Liverpool host Premier League leaders Chelsea on Saturday in what should be the most intriguing game of the weekend.
The two clubs have their history and it was the Blues who had the last laugh last season, denying Brendan Rodgers’s men a first league title since 1989 with a tactically astute 2-0 win at Anfield in late April.
This season after 10 matches Mourinho’s side look formidable as they top the table whereas the Reds have struggled. But do the Merseysiders have reasons for optimism ahead of their clash?
Despite the Blues outscoring theirs hosts by two to one, the Anfield outfit have actually had more shots on goal so far this season with 150.
Unfortunately from a Reds perspective, Mario Balotelli has yet to find the back of the net whereas Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa has scored nine goals already for the West Londoners.
From a creative perspective, the Blues come out on top but the figures are similar – 123 key passes to 115 – but Rodgers’s men have played more crosses, using the width of the pitch to their advantage.
Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho has always been renowned for his defensive capabilities and his side have shown their worth this season by working extremely hard at winning the ball back.
The Blues have conceded just 10 goals all season, but more impressive is their 172 tackles won with an average of 17 per game.
Forward players such as Oscar and Willian have been trained to track back and put in tackles, and it has been one of the key cogs for their early season success.
From a possession standpoint, the Reds come out on top by averaging 56.3% per game.
However, one statistic which will alarm Rodgers is the difference in accurate passes. The Blues have recorded 314 more over the season, despite seeing less of the ball than their opponents on Saturday.
From the table provided by Opta Stats, the two teams have been shown to be fairly even this season with the difference in efficiency being the standout outcome.
There is no reason why the Reds can’t cause Mourinho’s side all sorts of problems at Anfield, but the result may depend entirely on who has that extra quality in front of goal.