Andy Robertson paid tribute to the brilliance of Roberto Firmino, and says Liverpool would be “lost” without the Brazilian.Firmino has started the season in sparkling form, and was instrumental as the Reds returned to the top of the Premier League table with victory over Burnley on Saturday. His goal, 10 minutes from time, capped a convincing 3-0 win for Jurgen Klopp’s side.It also meant he became the first Brazilian to reach 50 goals in the Premier League, and afterwards Robertson was quick to praise the 27-year-old’s unique talent. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream “With his work-rate, his technique, his goals and his all-round play, I don’t think there’s anyone like him,” the left-back told reporters. “People will say there are better strikers, but for me what he does is so important to our team. We’d be lost without him. He’s world class.”Asked to expand on what makes Firmino so special, Robertson said: “He does everything, and that’s the beauty of Bobby. He can do it all. He’s our first line of defence, and I’ve not seen anybody better at doing that. He presses the defenders and doesn’t give them a minute. He comes back and nicks the ball in midfield for us. “He’s so important defensively for us, then he goes up the park and scores goals and makes assists. That’s what we need him to do.“The work he puts in during games is probably more than any other striker in the world.”Liverpool’s win at Burnley was their 13th in a row in the league, a club record. They have started the new campaign as they finished the last.“It means nothing because we’ve only got four wins this season,” Robertson said. “Of course it’s nice to be in the record books and if that’s another box we’ve ticked off then great, but it’s not about that. It’s about four wins from four and top of the league going into the first international break. “We had the aim to win the games we needed to win, luckily we’ve done that. Now we’ll have the break, come back and we’ve got another tough run.”Reflecting on the win at Burnley, Robertson was delighted with Liverpool’s all-round performance, one in which they displayed a pleasing mix of attacking flair and defensive solidity. A first clean sheet of the season was secured at Turf Moor.“It’s not often you come to Burnley and get a performance like that,” Robertson said. “I thought we were different class.“You know what you’re going to get here, they’ve been doing it for a number of years and they’re very good at it. I think that’s the easiest win we’ve had, certainly since I’ve been here. A pleasing night all round.“[The clean sheet] was massive for us. We’ve been comfortable in all the games so far this season but we’ve given away stupid goals at daft times, so it was important we kept concentrated and we did that well. They didn’t have many chances, if any, and I’m delighted for Adrian getting a clean sheet. We’re all buzzing with that.”Robertson also had some words of praise for Sadio Mane, who continued his own fine start to the season with another goal.“Sadio is a naturally fit boy,” Robertson added. “He didn’t want rest, he wanted to come back and hit the ground running in the Premier League, which he’s done.“His goal was great, his all-round play got better as the game went on. I’ve got a good relationship with him on the left and hopefully that continues for many games and many years. He’s a fantastic player and I love playing with him. As long as he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll keep producing the numbers.“They [the front three] are world-class players, and the goal doesn’t move. They know where the goal is, and they’re finding it at the moment. All three of them were fantastic today, and hopefully that continues because we need them.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Scotland resume their Euro 2020 qualification campaign on Thursday when they take on Russia in Moscow, looking to make amends for their loss in the reverse fixture last month.Steve Clarke’s side are on a dismal run having lost their last three matches with an aggregate score of 9-1. They are languishing in fifth place in Group I, where only San Marino are faring worse.However, despite the disappointing performance thus far, victory over Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium could see them move up to third, clawing back respectability ahead of Sunday’s home game against San Marino. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Of course, defeat, on the other hand, will put a mathematical nail into the coffin of the Tartan Army’s hopes of automatic qualification.Luckily for the Scots, they have already booked their place in the play-offs thanks to their Nations League finish, but they will be eager to start putting together a string of positive results sooner rather than later. Game Russia vs Scotland Date Thursday, October 10 Time 7:45pm BST / 2:45pm ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched on ESPN 3 or it can be streamed live using TUDNxtra. US TV channel Online stream ESPN 3 TUDNxtra In the UK, the match will be shown on Sky Sports Football and it can be streamed live online via Sky Go. UK TV channel Online stream Sky Sports Football Sky Go Squads & Team News Position Russia squad Goalkeepers Guilherme, Lunyov, Dzhanayev Defenders Kudryashov, Fernandes, Dzhikiya, Semyonov, Ignatyev, Petrov, Belyayev, Chistyakov, Karavayev Midfielders Zhirkov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Ionov, Kuzyayev, Ozdoyev, Akhmetov, Mogilevets, Barinov, Bakayev Forwards Dzyuba, Komlichenko, Sobolev Russia have had a number of withdrawals from their squad due to injuries, with Roman Zobnin, Fyodor Smolov and Rifat Zhemaletdinov ruled out.However, they still have a number of dangerous players at their disposal, such as Zenit striker Artem Dzyuba and Monaco star Aleksandr Golovin.Potential Russia XI: Guilherme; Kudryashov, Semyonov, Dzhikiya, Fernandes; Ozdoyev, Akhmetov, Ionov, Golovin, Zhirkov; Dzyuba. Position Scotland squad Goalkeepers Marshall, McLaughlin, MacGillivray Defenders Devlin, Findlay, Gallagher, Mulgrew, O’Donnell, Palmer, Robertson, Taylor Midfielders Armstrong, Christie, Fleck, McGinn, McGregor, McTominay, Snodgrass Forwards Burke, Forrest, Fraser, Russell, Shankland Scotland will be without Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney, who was withdrawn from the squad in order to focus on his recovery from injury.There will be changes in defence with Grant Hanley and Liam Cooper unavailable, meaning Charlie Mulgrew set for a new centre-back partner. Declan Gallagher, Stuart Findlay and Michael Devlin are the options as they all view for a senior debut.Clarke will be hoping for big performances from team captain, Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson, not to mention Aston Villa’s John McGinn, who has hit the ground running in the Premier League, and Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay.Potential Scotland XI: Marshall; Robertson, Mulgrew, Gallagher, O’Donnell; McTominay, McGregor, McGinn, Fraser, Forrest; Burke.Betting & Match Odds Hosts Russia are heavy favourites to win at 1/2 with bet365. Scotland, meanwhile are priced at 7/1 to avenge their September defeat, while a draw is available at 16/5.Click here to see all of bet365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview Despite taking an early lead in the game, Scotland suffered defeat at home when they met Russia at Hampden Park in September and they will be desperate to avoid a repeat of that fate on Thursday.”For a reason I have yet to determine, we stepped off the game and allowed Russia to dominate us and impose their style of play on us,” Clarke said of the loss, which was their fourth of the campaign.”Why we allowed that game to drift away from us, whether it’s a mental thing or a quality thing, we will need to assess.”Naturally, the goal for Clarke and co. is to avenge that loss and, indeed, to prevent their campaign from being brought to a premature halt – if they are beaten again, there is no chance of automatic qualification.Certainly, while the Scotland squad is admittedly light on cover in the centre-back department, there is enough talent scattered throughout to restore some equity in the group.With a Champions League winner leading the team out and bright young Premier League stars making up the supporting cast, Scottish fans have every right to expect better.