Chelsea are regrouping again after their second coaching departure of the season and Bruno Saltor has been tasked with taking on Liverpool on Tuesday.
Former Brighton & Hove Albion defender Bruno arrived at Stamford Bridge alongside Graham Potter when he was appointed to replace Thomas Tuchel in September.
But Potter was also sacked, leaving Bruno in temporary charge of a terrifying first leg at home against Liverpool.
At the very least, it’s a game that relies relatively little on Chelsea, who sit 11th in the Premier League with little chance of regaining Champions League qualification.
However, Bruno knows that there is always pressure on his players and takes his preparation for the match seriously.
“[We are] seeing it as an opportunity for the players,” he said. “We represent Chelsea, a club with an amazing history.
“It’s about winning, about dominating, and we need to prepare for the game.
“Preparation helps performance a lot and that’s something players should focus on.”
Despite the breakdown, Bruno suggested that his Chelsea side would “stay as close as possible” to the side that lost to Aston Villa on Saturday, believing the Blues were “dominating”.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s preparations have been a bit more routine, although Jurgen Klopp’s team had little opportunity to survive Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.
“We can’t work on the pitch, that’s all,” Klopp said on Monday. “Games like [City] influence. We may lose more confidence, but the desire to show reaction is also there. The boys are still good people.
“Short turnover is a problem; at the moment I have no idea who I can line up. We need to give the guys time to recover.
“Of course there will be changes – 48 hours, then you drive, wait for the match to start in London, everything is ready. [in the mind]. That’s what we’re working on.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Chelsea – Kai Havertz
Chelsea need to rediscover their scoring record as they have failed to score in five home games this season, including four since the start of the year.
Meanwhile, their shot conversion rate of 8.2 percent is the lowest since registration began in 1997-1998. But prior to the loss to Villa, Havertz was looking to pick up form by scoring in three consecutive games in all competitions.
Liverpool – Mohamed Salah
Chelsea let Salah go and he has taken great pleasure in punishing them ever since. He has scored four goals in 11 Premier League games against the Blues and only Kevin De Bruyne (five) has scored more goals against Chelsea among former players.
Salah was the last ex-Blue to score at Stamford Bridge back in January 2022.
MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW
Liverpool have not lost in their last four away matches against Chelsea in the Premier League, although they have not gone five unbeaten at Stamford Bridge.
The Reds have won two of those four games, but the last five meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool in all competitions have ended in draws. In fact, their last three meetings have ended goalless.
Chelsea start from 11th, their lowest position at the end of the season since their penultimate game in 1995/96 when they were also 11th against Tottenham. This game has also been drawn.
WHOLESALE WIN PROBABILITY
Chelsea – 31.1 percent
Liverpool – 40.2 percent
Draw – 28.7%