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Gary Lineker predicts how Chelsea will fare under Pochettino, tips Darwin Nunez to hit the ground running for Liverpool

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker has claimed Chelsea have snapped up a great manager in Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine is back in the Premier League having managed Tottenham Hotspur before linking up with Paris Saint-Germain.

The Blues new owners have made their fourth managerial appointment since taking over in 2022 after sacking Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Antonio Conte, and they need to give Pochettino time to get the desired results.

“Chelsea have made a really great appointment in Mauricio Pochettino – and they needed to as last season was an absolute shambles,” Lineker said.

“I got to know Mauricio well when he worked with us at the BBC during the World Cup in Qatar and he is a very smart and engaging man who did a great job at Tottenham.

“He needs time to get things right and Chelsea are the most difficult to predict in the season ahead — although they can’t finish as low as 12th again.”

Lineker also thinks Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez will hit the ground running when the campaign starts.

The Reds will hope to win silverware and finish in the top four in the Premier League this season after the disappointing campaign of last term.

One player many people are tipping to step up is the Uruguayan international after he struggled in his debut season at Anfield.

Nunez was signed as Sadio Mane’s replacement in an £85 million deal, having scored 26 goals in 28 Primeira Liga games for Benfica in 2021-22.

However, he ended his first season in the Premier League with nine goals in 29 appearances.

The 24-year-old has been on fire in pre-season, netting four goals in three friendly games, and Lineker cannot wait to see him in action when the new campaign starts.

“My sons are all obsessed with fantasy football teams and when they ask me for tips – I tell them to sign up Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez as I think the forward will have a massive season this time around,” the former Everton striker said.

“The Uruguayan certainly isn’t the only player to take his time to settle into the Premier League, but he’d improved by the end of last season and he has great strengths.

“Sure, he missed a lot of chances but I don’t mind strikers missing chances. It shows he is getting into the right positions.”

Nunez has been given the number nine shirt ahead of the new season and will hope to follow in the footsteps of his compatriot Luis Suarez by impressing in the Liverpool Jersey.

The Reds need at least 20 goals from the South American this season if they are to win any silverware.

With Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo also capable of playing as centre strikers, manager Jurgen Klopp would not hesitate to drop Nunez if he keeps on struggling and missing chances.

Liverpool have attackers, midfielders and defenders capable of hitting the back of the net when presented with the chance.

However, they need Nunez to deliver constantly and fire on all cylinders to challenge for the Premier League and other trophies.

The Merseyside club have bolstered their squad with the signings of Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister and Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai.

They need more incomings to strengthen their squad depth and replace the top players they have lost in recent months. Failing to do so could result in another underwhelming season.

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