Mauricio Pochettino’s start to life at Chelsea has predominantly seen him work with a plethora of young talent after a senior exodus, and he isn’t expecting that to change for Liverpool’s visit.
The new season gets underway in eight days time, with Liverpool making the trip to Stamford Bridge currently without a recognised No. 6.
Jurgen Klopp has overseen the exit of six of his experienced first-team players and the club are on the hunt for reinforcements, as are Pochettino’s Chelsea – midfielders are at the top of their respective lists.
Both managers put faith in their young players during pre-season and Pochettino has hinted that his contingent could be involved against the Reds on the opening day.
“We are building something special,” Pochettino said, via the Guardian. “It’s a process and we need time. But in football you cannot ask for time and you need to deliver now.
“We are Chelsea and, even if we have young players involved against Liverpool, the mentality is to win.”
One player they are likely to be without is new forward Christopher Nkunku following a knee injury in their final pre-season match against Borussia Dortmund – it leaves 22-year-old Nicolas Jackson as their focal point.
But Pochettino has maintained that his squad is “in a good way” but knows the challenges of climbing back up the table, adding: “I know how difficult it is to build a squad to compete with [Man] City, Liverpool and company. I think we are in a good way.”
The Blues are still likely to name the likes of Reece James, Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, Ben Chilwell, Enzo Fernandez, Conor Gallagher and Raheem Sterling in their XI against Liverpool, with a host of youngsters to take up spots on the bench.
The London side have concluded their pre-season preparations, winning three and drawing two of their friendly matches, while the Reds have one final game on Monday evening before their focus turns to Chelsea.
Hopefully, by then, the Reds have at least one new signing in their midst!
Possible Chelsea XI vs. Liverpool: Kepa; James, Silva, Colwill, Chilwell; Fernandez, Gallagher; Sterling, Mudryk, Chukwuemeka; Jackson