The Numbers Game: Salah and Liverpool aim to pile more misery on Leeds boss Marsch

Liverpool fans will say their team is like a box of chocolates at the moment in that you never know what you're going to get, and also they can be hazardous to your health.

A wobbly start to the campaign looked to have got back on track after wins against Manchester City and West Ham, only for an insipid defeat at Nottingham Forest last week to send Jurgen Klopp's men back into crisis.

A 3-0 win at Ajax on Wednesday to secure their place in the last 16 of the Champions League should boost confidence again, but it is still anyone's guess as to which version of the Reds will turn up when they host Leeds United on Saturday.

Jesse Marsch heads to Anfield under serious pressure himself, with Leeds having not won in eight Premier League games (D2, L6) since beating Chelsea 3-0 at Elland Road in August.

Stats Perform has taken a look behind the numbers heading into this clash to try and get to the bottom of what can be expected.

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Liverpool
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Liverpool

Home comforts can calm Reds nerves

They may have not had the best start to the campaign domestically, having not won any of their five Premier League away games (D2 L3), but Liverpool remain a force to be reckoned with at Anfield.

Klopp's side are unbeaten 29 league home games (W22 D7), scoring 73 goals and conceding just 16 in that run.

It has not all been plain sailing, having fallen behind in five of their previous six at Anfield prior to back-to-back 1-0 wins against City and West Ham, but more often than not they get the job done.

Virgil van Dijk is still yet to suffer a Premier League defeat in his home stadium since his move from Southampton in January 2018 (70 games – W59 D11).

You've lost that winning feeling

When Leeds were celebrating a well-earned victory against Chelsea on August 21, few would have thought they would not have experienced another by late October.

As mentioned, the Whites are winless in their last eight league games, which is the longest current run of any team in the Premier League.

Leeds have also lost each of their past four away games, last losing five in a row on the road in the top flight between January and March 2003 – the fifth game of which was at Liverpool, where they were beaten 3-1.

They will also be missing several players through injury, with Rodrigo Moreno's likely absence a blow as the Spaniard has scored five goals in 10 Premier League games this season, just one fewer than he netted in 31 appearances last season, and just two less than he managed in his best scoring season in the competition in 2020-21 (seven in 26 games).

Mo Salah, fewer problems

Mohamed Salah has been the subject of much debate this season, seemingly not hitting his usual heights.

Last season's joint-top scorer in the Premier League seemingly enjoys facing Leeds, though, having been involved in six goals in two home appearances against them (five goals, one assist).

Salah has 10 goals in 17 games in all competitions, and is coming off another fine finish to open the scoring in Liverpool's victory in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

The Egypt forward has also created more chances from open play than any other player in the Premier League this season (28). He is creating 2.6 chances per 90 minutes on average this season, his best rate in a single campaign in the competition.

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah

No more bottom feeding

While they have dropped some sloppy points this season, Liverpool could at least take some comfort in the fact their only Premier League defeats had been against fellow big fish Manchester United and Arsenal.

That was until last week when they handed three points to bottom club Forest, and they will be looking to avoid a similar story this time around.

Liverpool have not lost consecutive Premier League games against sides in the relegation zone since March 2012, when a defeat at QPR was followed by a home loss to Wigan Athletic.

They have already lost more league games this season (three) than they did in the whole of 2021-22 (two), while their 16 points from 11 games is their worst return at this stage of a campaign since 2014-15 (14).

Leeds might smell blood, or arguably more likely, face the wrath of a wounded beast.