You can’t argue with statistics. And that should be a worry to Liverpool fans following their 0-0 draw with Manchester United.
There was a collective groan last week from the Merseyside area when the news filtered through that Sadio Mane was to be out for six weeks.
Liverpool fans are acutely aware of just how important the Senegal striker is to their chances.
On Saturday as they failed to break down a fairly calm and controlled Man United defence, Mane’s absence was keenly felt once again.
And the statistics make for damning reading.
Since signing the 25-year-old from Southampton for £37m in July 2016, Liverpool have averaged 2 points per game when Mane has been in the squad.
That’s a solid and top-four challenging 76 points over a 38-game campaign.
But when Mane has been absent, that ratio drops considerably to 1.64 points per game.
And that equates to just 62 points across a full season.
That would have left the Anfield outfit a whopping 14 points shy of a top-four spot last season.
A 62-point tally hasn’t been good enough for Champions League football since 2005.
The reason is simple enough. Mane is Liverpool’s most direct and clinical forward.
Without him, Jurgen Klopp’s men lose their edge. That’s not to detract from Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino or Mohamed Salah.
But only Mane can bring that power, that energy and that directness in front of goal.
And things could get worse for Liverpool too.
The Reds head to Tottenham Hotspur next weekend, while Mane could also miss the trip to Sevilla in the Champions League next month and the Premier League clash at home to Chelsea on November 25.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing