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Chelsea vs. Liverpool, Premier League: Preview, team news, how to watch

Our fantastic beasts era begins

Chelsea Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Well, it’s back to business for Chelsea, and we can only hope that after a dramatic 48 hours, the business will be less of the usual that’s come before this season and more of the usual that had become usual in the last couple decades.

This coaching change does feel a bit different than most, perhaps because we’re starting from a lower ebb than usual. It’s got more of a 2015-16 flavor to it than a 2011-12 flavor, but we can always hope it’s the latter.

But the Champions League quarterfinals aren’t for a couple more weeks, so hopefully we can rebuild some momentum and confidence before then. That process starts now.

Date / Time: Tuesday, April 4, 2023, 20.00 BST; 3pm EDT; 12:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Anthony Taylor (on pitch); Chris Kavanagh (VAR) — Taylor’s first game for us since his horror show in the 2-2 draw against Spurs in August
Forecast: Almost springlike

On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); Peacock (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)

Chelsea Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea team news: So it’s Bruno Saltor officially in charge now as Interim Head Coach, though other than Graham Potter, only assistant Billy Reid has left the team, so it’s pretty much the same crew as before anyway. The choices and decisions they make are unlikely to be drastically different from Potter’s, especially as this is Bruno’s first appointment as something more than just a coach. But perhaps he’s got the magic wand.

There is some good news with regards to injuries as N’Golo Kanté made his long-awaited return over the weekend with a 20-minute substitute appearance and Mason Mount seems ready to come back as well (even if he didn’t quite make it onto the pitch on Saturday). Thiago Silva and César Azpilicueta remain out, while Raheem Sterling, Wesley Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Édouard Mendy are various degrees of doubtful.

The 2-0 loss to Aston Villa dropped us into the bottom half of the table on negative goal difference. Chelsea’s haven’t finished in the bottom half of the table since 1996. We have 10 games left to avoid that fate.

Manchester City v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Will Palmer/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

Liverpool team news: As bad as Chelsea season has been, Liverpool’s has been almost as bad — and perhaps worse in some ways considering that they lost the title by all of 1 point last year. They enter the weekend a whopping 30 points off the leaders, albeit with two games in-hand. Over the weekend, they were slapped around by Manchester City, 4-1, and it wasn’t really that much of a contest, even.

A bit of gallows humor from Jürgen Klopp, the longest serving manager currently in the Premier League (and the third longest in all of pro football in England), had him wondering how he has managed to survive the recent carnage of managerial sackings — over half the teams in the league have changed managers at least once already this season.

“I’m aware of the fact that I am sitting here because of the past, not because of what we did this season. We have smart owners — they know about the situation. If this was my first season, it would be slightly different.

“I’m not afraid [of the sack], no. There’s no need for being afraid, I need to deliver. I am not here as a mural on house walls, I am here to deliver. I am fully in — but we have to sort this. We cannot just continue playing how we do from time to time. I am really disappointed about us that we do this but it happens. We have to find a way out.

“What can I say about that [the sackings]? The elephant in the room is probably why am I still sitting here in this crazy world? Last man standing.”

-Jürgen Klopp; source: ESPN

Liverpool are relatively healthy at the moment, though Luis Díaz and Thiago Alcântara are not quite ready to return yet from their injuries. Stefan Bajčetić and Naby Keïta have been ruled out for the rest of the season (or at least probably in the latter’s case).

View from the enemy: The Liverpool Offside

Previously: We’ve played five consecutive draws against the Reds, the last three of which were all 0-0 draws (including both Cup finals last season), and we are unbeaten in our last three visits to Anfield (1 win, 2 draws). January’s (somehow scoreless) visit was the one with Mudryk’s electrifying debut (the one flash in the pan, so far) and it also turned out to be Jorginho’s final game for us.

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