand-in for Robertson, there is simply no comparison between the two players in terms of overall ability, leading us to believe that Klopp must start the Scot against Chelsea, as his addition to the Reds’ backline would be game-changing for the German coach and his side.