Adrian Clarke looks at a key tactical battle in Matchweek 25.
The Premier League's most improved player over the course of the last 18 months has to be Andrew Robertson.
The Scot had to show patience for opportunities at first, but from the moment he became a regular in the starting XI the standard of his performances has constantly risen.
Delivering outstanding displays week in, week out this season, Robertson has been the Premier League’s best left-back by a long distance and will test West Ham United to the full on Monday evening.
A proper defender
When Liverpool have possession, Robertson is the epitome of the modern-day full-back, full of positive intent inside the opposition half.
But he also relishes the defensive aspects of the game.
He is excellent at pressing his direct opponents, snappy in the tackle and astute in his decision-making. Very few wingers can get the better of Robertson.
He is the side's most prolific tackler, making 55 this season, 24 ahead of the next team-mate, Jordan Henderson.
He is also the most successful left-back in the division when it comes to winning those challenges.
Yet, tellingly, he has made hardly any fouls.
When you compare how many free-kicks he has conceded in 2018/19 with other full-backs in the Premier League, it gives you a clear indication of his expert timing.
Best tackling full-backs
|Player||Club||Tackles won||Fouls conceded|
Athleticism and quality
Klopp’s players need energy in abundance to implement the gameplans he sets and Robertson is one his most energetic performers.
Registering 18 sprints per 90 minutes, only four Premier League players have made more in 2018/19.
His direct opponents rarely get a moment’s peace.
Most sprints in 2018/19
Laying on 23 chances from open play, almost double that of the 12 done by the fifth-ranked creators, Xherdan Shaqiri and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Robertson delivers a top-class supply line from the flank.
Statistically, he is the most inventive full-back in the league.
Robertson also has five assists, teeing up goals for Mane (twice), Salah, Firmino and Shaqiri this term.
Most creative full-backs in 2018/19
|Player||Club||Chances created in open play|
Home and away Robertson’s form has been electric all season and West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini will need his right side to be prepared for a testing Monday evening at London Stadium.