Liverpool are in the midst of a fierce title race with Manchester City as they aim to finally end their 29-year wait for a league triumph.
The Reds’ 2-1 win at Fulham before the international break saw them move two points clear at the top of the table but the champions have one game in hand.
A major source of debate in recent weeks has been the contrasting performances of two of Jurgen Klopp’s high-profile front three – Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
In the last seven games, Salah hasn’t scored and only assisted once, whereas Mane’s seven goals and two Man of the Match displays have ensured Liverpool keep pace with City.
Is Mane outperforming Salah? Has Salah been “found out”? Let’s take a statistical look at how the 26-year-old pair have done throughout the 2018-19 Premier League campaign so far.
SALAH V MANE: GOALS
Both players have scored 17 times in the league but Mane has played two games less than Salah, meaning his minutes per goal ratio is marginally better (145 compared to 156).
Salah has hit more shots (104) and boasts a 63.75% shooting accuracy rate, 5.13% higher than Mane’s, but his teammate has better “shooting success”.
That basically means that Salah is better at hitting the target with his strikes on goal, but Liverpool’s number ten is superior at actually finding the back of the net.
All 34 of the duo’s league goals have been scored from inside the box but Salah falls short of Mane when it comes to big chances converted.
The Senegal captain has scored 11 of his 18 clear scoring opportunities (61.11%), while Salah has scored 12 but missed 15 chances of the same nature (44.44%).
SALAH V MANE: TEAMPLAY
Moving away from goals to teamplay, and the reigning PFA Player of the Year comfortably beats Mane with regards to creating for others.
He’s currently got seven assists to his name (Mane only has one) and has directly set up 13 clear chances for teammates – eight more than Mane.
In terms of passing, Mane has played 85 more passes than Salah and his pass success rate is better too, but it’s incredibly close – 77.87% compared to 76.76%.
It’s also very tight regarding touches and this time Salah, who’s only in his second season at the club, comes out on top with 1,484 to Mane’s 1,456.
The Egyptian king has produced more through balls and nearly twice as many crosses (51 to Mane’s 26) but he’s been dispossessed significantly more often.
Having lost the ball 102 times, Salah gets dispossessed on 3.29 occasions per match on average, while Mane only loses possession 1.14 times each game.
Winning penalties to break deadlocks could prove to be crucial for Klopp’s men and Salah has (somewhat controversially) won four of them, whereas it’s just one for Mane.
We used the Premier League’s official stats comparison tool for this detailed analysis and it’s Salah who marginally comes out on top.
The former Chelsea and Roma winger has the superior numbers in seven of the 15 categories, Mane is better in six and there were two ties (number of goals and location of goals).
One thing that’s clear across all these statistics is just how tight the differences are, which suggest Mane and Salah have been as influential as each other to Liverpool’s title charge.
Mo Salah isn’t performing as badly as critics think he is and Mane hasn’t been in his great current form across the whole campaign – they’ve contributed equally.
Salah took a short holiday in this international break and will hope to be fully recharged for Liverpool’s upcoming league fixtures – Tottenham, Southampton and Chelsea.