This weekend Liverpool and Manchester United go head-to-head in what could be a season-defining clash for both sides.
A win for United and they will take a huge step towards Champions League qualification next season, but a Reds triumph will see them leapfrog their fierce rivals and have top-four qualification in their own hands with matches running out.
The Brazilian international has stepped up in recent times, adding glorious goals to his repertoire and looking every inch the effective play-maker many feel he can become.
As for the Spaniard, he has had to wait patiently for his chances but Angel Di Maria’s suspension saw him start against Tottenham Hotspur, and subsequently tear them apart.
So who has had the better league campaign to date?
|Goals||Goal assists||Key passes per game||On-target shooting accuracy||Passing Accuracy||Dribbles per game||Duels won per game||Forward passes per game||Appearances|
The United star has five goals this season, one more than Coutinho, while his passing accuracy is a full nine per cent better than the younger player. But aside from those key areas, the Liverpool youngster has excelled in comparison with Mata.
Coutinho has more goal assists in the league, plays more key passes per appearance and has a better on-target shooting accuracy.
The Liverpool man also betters his United rival when it comes to dribbles, duels won and forward passes per appearance.
Either player could prove to be the hero on Sunday, but it is Coutinho who has shone the brightest in recent weeks, with Mata surely hoping to make up for lost time.