Mauricio Pochettino leads Chelsea out for the first time as manager as the English Premier League season 2023/24 sees Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge in their opening game of the season.
Having finished 12th last season, The Blues will be looking towards their new additions in the summer to bolster their push for a top-four finish. They have scored 13 goals in 5 pre-season games, winning three and drawing two. Pochettino has only won 3 times in 16 meetings with Liverpool as manager.
Jürgen Klopp’s Men, who will not be participating in the Champions League for the first time in nine seasons, will be looking to start their season on a high after failing to reach the prestigious competition due to a 5th place league finish term.
In Liverpool’s five pre-season games, four have seen both teams find the back of the net. They, however, come into this match unbeaten in the league (last 11 games). Mohamed Salah has always been a perennial scorer in this fixture, bagging 8 goals in the last 12 outings.
The last 6 fixtures in all competitions between these two have ended in draws, the last four barrens.
Wesley Fofana and Christopher Nkunku are confirmed absentees with injuries. Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke and Armando could feature in the matchday squad, as Captain Reece James leads a backine of possibly Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Axel Disasi.
Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic miss the clash through hip and adductor injuries respectively. The midfield trio of Alexis Mac Allister, Dominic Soboslai, and Curtis Jones are also expected to start, with Captain Virgil Van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Nady Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold all looking to start at the back. Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota could be the front-three pairing, though Klopp could opt to replace the latter two with Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz.
Chelsea form (pre-season) – WWDWD
Liverpool (pre-season) - WDWLW
Chelsea's possible starting XI:
Sanchez, Silva, Disasi, Chilwell, Gallagher, Fernandez, Sterling, Chukwuemeka, Mudryk, Jackson.
Liverpool's possible starting XI:
Alisson, Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Jones, Szoboszlai, Mac-Allister, Salah, Gakpo, Jota
STANDARD TIPSTAR PREDICTION: Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
Defensively, both sides have been porous in pre-season. However, an entertaining clash is expected, with both sides registering at least a goal. Our TipStar leans on a Liverpool win due to the attacking experience and quality they have. The match starts at 6:30 EAT.