Chelsea take on Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup tomorrow at 8pm BST in the annual battle between the winners of the Champions League and the winners of the Europa League. It will be the first time in history that two English sides will fight it out for the prestigious trophy.
The European curtain raiser was founded in 1972 and was originally contested between the winners of the Champions League and the winners of the Cup Winners’ Cup, but since the discontinuation of the latter competition, the Europa League champions have replaced them.
Chelsea have competed in the Super Cup three times – winning one in 1998 and coming up short in the other two in 2012 and 2013. Liverpool, on the other hand, have won the Super Cup on three occasions – 1997, 2001 and 2005 – and have lost twice in 1978 and 1984.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard reflected on his Super Cup losses in his pre-match press conference:
“I lost two, one in poor circumstances, having won the Champions League and we were far off that game.
“We lost in Munich unfortunately, I believe. It is important to give everything to win it. It is another trophy for the club. But for the feeling that we can compete with Liverpool and go from there.”
Another piece of history will be made in the game as Stephanie Frappart will become the first female to officiate a major men’s European match. The 35-year-old became the first woman to referee a Ligue 1 game back in April.
The two sides go into the game in contrasting form. Liverpool opened the 2019/20 Premier League campaign at home to Norwich City, comfortably defeating the Canaries 4-1, whereas the Blues suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Last five games (most recent first):
- Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea (Premier League)
- Borussia Monchengladbach 2-2 Chelsea (friendly)
- Red Bull Salzburg 3-5 Chelsea (friendly)
- Reading 3-4 Chelsea (friendly)
- Barcelona 2-1 Chelsea (friendly)
- Liverpool 4-1 Norwich City (Premier League)
- Liverpool (4) 1-1 Manchester City (5) (Community Shield)
- Liverpool 3-1 Olympique Lyon (friendly)
- Liverpool 0-3 Napoli (friendly)
- Liverpool 2-2 Sporting Lisbon (friendly)
Where is it?
The match will take place at Vodafone Park in Istanbul, Turkey. The stadium has a capacity of just over 41,000 and is home to Super Lig side Besiktas. It is a UEFA Category 4 Stadium and was opened in 2016 after construction began three years prior.
The timing of the fixture has caused a stir amongst the two fanbases. Liverpool have been given an extra two days rest, having last played on Friday night, whereas Chelsea had to endure a tough trip to Old Trafford almost 48 hours later. With the 1,900 mile trip to Istanbul, tiredness and fatigue could be a factor.
Liverpool named their 23-man travelling squad on Tuesday, with Alisson, Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren being the notable absentees, all due to injury.
Summer signing Adrian is expected to replace Alisson in goal for Liverpool after the Brazilian shot-stopper pulled up against Norwich with a calf injury.
Sadio Mane has travelled with the squad after being left on the bench at the weekend and could start in the front three, although Divock Origi’s goal in Liverpool’s win on Friday could halt that decision, especially with the Belgian’s recent goal scoring record in big European games.
Chelsea also named their 23-man travelling squad on Tuesday. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi remain sidelined, while Marco van Ginkel has also been left out with a knee injury.
Antonio Rudiger has departed for Turkey with the squad but is unlikely to feature despite the Blues’ defensive worries. N’Golo Kante started on the bench against Manchester United due to a knock but came on in the second half.
In his press conference, Lampard confirmed that Kante picked up another injury in the game so, again, is unlikely to be named in the starting line-up.
“Kante has a small injury and I will make a decision on him with him.”
Willian was left out of the squad at the weekend and did not feature in pre-season, and the Brazilian is unlikely to feature against Liverpool despite his manager confirming his place on the bench.
“Willian and Rudiger are here and they are in different stages. Willian is not far from fit, to put him in a high-intensity match is tough. He will be working through this week on his fitness. Tomorrow he will be on the bench.”
Where can you watch it?
If you are not one of the lucky ones to get a ticket to the match, the Super Cup will be broadcast on BT Sport, who own the rights to Champions League and Europa League games in the UK.
Written by Liam Wilson.