Liverpool v Chelsea Preview - Super Cup glory beckons for Reds
Venue – BJK Vodafone Park, Istanbul, Turkey
Referee – Stephanie Frappart (FRA)
Date & Time – Wednesday, August 14th @ 20:00
Current Odds – Liverpool 4/7, Draw 3/1, Chelsea 9/2
Liverpool and Chelsea meet in Istanbul on Wednesday night in the UEFA Super Cup. The Reds – Champions League winners – and Chelsea – Europa League winners – will do battle for some early-season silverware in what could be a tight encounter with both sides rotating their starting lineups.
Liverpool impressed in the second half of the Community Shield meeting with Manchester City and looked to be back to their scintillating best going forward against Norwich in the 4-1 win.
Yet, in defence, the players don’t seem to be in tune with each other at the moment. Newly-promoted Norwich created plenty of chances at Anfield last Friday and could have scored more than the one goal they did manage.
Chelsea are adjusting to life in this new era for The Blues. Frank Lampard is in – the club legend replaced the outgoing Maurizio Sarri in the Chelsea hot seat. More importantly, Eden Hazard is gone. The Belgian wizard had delighted Chelsea fans and carried the hopes of the team for years but he left for Real Madrid earlier this summer.
Lampard’s side got off to the worst possible start to their season, losing 4-0 to Manchester United on Sunday. How they react when playing Liverpool on Wednesday night will tell a lot about the character of the players Lampard now has at his disposal.
Liverpool Team News
Alisson suffered a suspected calf-tear in the 4-1 win over Norwich City so he is expected to miss anything from between four to six weeks.
Nathaniel Clyne is Liverpool’s only current long-term injury absentee. The right-back suffered an ACL injury over the summer and is not due back until February at the earliest.
Jurgen Klopp might use this game as a chance to take a closer look at Joel Matip in place of Joe Gomez.
In midfield, I think Gini Wijnaldum, James Milner and Naby Keita will start – making it a completely different trio from the Norwich game.
Roberto Firmino could be on the bench with Sadio Mané starting to get closer to full match fitness. Divock Origi could start in the centre with Mohamed Salah and Mané on either side.
Chelsea Team News
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi are both out through injury.
Antonio Rudiger and Willian are doubtful but could be available for selection of Lampard needs them.
Chelsea lined out in a 4-2-3-1 shape in the 4-0 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday. Lampard is unlikely to change his formation so soon, despite the heavy loss at Old Trafford.
N’Golo Kanté could start, as could Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud as Lampard looks to shake things up in the hopes of a positive response from his team.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Keita; Salah, Origi, Mané
Chelsea XI (4-2-3-1) – Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson; Jorginho, Kanté; Pedro, Mount, Pulisic; Giroud
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield back in April thanks to goals from Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah.
The sides drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge in the first meeting last season – Eden Hazard and Daniel Sturridge were the scorers.
Liverpool 2 – 1 Chelsea
Liverpool should be strong enough to beat this new-look Chelsea side. I think Divock Origi – if he starts – could grab another goal to continue his strong start to the season.
Chelsea are still getting to grips with Lampard’s formation and style of play so we may not see the best of them for the first few months of this season.