Date: 8th August 2023 at 1:05pm
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Mauricio Pochettino’s reign as Chelsea manager will officially get underway on Sunday as the Blues welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge.

Last season was one to forget for the West London outfit, with Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard all having spells in charge of the club as they finished 12th – their lowest league finish in the Premier League era.

Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Pochettino will be aiming to guide his side back to European qualification this term, but the Argentine has already been dealt a huge blow before a ball has even been kicked.

Chelsea have confirmed that forward Christopher Nkunku is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery.

The Frenchman was subbed off in the first half of Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund last week, and a club statement on Tuesday confirmed that the player has been forced to undergo surgery on a knee problem.

In the announcement, it revealed that the player ‘will now begin a rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical department’.

Nkunku joined Chelsea from RB Leipzig earlier this summer

Nkunku, 25, joined the Blues from German club RB Leipzig last month and has impressed for his new side during pre-season.

The France international played in all five matches during Chelsea’s summer tour of the US, playing in a variety of different roles including as a central striker, attacking midfielder and winger.

Nkunku scored against Wrexham, Brighton and Hove Albion and Fulham before being forced off injured in the opening stages of Chelsea’s draw against Dortmund.

The player’s absence could suggest fellow new arrival Nicolas Jackson – who joined from Villarreal last month – is likely to lead the line against the Reds on Sunday.

Mykhaylo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Raheem Sterling will also be in contention to start in the wide attacking roles, but it remains to be seen who Pochettino will opt to select as a ‘number ten’.

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