Liverpool are scoring at a rate of 1.71 goals per Premier League match this season, which is down 0.53 on their average across the course of last season and 0.63 down on the season before that.

There are two explanations for this: firstly, without Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, Liverpool lose a lot of their goal threat from set-pieces.

But more significant than that is the other reason for the decline in output from Liverpool: the decline in output from Sadio Mane.

In 2018/19, Mane netted 22 times in the Premier League and he got another 18 last year. This season, his total currently stands at just seven, with seven matches remaining.

"Mane's form is the most difficult to explain," said Josh Williams on the latest Analysing Anfield podcast.

"It could just be fatigue but watching him since Christmas has been so weird because he has looked so far from his usual self while still doing a lot of what he used to.

"He is still receiving the ball in tight areas, he is still directly going at his man and he is still really difficult to defend, but he is completely blunt at the same time.

"His decision-making in certain moments has been baffling and he has been a lot less explosive in moments.

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"There was a moment against Real Madrid that captured his form - he got the ball on the flank and he was up against Rodrygo, who is quick and had just come on, but Mane had the ball in a good area.

"He stopped on the ball and then went again - that stop-start movement that Mane can do with the explosive burst - but Rodrygo just took the ball off him.

"Mane’s reaction just looked a bit defeated and he did not look hungry; him losing the ball and then that lack of a reaction summed him up at the moment.

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"But it is really difficult to say whether it is a decline, a decline in form, or just fatigue."

"It could well be a combination of all of those things," added David Hughes.

"He has just turned 29 so it is more than feasible that he still has a couple of years at the top level given the player he has been.

"But it is a concern because he looks a long way away from the player he really is.

"He is just missing the output, which was a big part of his game alongside the explosiveness. He has always had goals and assists alongside it but when you watch it - you see [the decline and lack of confidence]."

In terms of his finishing of chances, specifically, the numbers are clear for in the Premier League, where Mane has played a part in all but three of Liverpool's 31 fixtures so far.

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Mane has underperformed his expected goals by 5.2 goals in the Premier League, compared to an overperformance of 4.2 last season.

The season before that, he overperformed by 5.9, meaning this season is the first that his finishing has not only not been above average, but has been almost as much below average.

"He has not stopped shooting - he is actually shooting more," added Williams.

"He is shooting 3.1 times per 90 minutes and last season it was 2.5.

"Of all the things that have happened this season, the Mane drop-off is the biggest and the hardest to explain."