Chelsea & Liverpool: combined ultimate front 3

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Football News

With the Premier League race heating up, there are two stand out sides that have displayed a greater level of consistency up to this point.

Liverpool, who sit top, and Chelsea, a point behind in second, are the two sides playing the most attacking and entertaining football. Both sides have scored the most goals out of anyone in the top flight so far, and their attacking lines are something to behold.

With a new manager, Chelsea look reborn. Of course, they are unencumbered by the demands of European football, and with the squad they have at their disposal they should be setting the Premier League alight.

However, under Antonio Conte they look a million miles from the lacklustre side they were last term, and Conte has managed to not only get the best back out of Eden Hazard but he has transformed into a player that it's okay not to hate anymore.

Similarly, with a full pre-season under his belt, Jurgen Klopp has got Liverpool firing on all cylinders. The system he employs is built to get the most from his forward players and they're repaying him in spades.

But how do they line up against each other? Whose forward line will propel their club to victory over the course of the campaign, and which club has the most in form front line so far?

We've taken the main numbers concerned with attacking stats to pit three members of each club's forward line against each other to give us some idea of who will come out on top in May, but also to create the ultimate attacking trio from the league's best forwards.

Eden Hazard vs Philippe Coutinho

There's no doubt that Hazard is back. His form so far this season is already eclipsing that of last term and he appears to be playing with a smile on his face again. Already he's managed to bag himself seven goals and he's created 20 chances for his teammates, though only one of those chances has ended in an assist.

Last year knocked him back in a big way, and though he's on form right now, he still has some way to go to catch up to Coutinho. The diminutive Brazilian has been in phenomenal form, with the stats showing that he is the league's most creative player at this stage. He's found the goal trail, too, hitting five. But it's his contribution to the team's overall attack that stands out. For his troubles he's created 30 chances for his teammates, with five ending in assists.

Winner: Coutinho

Pedro vs Sadio Mane

It'd be unfair to label a player of Pedro's calibre as a 'weak link' but compared to those around him he is perhaps the weakest player in Chelsea's front line. However, the Spaniard is a creative force, setting up 11 chances for the Blues' other strikers, resulting in five assists. He has two goals to his name, but as a winger goalscoring was never likely to be his forte.

Mane, however, has been proving his critics wrong. Many believed he represented a waste of money when he joined from Southampton for £34million over the summer, but his contribution cannot be ignored. His dynamic approach has earned him a return of six goals so far, making him Liverpool's top goalscorer, and with two assists from 16 chances he's proving to be no slouch when it comes to his generosity.

Winner: Mane

Diego Costa vs Roberto Firmino

Costa has earned himself a reputation in the Premier League that will be hard to shake off. However, under Conte he looks to be an entirely different proposition altogether. This time around there aren't as many needless fouls as he looks more engaged and useful in the manager's all action approach. So far he's hit nine goals in the Premier League and created three assists, as well as coming up with 1.5 key passes per game.

Firmino's brilliance has never been in doubt, despite his relatively slow start to life last season. This year, though, he's proved himself to be a vital cog in Jurgen Klopp's master plan. Not quite a striker, not quite an attacking midfielder, he has contributed well to their dominance in front of goal, and while he may have only hit five goals in comparison to Costa's nine, he's chipped in with three assists and  29 chances created. But will his role mean that he can ever truly lead the line? Do Liverpool need that? Only time will tell...

Winner: Costa

Premier League
Diego Costa
Roberto Firmino
Eden Hazard
Philippe Coutinho

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