FootballFanCast previews Mauricio Pochettino's first game in charge at Chelsea, a Stamford Bridge clash against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool on the first Sunday of the 2023/24 Premier League season.

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When is the match and is it on UK TV?

The match takes place on Sunday, August 13th, with the game slated to kick off at 4:30pm GMT.

Whilst the official UK broadcasters are yet to be confirmed for this game, based upon the timing of the match and the fact that it is two 'big six' teams facing one another, it is assumed that Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League will be the channels to watch the game on.

Who is Chelsea's key player?

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Despite being 38 years old, Thiago Silva is still the rock that Chelsea builds their defensive success upon.

His reading of the game is still exemplary, and his leadership skills help to bring the best out of those around him.

Whilst Pochettino will be working on fixing the club's misfiring attack, having Silva maintain the side's strong defence will be vital for the Blues

Who is Liverpool's key player?

mohamed-salah-liverpool-premier-league-opinion-jurgen-klopp

Mohamed Salah has lit up the Premier League since the day he arrived at Merseyside, and his consistency and threat are so important for Klopp's side.

The Egyptian has recorded an insane 199 goal contributions in 218 games for the club in the Premier League.

His fantastic dribbling quality in addition to his world-class finishing ability and chance creation could be the difference for the Reds on the opening day against a strong Chelsea defence.

How will Chelsea line up?

Christopher-Nkunku

Predicting Chelsea's lineup for the opening day is incredibly difficult, with factors such as the new appointment of Pochettino as well as the potential sales of a number of previous starters making it a tough task.

The London side is heavily linked with Brighton's Moises Caicedo, who would replace the outgoing pair of N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic, as well as young forward Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal. T

he club is also linked with moves for a goalkeeper, additional midfielders and a forward as they look to replace a number of their rumoured outgoing players; which include Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Hakim Ziyech and more.

The Blues will be hoping that new addition Christopher Nkunku will be fit and ready to play after an injury-hit season with RB Leipzig and can help solve their goal-scoring problems, while both Benoit Badiashile and Armando Broja will be hoping to come back from their long-term injuries.

Pochettino has shown a lot of tactical flexibility in the past and could make a return to the 4-2-3-1 system he utilised at Tottenham Hotspur.

Should he choose to employ that system, Chelsea could line up like this:

Kepa Arrizabalaga; Reece James, Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, Ben Chilwell, Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Conor Gallagher, Raheem Sterling, Noni Madueke, Christopher Nkunku.

How will Liverpool line up?

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The big question with Liverpool's lineup is whether Klopp will stick with the new system that he used at the backend of last season, which involved Trent Alexander-Arnold inverting into midfield, or return to his more traditional 4-3-3 system.

The Reds recently announced the signing of Argentine midfielder Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton, whilst also being heavily linked with moves for Khephren Thuram, Kouadio Kone, Ryan Gravenberch, Gabri Veiga and Nicolo Barella to bolster their midfield. Reports have also stated that the Merseyside outfit is interested in a centre-back this summer as well.

The return from injury by Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic will be massive for the side, with both Spaniards impressing last campaign, however, they may only be fit enough for a place on the bench.

Should Liverpool stick with their inverted system which brought them success at the back end of last season, they could line up like this:

Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Fabinho, Alexis Mac Allister, Khephren Thuram, Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Darwin Núñez.

What were the last 5 league meetings between the two teams?

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The last 5 league clashes between Chelsea and Liverpool have resulted in only one win; for Chelsea in March 2021 when Mount scored the only goal at Anfield.

Since then the two sides have played out four consecutive Premier League draws, six consecutive draws in all competitions, with the most recent two league games being goalless affairs.

The best game between these two clubs in the Premier League recently was the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in January 2022, when the Blues came back from 2-0 down thanks to goals from Kovacic and Christian Pulisic to earn a point in an end-to-end contest.

  • April 2023: Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool
  • January 2023: Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea
  • January 2022: Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool
  • August 2021: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
  • March 2021: Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea

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Who is going to win?

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It looks set to be an entertaining clash between two close-matched sides, however, the amount of uncertainty within Chelsea due to the new manager, the poor 2022/23 campaign and the potentially massive squad overhaul opens the door for a more settled Liverpool side who showcased that they can still perform at their consistent standard at the end of last season to take control of the match and win their first league game at Stamford Bridge in three years.

FFC predicts: Liverpool win