Richard Buxton: In Salah, Reds trust
Egyptian forward could cement his place in Liverpool folklore by leading them into the last 16
Eclipsing the man they still call "God" at Anfield is no mean feat.
Robbie Fowler has remained a continual benchmark against which Liverpool's most potent marksmen are invariably measured but even that time-honoured standard no longer applies.
In the past two years, the "Toxteth Terror" has seen both of his long-standing records lost to two-thirds of the Reds' current front line.
Sadio Mane has taken over as the EPL's fastest hat-trick scorer, while Mohamed Salah is taking giant strides towards immortality.
Already outscoring Fowler in his opening 12 league games for Liverpool, the Egypt international can set his sights on another home-grown hero's moniker tomorrow morning (Singapore time), with his side's Champions League fate teetering on a knife-edge.
When he steps out against Spartak Moscow for this crucial Group E finale, Salah will have to reprise the Steven Gerrard role, simply because none of his teammates can.
With every season that passes, every European encounter under the lights, Anfield feels more like waking up to the alarm clock on Groundhog Day than a gentle stroll down memory lane.
Formality and procession have become secondary to the nail-biting drama which saw Gerrard rifle home a decisive third goal against Olympiakos in front of the Kop during a do-or-die encounter in Europe's elite club competition back in December 2004.
The permutations have become far more simplistic than the required two-goal margin which helped cement Gerrard's legacy and set Liverpool on the road to a memorable Champions League triumph that culminated in the "miracle" of Istanbul five months later.
As it was on the final day of the previous EPL campaign, winning is the only real option.
SALAH A STEAL
Anything else would be carelessly leaving the hosts' Round of 16 prospects to chance.
AS Roma had warned that they would not allow Liverpool to treat them like a "supermarket" in negotiations over Salah last summer. The Italians claimed they would set the player's price.
They set it far too low.
At £36.9 million (S$66.7m), Salah's move to Liverpool should, in hindsight, have been set against the backdrop of a bank heist rather than a marketplace.
Liverpool may argue that the sum was only fair for not demanding refunds on the defective trio of Fabio Borini, Alberto Aquilani and Doni.
Salah also finds another potential mantle to assume in the last prolific marksman to arrive at Anfield, who had spells in the English top flight sandwiching a brief Serie A sojourn.
Whenever Ian Rush scored, Liverpool never lost - or at least that was the theory.
It took over seven years before the club's record scorer finished on the losing side in a game where he had found the target.
The same rules have loosely applied with Salah, if the ignominy suffered eight games into his Anfield career against Tottenham can be overlooked.
Since that Wembley reversal, Juergen Klopp's side have not looked back. It was a turning point which has effectively saved their season from falling away before its midway stage.
The 25-year-old has been pivotal to that resurgence, contributing to Liverpool scoring more than three goals a game in seven of their last eight matches.
But it was only a matter of time before talk of their latest star being prised away began again.
If Egypt coach Hector Cuper is to be believed, Real Madrid are already tracking Salah. As with Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano and Luis Suarez before him and Philippe Coutinho more recently, La Liga is threatening to tear away Liverpool's latest flourishing talent at his peak.
Real's interest was inevitable. Salah's current statistics make him a "Galactico" in all but name, not least when he is currently only a goal shy of the 18 collectively scored by the European champions' front line of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema this season.
Staving off Los Blancos will not be easy, be it in next month or next summer's transfer window, but an extended Champions League run will at least afford Liverpool some breathing space.