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Pochettino gives Chelsea team hint for Liverpool clash after injury setback

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Chelsea Mauricio Pochettino may have provided some insight into his team selection for the season opener, but one of his new signings has already suffered an injury setback.

Liverpool are preparing to begin their Premier League campaign at Stamford Bridge on August 13 in what will be a tricky start to the season for Jurgen Klopp‘s side.

The Reds have played four friendlies so far this summer and will round off their pre-season at Deepdale on Monday night against Darmstadt.

Klopp was able to report no fresh injury concerns following Wednesday’s 4-3 defeat to Bayern Munich in Singapore, confirming that a knock to Alexis Mac Allister was nothing serious and that he “could have played on.”

SINGAPORE - Wednesday, August 2, 2023: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister receives treatment for an injury during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern Munich FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pochettino hasn’t been quite so fortunate in his team’s preparations, with new arrival Christopher Nkunku set to be examined after picking up a knee problem during Chelsea‘s final 2023/24 warm-up against Borussia Dortmund.

An update on Chelsea‘s official website indicated that the manager “hopes” the problem isn’t a severe one, but that it will take “few days to assess him” ahead of the Liverpool encounter.

Pochettino’s team selection in the 1-1 draw with the Bundesliga runners-up may have offered some clues into how his side might line up for the opening weekend fixture.

The Argentine was asked why his reserve goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina did not get on the pitch against Borussia Dortmund, to which his response was: “The fifth game for me was to test the team that I want, is a plan in my head to play, to give 90 minutes to some players.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Monday, April 18, 2016: Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino before the FA Premier League match against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It is only 10 days, our last game, I wanted to test Kepa for 90 minutes. I understand the question.”

Chelsea starting lineup vs. Borussia Dortmund: Kepa; James, Silva, Colwill, Chilwell; Enzo, Gallagher; Sterling, Nkunku, Chukwuemeka; Jackson.

With Chelsea‘s pre-season already wrapped up, just one more fixture back in England separates the Reds from the start of competitive action next weekend.

Liverpool will be hoping to continue to keep injuries down to a minimum as they look to make a fast start to the new campaign at Stamford Bridge on August 13.