Chelsea vs Liverpool match preview: team news, lineups, referee, TV, kick-off time

After an eventful and action-packed pre-season campaign, Liverpool start their 2023/24 Premier League season against Chelsea this weekend.

Fans were treated to goals galore during pre-season, with the Reds scoring 18 and conceding 11 in just five games. After tours in Germany and Singapore, Jurgen Klopp led arguably his strongest available XI against Darmstadt on Monday night, where his side won 3-1 in dominant fashion.

After a very underwhelming 2022/23 season, in which Liverpool missed out on the Champions League and ended the season without a trophy, the squad will be raring to hear the first whistle on Sunday, as they aim to come back with a vengeance.

Liverpool and Chelsea have had very few high-scoring games in recent years, but this weekend's fixture has all the ingredients to be a blockbuster.

Here's everything you need to know about the game.


DATE, KICK-OFF AND STADIUM

  • Date: Sunday August 13th 2023
  • Kick-off time: 16:30 BST
  • Stadium: Stamford Bridge (40,341 capacity)

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

Liverpool and Chelsea have faced one another 194 occasions in history, with the Reds coming out on top in 84 games, drawing 45, and losing 65.

Particularly since the turn of the millennium, the two clubs have developed a fierce rivalry thanks to countless hard-fought league games and several dramatic European nights. In fact, this likely stemmed from the staggering amount the two clubs played each other in the 2000s โ€“ between 2005 and 2009, Liverpool played Chelsea 24 times in all competitions.

While Liverpool fans would love to forget that slip a few years later, which allowed Jose Mourinho's side to beat Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool away from home at the business end of the 2013/14 season to stop the Reds from winning the league.

It's been an action-packed history between the sides, but in recent years the games, there have been a lot fewer goals.

The last six meetings in fact have been drawn and the last four have been completely goalless (but two of those fixtures have ended with Liverpool lifting the FA Cup and the League Cup, so advantage Reds).

WHERE TO WATCH CHELSEA VS LIVERPOOL ON TV

Chelsea vs Liverpool is available to watch live on Sky Sports.

WHO WILL REFEREE THE CLASH

Anthony Taylor will be the referee for Liverpool's first match of the Premier League season, the Premier League has confirmed.

The official famously sent Jurgen Klopp to the stands last October during the bad-tempered victory over Manchester City, and that's not the only time Taylor's refereeing has gotten under the skin at Liverpool.

LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS

Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic failed to feature in any pre-season game for Liverpool. The pair stayed in Merseyside to continue rehabilitation for their respective injuries while the squad travelled to Germany and Singapore.

The Spanish duo were also absent from Liverpool's final clash with Darmstadt on Monday night, with no further update on the situation. It therefore remains to be seen whether either midfielder is fit enough to make the squad for the Chelsea game, but if they are, it's likely they will be on the bench and an option to bring on.

Liverpool are also currently locked in talks with Southampton for Romeo Lavia, with the Saints rejecting Liverpool's third and most recent offer of around ยฃ46m for the 19-year-old.

While it still appears possible a deal will eventually be struck for the midfielder, the chances of Lavia passing his medical and all necessary paperwork in time to feature at the weekend is very unlikely.

Therefore, it is expected that either Curtis Jones or Alexis Mac Allister will occupy the defensive midfield role, a position that both players have had some experience with during Liverpool's pre-season.

Conor Bradley is another name who has been absent ever since the club's tour in Germany. It is unknown whether the youngster will feature against Chelsea, but Trent Alexander-Arnold is almost guaranteed to be occupying the right-back slot, as he continues to play his new hybrid role.

CHELSEA TEAM NEWS

The big news at Stamford Bridge is that an Ed Sheeran-assisted injury will keep new signing Christopher Nkunku out for several months.

Maurcio Pochettino also has something of a defensive injury crisis to deal with. Wesley Fofana, Benoit Badiashile and Trevoh Chalobah are all out, meaning Liverpool target Levi Colwill is likely to start.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if new defensive arrival Alex Disasi will be ready to feature by the weekend.

Forwards Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk had both been doubts, but have been been building their fitness in pre-season and could play some part in the game.

PREDICTED LINEUP

Here's how Liverpool could start the game against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon:

(4-3-3): Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Curtis Jones, Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai; Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz

PREDICTION

It may be brave to predict anything other than a 0-0 draw between these two sides given their recent history, but if pre-season has taught us anything, it's that Liverpool will both score and concede plenty of goals as they get to grips with their new system.

Chelsea 2 - 3 Liverpool

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