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Chelsea vs Liverpool match preview, team news, how to watch and prediction

The first heavyweight clash of the new 2023/24 campaign sees Chelsea entertain Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on the opening weekend of the season. 

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The first heavyweight clash of the new 2023/24 campaign sees Chelsea entertain Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

The two English giants face-off in West London on Sunday afternoon [4:30pm kick-off] and both clubs will be looking to make a statement following disappointing 2022/23 campaigns.

Chelsea endured a nightmare season last term as they finished 12th in the table after a turbulent year that saw them go through four different managers. Thomas Tuchel was sacked in early September and his replacement, Graham Potter, was dismissed after only 7 months in charge following a disastrous tenure. Bruno Saltor was interim boss for just one match before Frank Lampard was given the reigns for the final few games of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino has been brought in as Chelsea’s new permanent manager this summer and the Argentinean boss will be looking to bring stability to the club. The former Spurs coach has gutted the squad and is in the middle of a complete rebuild with several big names allowed to leave this summer. The likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Kalidou Koulibaly, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Cesar Azpilicueta have all departed so Pochettino is ushering in a new era in West London.

It’s going to take time for the new-look squad to gel and expectations need to be tempered amongst the fans, however, with no European football to worry about, Chelsea can focus on the league and will still be eyeing a top four finish this season.

Liverpool will also be desperate to get themselves back in the top four after missing out last season. The Reds have been fighting for the title over the past five years so it was a huge shock to see them struggle so badly last year. A poor first few months left them way down in the table and although Jurgen Klopp’s side rediscovered their best form during the final 10 games, they left themselves too much to do and had to settle for fifth place.

The Reds have revamped their midfield this summer with the likes of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all gone. Klopp is expected to bring in further reinforcements having already signed Alexis MacAllister and Dominik Szoboszlai, with Southampton’s Romeo Lavia his primary target.

Liverpool have been free-scoring in pre-season having netted 18 goals in five games, however, concerns in defence remain as they’ve also shipped 11 times in those pre-season matches. This is something Klopp will be keen to address or the Merseysiders may find themselves struggling to finish in the Champions League qualification places again this season.

Team news

Chelsea have been dealt a major injury blow with the news that summer signing Christopher Nkunku will be out until the New Year after undergoing knee surgery. The Frenchman suffered the problem during a pre-season friendly against Borussia Dortmund last week and his absence will be a huge blow for Pochettino.

The Blues also have issues in defence as Benoit Badiashile is expected to miss out this weekend with a thigh injury while Wesley Fofana is also on the sidelines after being ruled out for several months with a serious knee injury. Trevoh Chalobah is also a doubt so new signing Alex Disasi could be brought straight into the squad this weekend as cover in defence.

Striker Armando Broja will be assessed as he looks to return from a knee injury that’s kept him out since December while Chukwunonso Madueke is a doubt with a thigh problem.

Pochettino could hand competitive debut up front to new signing Nicolas Jackson after he impressed in pre-season. Andrey Santos will also hope to feature while the likes of Enzo Fernandez, Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, Reece James and Raheem Sterling are all expected to start.

As for Liverpool, they look set to be without Thiago Alcantara this weekend. The Spaniard has failed to feature during pre-season as he continues to recover from a groin injury that ruled him out of the last few games of last season. Klopp will assess Thiago in training this week before making a final decision but a place on the bench is probably the best he can hope for against Chelsea.

Youngster Stefan Bajcetic is also facing a race against time to prove his fitness for the trip to Stamford Bridge. The midfielder broke into the Liverpool first team last season but saw his campaign end prematurely due to a groin injury. He’s also not featured in pre-season so isn’t expected to play a major role on Sunday.

MacAllister is set to make his full Premier League debut for Liverpool following his move from Brighton. The South American is predominantly an attacking midfielder but he may be asked to play a deeper role due to a lack of alternative options available to Klopp.

Szoboszlai should also make his bow for Liverpool after joining the club this summer. Curtis Jones could get a start in midfield while the likes of Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are all guaranteed to start for the visitors.

How to watch

Despite their troubles last season, demand for Chelsea and Liverpool tickets is still extremely high ahead of the new campaign. Chelsea are expected to sell out their allocation for the game while Liverpool will bring a strong away support from Merseyside.

You may still be able to get Liverpool tickets for the game but if you aren’t able to attend the match in person, you can still follow all the action live as the match will be shown live on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon. Sky Sports subscribers can watch the game on TV or on the Sky Go app. Non-subscribers will have to wait until Sunday night to watch highlights.


It’s going to be interesting to see how these two clubs get on this season after their disappointments last campaign. Chelsea are still in the middle of a rebuild and Liverpool look light in defensive midfield after letting Fabinho and Henderson leave, so neither club come into this match in perfect shape.

Chelsea have home advantage and Pochettino will want to get off to a positive start at Stamford Bridge. However, Liverpool have looked more impressive in pre-season and will be quietly confident of getting a result in London.

These two have played out plenty of boring 0-0 draws in recent years, but we can’t see that happening on Sunday and expect plenty of goals in this game. We’re going to sit on the fence and predict a score draw. Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool

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