UEFA Super Cup Preview: Liverpool meet Chelsea in Istanbul

Liverpool head to Istanbul on Wednesday night and return to the city in which one of their greatest European triumphs occurred. For those 90 minutes, Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League Final win over AC Milan will be forgotten as the Reds take on Premier League rivals Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.

Of course, this year’s UEFA Super Cup will be played at a different venue than Liverpool’s 2005 triumph as the Vodafone Park will play host to the match.

Liverpool are appearing in their sixth UEFA Super Cup match. Chelsea have played in the fixture three times previously with their last two UEFA Super Cup games being played in the years following the Reds’ last appearance in 2005.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Previous UEFA Super Cup Appearances

Chelsea’s last two appearances in the UEFA Super Cup ended in losses. The Blues were defeated by Bayern Munich in 2013 on penalties. Twelve months prior, the Blues were ripped apart by Atletico Madrid 4-1. Chelsea did win their 1998 UEFA Super Cup match as they bested Real Madrid 1-0 in Monaco.

Liverpool won the UEFA Super Cup in 1977 defeating Kevin Keegan’s Hamburg 7-1 on aggregate. A year later, the Reds lost the cup tie to Belgium’s Anderlecht 4-3 on aggregate.

The 1984 edition of the UEFA Super Cup saw another loss for the Reds as Juventus won 2-0 in Turin. The 1984 edition of the match saw it changed from a two-legged affair to a one-off fixture.

After a long absence from the cup match, Gerrard Houllier’s Liverpool appeared in the 2001 UEFA Super Cup following the club’s tremendous treble in 2000-01. The Reds won the cup once more defeating Bayern Munich 3-2. The 2005 UEFA Super Cup was another victorious occasion for Liverpool as manager Rafael Benitez’s side lifted the trophy after defeating CSKA Moscow in extra-time.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: UEFA Super Cup Form

Liverpool and Chelsea kicked off their Premier League campaigns over the weekend with differing results.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds had little difficulty defeating Norwich City 4-1 at Anfield. Liverpool were four goals up by half time. The only negative about Liverpool’s opening day win was the injury to Alisson Becker. The goalkeeper is now expected to miss the next six weeks with a calf muscle tear.

Chelsea were throttled by Manchester United 4-0. Despite outshooting the Red Devils and keeping more possession, Chelsea went down without a whimper. It can be argued that Manchester United offered little, but still somehow came out on top with four goals.

Despite the Blues’ loss, Liverpool cannot take their London rivals lightly.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Blues Lack of Offence

Chelsea conceded three goals in the second half against Manchester United with sloppy defending. Liverpool should be licking their lips as Manchester United’s counter-attack got past the Chelsea backline with little resistance.

If Manchester United’s counter-attack could weave through Chelsea’s defence like it was Swiss cheese, the likes of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah should have a field day.

Frank Lampard’s decision to give the likes of Mason Mount, Kurt Zouma, and Tammy Abraham starts backfired. Abraham had little support as both wide players were too far away from him. Ross Barkley started on the left-wing taking him away from his stronger position in central midfield. American Christian Pulisic came on in the second half and had little impact on the game.

Lampard’s Chelsea looked poor, but with their attention now turned toward Wednesday night and a trophy, they must be taken as a serious threat.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Injuries

The biggest injury issue for Klopp is that of Alisson. He will play no part in Liverpool’s matches until late September. Adrian, who signed just days before entering Friday night’s win over Norwich City, will be tasked with holding the fort down until Alisson can return.

Adrian looked promising against Norwich City and with some further training with the first team, will hopefully iron out a few wrinkles.

Liverpool’s only other injury issue is that of Nathaniel Clyne. The right-back is on the shelf with a knee injury and won’t return until after the New Year.

Chelsea have six players listed as injured. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi are both out indefinitely with Achilles injuries. Reece James and Marco van Ginkel are also ruled out. Centre-back Antonio Rudiger is also ruled out with injury.

Lampard will have Willian back to full fitness. Reports on Monday stated he will play in the Super Cup which is a huge boost due to the poor wide play Chelsea had against Manchester United.

The last time Liverpool played against Chelsea, the Reds came away with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Mane and Salah.

Can the Reds win their fourth UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night against Chelsea? It is a big match with a piece of silverware at stake that could spur one of the teams onto more trophies this season.

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