In Review

Super Cup: what's really in it for Chelsea and Liverpool?

Both managers talk up the continental Community Shield ahead of Istanbul clash

Uefa Super Cup: Liverpool vs. Chelsea
  • What: Champions League winners vs. Europa League winners
  • When: Wednesday 14 August 
  • Where: Beşiktaş Park, Istanbul, Turkey 
  • Kick-off time: 8pm (BST) 
  • TV channel: live on BT Sport 2
The timings not super for Chelsea and Liverpool

One has to feel for Chelsea fans. It was only in May that they were forced to fly for hours to Azerbaijan to watch their boys beat Arsenal in the Europa League final. Tonight they’re off to Istanbul to see how the Blues fare against Liverpool in the Super Cup.

The Super Cup, it’s fair to say, is hardly a piece of silverware to set the pulses racing. Like a continental Community Shield, it pits the Champions League winners against the Europa League winners, at a time of the season when the only thing on a manger’s mind is getting off to a good start in the domestic league. The fans, too, traditonally don’t take much notice, and only 12,000 trekked to Tallinn, Estonia, to watch Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid last year.

Blues bullish

Jurgen Klopp and Frank Lampard have taken their squads to Turkey, but for the Chelsea manager the match couldn’t have come at a worse time. Thrashed 4-0 by Manchester United on Sunday, Lampard is on a hiding to nothing in Istanbul; there will be little kudos in winning the Super Cup but another heavy defeat will further undermine the morale of his squad.

“I am optimistic because I believe in the players and I believe in the fact we are here in the final because we deserve to be,” said Lampard at the pre-match conference. The Chelsea manager is expected to rest N’golo Kante and leave Willian and Antonio Rudiger on the bench, preferring to blood some of the club’s younger players. “With regards to picking inexperienced or experienced teams, I completely pick the best team I see to win the game regardless of age,” he said. “I think it’s very important to have a competitive team.”

Not an irrelevance

And Lampard dismissed suggestions that Chelsea are treating tonight’s game as an unwelcome distraction. “This game means a lot to the club,” he explained. “When you work hard to get into this game between two champions it is important at a club like Chelsea that you give everything to win it. It means something to us as a club because it is another trophy and, for me, it would be a really nice start personally. But more than that it would give a really good feeling for the players with the season coming up that we can compete with Liverpool.. it gives the belief that we can go on from there. Certainly we understand the importance of it.”

Woman with the whistle

It was a similar message from Liverpool, who are appearing in their sixth Super Cup but their first to be refereed by a woman, Stephanie Frappart of France. “Chelsea are strong, young, fresh and in a really exciting moment with Frank there as a club legend trying to make his own name as a manager,” said Klopp, who is also expected to rest some players given that the Reds travel next to Southampton on Saturday afternoon. “Everyone at Chelsea is on their toes. This is the first trophy they can win together. That makes it really interesting. It is a really important game for us.”

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