Prediction: Liverpool to Win by Two Goals
The UEFA Super Cup has a distinctly British look to it as Liverpool and Chelsea come together at the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul.
After lifting the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League respectively at the end of last season, the two teams head into the match looking to once again add to their trophy hauls on Wednesday evening.
Heading into the game, reigning European champions Liverpool have the chance to become the joint third most successful club in Super Cup history. The Reds have appeared in five editions of the match, last running out victors in 2005 as they overcame Russian outfit CSKA Moscow 3-1 in Monaco. They also won the UEFA Super Cup in 2001 and 1977, with another win this time around seeing them draw level with Spanish giants Real Madrid. Of course, they will be extremely confident going into the match having memorably lifted the UEFA Champions League against fellow Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur back in June.
Jurgen Klopp’s troops have picked up this season where the last finished; scoring plenty of goals. Their first competitive match of the 2019/20 season saw them coast past newly-promoted Norwich City 4-1 at Anfield. That extended an excellent record of scoring, with Barcelona the only team to keep the Reds out since early March.
One big loss for the Reds will be the absence of stopper Alisson after the Brazilian picked up an injury in the victory over the Canaries. Adrian was called on that day and is likely to start in goal. Full-back Nathaniel Clyne remains ruled out with a cruciate ligament injury that is likely to restrict him the sidelines for the majority of the campaign. Mo Salah will be keen to extend his promising start to the season after getting off to the perfect start with a goal at the weekend.
In comparison to the Merseysiders, Chelsea’s season could not have got off to a worse possible start. Under new boss Frank Lampard, the Blues were humbled 4-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford despite not putting in a disastrous performance. The defeat was Chelsea’s heaviest since a 6-0 thumping at the hands of Manchester City back in February. The team then will be doing their upmost to avoid back-to-back defeats for the first time since March 2018.
The omens are also slightly worrying heading into the clash against Liverpool. Having appeared in three editions of the UEFA Super Cup, the Londoners have only managed to lift the trophy on one occasion and that was back in 1998. They appeared in both 2012 and 2013 but were beaten by Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich respectively. However, they are in good form in European competitions and are on a 15-match unbeaten run which culminated with a 4-1 thumping of Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League final last season.
It is fair to say that the Blues were missing some key members of their squad in the defeat to the Red Devils at the weekend but they could be boosted by a few returnees. Willian was struggling with a hamstring injury but should be cleared to return for the trip to Turkey. Although, the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Antonio Rudiger all remain on the sidelines. N’Golo Kante has also picked up a small injury so is a slight doubt.
Key Facts To Consider
- Liverpool possess the better all-time head-to-head record between the two sides (W78, D41, L63)
- The Reds won the last clash between the two sides 2-0 at Anfield in April
- The UEFA Champions League winners have lifted the UEFA Super Cup in five out of the last six seasons
- Liverpool have only managed to keep one clean sheet against Chelsea with Jurgen Klopp as manager
- Mo Salah has scored more goals against only three clubs than Chelsea (Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth, Watford)
Chelsea fans will be wanting a reaction from their team following their humbling against Manchester United at the weekend. Whilst they will create a few problems for the Reds, that will not be forthcoming on Wednesday night. Jurgen Klopp’s team have far too much quality for their opponents and whilst it should be an entertaining match, Liverpool will run out relatively comfortable winners.
Prediction: Liverpool to Win by Two Goals
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