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Chelsea 2023/24 Season Preview: Key Fixtures, Transfers, Star Player & Predictions

Chelsea 2023/24 Season Preview

Chelsea were expected to mount a title charge under their new owners last season, but things did not go to plan and they finished in the bottom half of the Premier League.

Their fans will not complain about the powers that be splashing the cash, but a large chunk of the new regime’s debut transfer business was awful.

Their reckless splurging only resulted in a bloated squad that still has plenty of gaps to fill.

However, the Blues faithful will head into the new campaign with renewed optimism following the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine tactician is not a popular name among Chelsea fans, but his experience should prove pivotal in returning the club to the Champions League places.

Pochettino has a couple of issues that need attention before the start of the season, but a top-four finish will be the minimum requirement, especially without European football to worry about.

Here is our Chelsea season preview for 2023/24. You can also check out our detailed Premier League season previews for all 20 teams.

Chelsea Fixtures

Chelsea take on Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in their opening Premier League fixture on August 13 before travelling to the east of the capital for their first London derby against West Ham United.

The Blues then trade tackles with Premier League newcomers Luton Town in their final game in August, but October promises to be action-packed for Pochettino’s side.

Chelsea start with a trip to Lancashire, where they will take on newly promoted Burnley on October 7, before consecutive London derbies against Arsenal (H) and Brentford (H).

They begin 2024 with another London derby against Fulham (H), before ending the month with a reverse fixture against Liverpool. They finish off the campaign at home to Bournemouth on May 19.


The Chelsea fanbase was divided when news of Pochettino’s appointment emerged – mainly because of his history with one of the club’s closest rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Pochettino’s trophyless five-and-a-half-year tenure at Spurs shrouded his achievements, leaving Chelsea fans hesitant to back the club’s choice amid fears that the trend will continue at Stamford Bridge.

However, the Argentine head coach has spent time in the French top flight and led Paris Saint-Germain to domestic glory, although he failed to deliver the highly coveted Champions League trophy.

His defined tactical style and ability to galvanise a squad works in Chelsea’s favour. He will bring organisation and direction to the club, especially after their worst-ever campaign in the Premier League era.

It remains to be seen if he can deliver silverware to the glory-hungry Blues faithful. But his experience and leadership will be pivotal in restoring the club to its former status.

Transfer Business

Chelsea’s recruitment drive this summer has focused heavily on young talents, but Pochettino is keen to bolster his ranks with more first-team-ready recruits.

Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson have been the headline arrivals at Stamford Bridge, and the Blues are still pursuing a deal for Brighton & Hove Albion defensive midfielder Moises Caicedo.

Chelsea have been on a selling spree during the summer transfer window, with Mason Mount, Kalidou Koulibaly, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz exiting the club.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku, who has been a massive disappointment since his arrival, are among several other players the club are looking to move on.

Pochettino has repeatedly voiced his desire for a small squad, so more exits are on the horizon. But the previously bloated squad means only a handful of arrivals are needed to balance the team.

Chelsea are expected to sign at least three new midfielders while Kepa Arrizabalaga’s long-term future hangs in the balance, although a new goalkeeper is not currently a priority.

If they can fill the gaps in the squad, the Blues should have enough to push for a return to the Champions League places this season.

Starting XI

Following a major squad overhaul, Chelsea are expected to field a starting line-up dominated by youth.

However, the club’s summer transfer business is not yet complete, with several players expected to be sold and at least two new midfielders still on the shopping list.

Unless a new goalkeeper arrives before the window slams shut, Arrizabalaga is likely to remain the starting goalkeeper after displacing Edouard Mendy last season.

Ben Chilwell is expected to keep his starting position at left-back, while Levi Colwill, who had an impressive loan spell at Brighton, is poised to partner Thiago Silva at the heart of the defence. Reece James completes the back four.

The midfield is expected to have a new look, with Conor Gallagher and Enzo Fernandez as a double pivot at the base of the midfield.

Pochettino could opt to slot in Andrey Santos for additional defensive cover, while Caicedo would partner Fernandez if Chelsea finally convince Brighton to sell.

Much is expected from Mykhaylo Mudryk this season after an impressive pre-season, while Nkunku and Raheem Sterling make up the attacking midfield.

Jackson, who also had an outstanding pre-season, is expected to lead the line while the returning Armando Broja provides competition.

Here is our prediction for Chelsea’s strongest starting XI next season:

4-2-3-1: Arrizabalaga; Chilwell, Colwill, Silva, James; Caicedo, Fernandez; Mudryk, Nkunku, Sterling; Jackson.

Star Player

All eyes will be on Nkunku this season following an exceptional goalscoring campaign with RB Leipzig last term.

Chelsea were made to fork out a reported £52 million for the versatile Frenchman, who arrives at Stamford Bridge after finishing the previous campaign as Leipzig’s top scorer.

Despite missing a large chunk of the season through injuries, the former Paris Saint-Germain man racked up 23 goals and nine assists in 36 games across all competitions.

Nkunku netted 16 times in 25 Bundesliga games, finishing the season as the joint-top scorer in the German top flight. He also grabbed a goal and an assist in the DFB Pokal final to help Leipzig retain the title.

During his four-year stay at the Red Bull Arena, the 25-year-old registered 70 goals and 56 assists in 172 outings, helping the club win two DFB Pokal titles.

Having proved himself in Germany, the onus is on the highly technical France international forward to replicate his performances in the Premier League and potentially fire the Blues to glory.


Chelsea have to ensure that last season’s disaster was just a one-off and nothing but a return to the Champions League places will be considered good enough by the unforgiving fans.

Finishing in the top four would be considered a success for Pochettino’s debut season, but their transfer business will play a major part in their league standing at the end of the season.

With Manchester City and Arsenal expected to retain their place in the top four, Chelsea are one of five clubs set to slug it out for the remaining Champions League places.

Manchester United and Newcastle United claimed the final two spots last season, but the absence of European football should give the Blues an edge over their top-four chasing counterparts.

Jackson has already shown he has what it takes to lead the Chelsea forward line with aplomb, and his attacking prowess, combined with Nkunku’s creativity and eye for goal, should be key for the Blues this season.

While the eye-catching duo are expected to light up the Bridge with dazzling performances, more signings will be needed if Pochettino’s side are to fend off Man United, Newcastle, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in the top-four race.

Pochettino will be keen to prove himself to the fans by delivering silverware, but success in one of the domestic cup competitions is Chelsea’s best hope of lifting a trophy this season.

Predicted finish: 5th

Also Read: Detailed Premier League season previews for all 20 teams.

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