The statistic that gives Liverpool fans a glimmer of hope against Real Madrid

Philippe Coutinho has created more chances in the Champions League than any Real Madrid player this season.

Philippe Coutinho has had a strange season so far.

After shining for Liverpool last term, big things were expected of the 22-year-old this time around.

When the campaign began, however, the Brazilian's magic of yesteryear was nowhere to be seen. Coutinho was no longer a hugely talented but inconsistent playmaker, he was simply a player that couldn't find any form whatsoever.

Several weeks later, though, the Reds have dipped so much that Coutinho is now indispensable for Brendan Rodgers' side - despite not even hitting his best.

The attacking midfielder has been much improved of late and, as Opta stats show, his displays may just give Liverpool fans a glimmer of hope against Real Madrid.

  TeamChances CreatedAppearancesMins Played
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool 9 3 205
Marcelo Real 8 3 265
Alberto Moreno Liverpool 8 2 180
Karim Benzema Real 7 3 195
Mario Balotelli Liverpool 4 3 225
Isco Real 4 2 166
Toni Kroos Real 4 3 189
Luka Modric Real 4 3 237

So far this season, Coutinho has created more chances than any Madrid player in the Champions League. Marcelo and Karim Benzema have come closest to matching the Brazilian in that department but no one has made nine like Coutinho.

Interestingly, Alberto Moreno has also created eight, despite only making two appearances in Europe.

  TeamChances CreatedAppearancesMins Played
Koke Atletico 14 3 270
Lionel Messi Barcelona 11 3 246
Heung-Min Son Bayer 04 11 3 270
Hakan Calhanoglu Bayer 04 10 3 262
Cesc Fàbregas Chelsea 10 3 240
Thomas Müller Munich 10 3 226
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool 9 3 205
David Silva Man City 9 3 258
Carlos Tévez Juventus 9 3 269

Overall, only six players have created more chances than Coutinho, which shows what a creative talent Liverpool really have on their hands. And that's still bearing in mind the fact that the 22-year-old is still far from at his best.

The issue for the Reds, of course, is that no one seems to be on the end of those chances, while Coutinho and Raheem Sterling need a top-class forward to feed off, like they had in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge last term.

Still, if Rodgers can create a system that goes through Coutinho enough, there is no reason Real Madrid's back four should go untroubled at the Bernabeu.

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