Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino may have already decided who he’ll name in his first competitive starting XI.
The Argentine boss arrived at the Blues earlier in the summer and has overseen their pre-season tour in the United States.
With five games played, Chelsea have gone unbeaten throughout the summer and even won the inaugural Premier League Summer Series.
Wednesday night saw them play their final friendly before the new season as they took on Borussia Dortmund in Chicago.
A late Mason Burstow header cancelled out Marius Wolf’s goal for the German side as a 1-1 draw capped off a fine pre-season for the Blues.
Pochettino named a strong starting XI on the night and hinted after the game that those stars could lineup against Liverpool next Sunday.
“This was about giving 90 minutes to the team in my head that I plan to play because the season is only 10 days away,” he said.
Kepa Arrizabalaga started in goal with Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Reece James in defence next to Levi Colwill, who has signed a new six-year deal.
Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher played in midfield behind Christopher Nkunku, Carney Chukwuemeka, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson.
Unfortunately for Nkunku though his night lasted just 22 minutes as he went down with an injury on the ‘dangerous’ pitch conditions having initially fallen in the area earlier in the match.
Pochettino offered an update on the Frenchman following the full-time whistle: “The doctors are checking him and I hope it is not a big issue.
“He fell in the action [against Mats Hummels] which was maybe a penalty and he feels something in his knee, but we hope it is nothing big.
“We hope he can be back quickly with the team. We need a few days to assess him.”
Mykhailo Mudryk replaced Nkunku, with Marc Cucurella and Ian Maatsen other top talents to make appearances off the bench.
Chelsea won three of their pre-season friendlies and drew the other two before they host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge next Sunday on the opening weekend of the new campaign.
Such a clash will prove to be an interesting affair as both teams have a lot to prove after their respective disappointing seasons last term.
Chelsea especially will be hoping to get off to the best possible start in order to make amends for their 12th place finish.
They therefore have no European football to play this season, with fans hoping Pochettino is the man to lead them to glory once again.
Mauricio Pochettino, the newly appointed manager of Chelsea Football Club, has dropped a major hint in regards to the Blues’ lineup for their highly anticipated Premier League opener against Liverpool.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Pochettino indicated that he’s considering several changes from the side that beat Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup Final last weekend. While the Argentine manager refused to be too specific, he did confirm that several prominent figures may be included in the starting XI to face their rivals at the start of this new season.
Pochettino said that he’s particularly focused on making sure that the team is balanced and that the players are in the right positions in order to get the most out of their talents. He went on to explain that the focus on versatile and multi-functional players was a major part of the club’s player recruitment strategy under his leadership.
The new manager stated that he would like to see Oscar, fresh off of an impressive performance in the FA Cup, to start against Liverpool, while the likes of Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could also be in the starting lineup. He declined to comment on who the goalkeeper will be, however he promised that it was an exciting time for the club and that the fans would have to wait until Sunday to find out who will be in the team.
Overall, this is an exciting development and it appears that Mauricio Pochettino is implementing several changes to the Chelsea lineup in order to create a more balanced and effective team. The Blues will undoubtedly have their work cut out for them against Liverpool, but if the new manager can get the most out of his players, then this could be an intriguing Premier League opener.