The UEFA Super Cup will be an all-Premier League encounter as the winners of the Champions League and Europa League face off in the season opener in Turkey.
Liverpool will take on Chelsea in the first-ever UEFA Super Cup featuring both teams from the Premier League!
For the first time since 2013, there will be no Spanish team present in the Uefa Super Cup final. Liverpool enter the game as Champions League winners after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the June final, while Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 to win the Europa League.
The two sides got off to contrasting starts in the top-flight this weekend with the Reds beating Norwich 4-1 and the Blues losing 4-0 at Manchester United.
Many Chelsea fans were full of optimism when Frank Lampard was named as Blues manager over the summer, ready to herald in a new era. However, a 4-0 loss to a what-seemed-to-be a revived United side may have its toll on the morale of the team coming into Wednesday’s matchup.
Liverpool and Chelsea go head-to-head in the #SuperCup! 😍
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 13, 2019
Their opening defeat may suggest the Blues may struggle to cope without their star player Eden Hazard after the Belgian departed for Real Madrid during the summer. Hazard played a crucial role in winning the Europa League title last season as he scored two goals to seal the title for Chelsea.
On the other hand, Liverpool made an impressive start to their campaign, collecting all three points with a convincing win over the newly-promoted Canaries.
Jurgen Klopp has already told his squad to “stay greedy” with early silverware, and bragging rights up for grabs, while Frank Lampard will be hoping to avoid another humbling.
Where will it be held?
The Vodafone Park in Istanbul will play host to the match. The 41,188-seater stadium is home to Besiktas.
It is the first time the Super Cup will be held in Turkey.
The ground is not the venue where Liverpool completed their ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ in 2005.
The Reds came from three down to beat AC Milan in the Champions League final but that was held at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium across the city.
Who is the referee?
As well as being the first all-English final, the Super Cup will also be making history with the officials. For the first time ever, the final of a Uefa men’s competition will be refereed by a woman.
UEFA Super Cup referee Stephanie Frappart has the full support of both managers heading into Wednesday's match 👇 pic.twitter.com/ISYePyYbQ1
— Goal (@goal) August 14, 2019
French referee Stephanie Frappart will be the one to take charge in Istanbul, fresh off officiating in the 2019 Women’s World Cup final. She will be joined by Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neill as her assistant referees, while experienced Cuneyt Cakir is the fourth official.
Liverpool Team News
Klopp will have to resort to Liverpool’s back-up Spanish goalkeeper Adrian who signed on a free transfer following Alisson’s calf injury.
Apart from their shortage of options in goal, Liverpool’s only remaining concern is long-term injury victim Nathaniel Clyne, who is not expected to return from a cruciate ligament injury until next year.
Our love affair with Europe reignited ❤️
An unforgettable journey to the Super Cup 😍 pic.twitter.com/SR6ZkETupn
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 14, 2019
Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson
Henderson, Fabinho, Milner
Salah, Origi, Mane
Chelsea Team News
N’Golo Kante returned from a lengthy lay-off but the midfielder may not make his return to the starting lineup in the first encounter of a week in which his side faces two matches.
Winger Willian, one of the players charged with restoring the creativity departing in Hazard’s wake at the end of last season, has been back in light training but is unlikely to travel with the squad.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 13, 2019
The final could also come too soon for returning defender Antonio Rudiger, while Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek remain absentees with long-term injuries.
Depending on the balance Lampard strikes between competing for the cup and maintaining freshness for Sunday’s match, new signing Christian Pulisic could be given greater game time or left in reserve again.
The midfielder’s £58m transfer fee has inevitably come with high expectations, but the American played little more than half an hour last Sunday.
Chelsea’s specialist in Europe, Olivier Giroud, could be entrusted with leading the line after top-scoring in the Europa League last season.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 13, 2019
Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson
Pedro, Mount, Pulisic
Frank Lampard has pointed to his team twice hitting the woodwork but those defensive problems will not be solved in three days so we could see another big defeat for the Blues in Istanbul.
Liverpool looked sharp in attack during their opener and have the pace to repeat the damage United caused the Blues on the break. Chelsea know they need to be far less wasteful to have serious hope of beating the team they finished 25 points behind last season. Liverpool to win priced at 1.66*
However, with their first-choice goalkeeper out of the picture, Chelsea may manage a couple of goals if they use their few chances wisely. Chelsea to win or draw at 2.10*
With compromised defensive lines from both ends, the bookies value more than 2 goals in total at 1.29*
*Odds are subject to change
Wednesday’s Super Cup will be the 183rd time these two sides have met and the 11th in Uefa competitions.
Liverpool hold the overall advantage, winning 78 to Chelsea’s 63, but the Blues do have the edge in Europe with three wins to two and five draws.
Liverpool wins: 78 | Draws: 41 | Chelsea wins: 63
Liverpool will return to action on Saturday when they face Southampton away in the Premier League while Chelsea host Leicester on Sunday.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 13, 2019
BONUS: Which European cup winner enjoys the most Super Cup success?
Although the Champions League is the continent’s premier club competition, and thus its winners are usually European giants, the big clubs have not always had their way in the Uefa Super Cup.
In fact, Champions League winners have won 23 of the 43 Uefa Super Cup finals to date, only just edging out the champions of the second-tier competition, be it the Cup Winners’ Cup, Uefa Cup or Europa League.
And that edge has only come in the past decade, with Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid last season, ending a run of five straight Super Cup wins for Champions League sides. At the start of that run in 2013, Champions League winners trailed 18-19.