Two Premier League giants hoping to improve on disappointing seasons last time out face off on the opening weekend. It’s our Chelsea vs Liverpool prediction and preview.
Chelsea vs Liverpool: Quick Hits
- Despite their disappointing Premier League away record last season (W6 D5 L8), Liverpool head into this clash at Stamford Bridge as favourites, with Opta’s supercomputer giving them a 41.4% chance of victory.
- The last six meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool in all competitions have been drawn, with the last four of those finishing goalless.
- No manager has been able to beat Liverpool in their first game in charge of a Premier League club since February 2017 – a run of 10 games.
Both will be keen to forget the 2022-23 season. Jürgen Klopp’s men went from almost winning the quadruple the previous campaign to not even securing a place in the UEFA Champions League the next. For Chelsea, it was much worse.
A chaotic season saw Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard fail to steady the ship, with Chelsea remarkably finishing in 12th position with their lowest points tally (44) since 1987-88 when they were relegated to the second tier (42). It was also their lowest league finish since 1993-94 (14th).
It feels appropriate that these two will meet at the start of what is a new era for Chelsea, with lots of new players and a new manager. The only other time Chelsea and Liverpool have faced each other in their opening game of a Premier League season saw the Londoners win 2-1 at Anfield in 2003-04, the first game of the Roman Abramovich era.
Unsurprisingly, both have strong opening-day records. No team has won more of their opening games of a Premier League campaign than Chelsea (20 – level with Manchester United), and they have won more points than any other side on Matchday 1 (66). Liverpool have remained unbeaten in their opening game since a 3-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion in 2012-13, having won eight and drawn two since then.
Mauricio Pochettino will be eager to begin his time at Chelsea with a win, but none of the last 10 managers who started their tenure of a Premier League club against Liverpool have won (D4 L6) since Craig Shakespeare when his Leicester City side won 3-1 in February 2017.
Despite missing out on long-term target Caicedo, Chelsea have added some more players over the summer, with Nicolas Jackson, Axel Disasi, Robert Sánchez, Lesley Ugochukwu and Christopher Nkunku among those to have arrived. However, Nkunku has already suffered a blow, ruled out for an “extended period” according to the club after sustaining a knee injury.
Liverpool new boys Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai should be on show on Sunday, but it’s Mohamed Salah who will be looking to make history. The former Chelsea man has scored in Liverpool’s opening Premier League game in all six of his seasons since arriving from Roma, hitting eight goals in total, a joint record with Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer.
Chelsea vs Liverpool Head-to-Head
These two draw with each other. No-one knows why, but they do. All the time.
Their last six meetings in all competitions have ended level. It is Liverpool’s longest run of consecutive draws against an opponent, though Chelsea have drawn seven in a row against both West Brom (1922-1927) and Norwich City (1974-1978, including three Anglo Scottish Cup meetings).
They also don’t produce many goals. The last four meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool in all competitions have finished 0-0. That includes the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals last season, both of which Liverpool won on penalties. No fixture in competitive English football history has finished goalless five times in a row before, so surely someone will find the net at some point… surely.
Collectively over those last four games, the pair have recorded a combined expected goals value of 12 from 103 shots, with zero actual goals to show for it.
Their last meeting came at Stamford Bridge in early April, with Liverpool still reeling from a 4-1 loss at Manchester City three days earlier on 1 April, while Chelsea were beaten 2-0 at home by Aston Villa the same day – both teams were made to look like April Fools. That tender confidence was on display when they faced off, with Chelsea the better of the two but neither really showing anything like the level both clubs have become accustomed to over the years.
Previous Meeting Line-ups (Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool: Premier League, 4 April 2023)
Chelsea: Kepa Arrizabalaga; Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella, Ben Chilwell; Enzo Fernández, Mateo Kovačić, N’Golo Kanté; Kai Havertz, João Félix. Used Subs: Conor Gallagher, Mykhailo Mudryk, Raheem Sterling
Liverpool: Alisson; Joe Gomez, Joël Matip, Ibrahima Konaté, Kostas Tsimikas; Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones; Diogo Jota, Darwin Núñez, Roberto Firmino. Used subs: Mohamed Salah, Andrew Robertson, Cody Gakpo, James Milner
Both will have been pleased enough with their pre-season results. Chelsea won the inaugural Premier League Summer Series in the United States after wins over Brighton and Fulham and a draw with Newcastle United.
Liverpool scored 18 goals across their five friendlies, looking like a real danger in attack against the likes of Karlsruher, Leicester City and Bayern Munich. However, they also conceded 11 goals, including four to Bayern in a 4-3 loss that suggested their defensive issues from last season still need some work.
At the end of last season, though, both teams had very different runs of form. Chelsea won just one of their last 14 games in all competitions, losing nine (D4). They haven’t won a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge since 4 March when they beat Leeds United 1-0. Excluding the three teams who were relegated at the end of 2022-23, Chelsea have picked up fewer wins (4) and fewer points (20) in 2023 than any other Premier League side.
Liverpool, on the other hand, went on a winning run towards the end of the campaign that almost saw them sneak into the top four. Their comeback from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Arsenal at Anfield on 9 April was followed by seven wins in a row.
Draws with Aston Villa and Southampton brought their season to a close as they came up short in the race for fourth, but it reminded people that Liverpool are one of the few teams in England who can put a run of wins together like that. Across the final nine games, only champions Manchester City (25) won more points than Liverpool (24).
Despite losing nine Premier League games last season, Liverpool went unbeaten in their last 11 (W7 D4) and are currently on the longest run of any team without defeat in the competition. That run started with their 0-0 draw at Chelsea in early April, which is the only time they’ve failed to score in those 11 matches.
Chelsea vs Liverpool Prediction
Perhaps it’s the assumed comparative stability of Liverpool over their hosts that has caused our supercomputer to make them favourites for this one, or just the fact they finished seven places and 23 points ahead of Chelsea last season.
A new manager and so many new players make Chelsea an unknown quantity, and if it takes Pochettino time to gel his new team, you could see Liverpool taking advantage and the Merseyside club have been given a 41.4% chance of doing so. Pochettino’s men are handed a 30.1% probability of winning themselves to get the Argentine’s reign off to a flying start against a possible top-four rival.
Given these two teams seemingly cannot stop drawing with each other no matter who is involved, it’s not much of a surprise to see a relatively high chance of 28.5% of another stalemate occurring at Stamford Bridge.