Liverpool and Chelsea meet in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night, as the Reds target a second trophy in under three months.
Liverpool vs. Chelsea
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 – 8pm (BST)
Besiktas Park, Istanbul
UEFA Super Cup
Referee: Stephanie Frappart
The Reds made an ideal start to the new Premier League season, beating Norwich 4-1 and wrapping things up inside an imperious first half.
Jurgen Klopp‘s men may have dropped down a few gears as the match wore on, but apart from Alisson‘s worrying injury, it was a night littered with positives.
Sandwiched between the Norwich game and Saturday’s trip to Southampton is Liverpool’s sixth appearance in the Super Cup.
Chelsea stand between the Reds and an early-season piece of silverware – how seriously supporters treat the game is very subjective.
Winning a trophy this early in the campaign can only be a good thing, though, and Klopp’s men go into the game at Besiktas Park as favourites.
Frank Lampard suffered a sobering afternoon on Sunday as his Blues side lost 4-0 at Man United, highlighting their flaws.
They will be looking for a response, particularly against a side they have had a bitter rivalry with for over a decade, so Liverpool need to be switched on.
The sight of Alisson limping towards the tunnel on Friday was both a sad and worrying sight.
The Brazilian is expected to miss the “next few weeks”, which is probably the best case scenario for one of Liverpool’s most important players.
Klopp has admitted he may have one eye on the Southampton league game for his selection on Wednesday night, but he does have an almost full squad to choose from.
Naby Keita, though, left the Reds’ training in Istanbul early on Tuesday night with some sort of muscle injury, making him a doubt.
Instead, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana are also options in the middle of the park.
Sadio Mane could start after a lively cameo on Friday, but whether or not Klopp goes with all of his much-lauded front-three remains to be seen.
Divock Origi may feature prominently again, while Xherdan Shaqiri and Rhian Brewster will be itching to prove their worth.
Chelsea are without Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Willian, while key man N’Golo Kante is a doubt.
Summer arrival Christian Pulisic could make his first competitive start.
Last 5 Against Chelsea (All Competitions)
Won 2-0 (h) – April 2019 (Mane, Salah)
Drew 1-1 (a) – September 2018 (Hazard; Sturridge)
Lost 2-1 (h) – September 2018 (Sturridge; Emerson, Hazard)
Lost 1-0 (a) – May 2018 (Giroud)
Drew 1-1 (h) – November 2017 (Salah; Willian)
Reds’ Super Cup History
This is the sixth time that Liverpool have appeared in the UEFA Super Cup, dating back to their debut appearance back in 1977.
Bob Paisley’s Reds got the better of Hamburg 7-1 over two legs, as Kevin Keegan was embarrassed on his return to Anfield.
A year later, Anderlecht surprisingly got the better of Liverpool 4-3 on aggregate, and Juventus prevailed 2-0 over 90 minutes in 1984.
It was 17 years until the Reds played in another Super Cup, following their 2001 UEFA Cup success under Gerard Houllier.
They beat Bayern Munich 3-2 in Monaco – John Arne Riise, Emile Heskey and Michael Owen got the goals – before defeating CSKA Moscow 3-1 after extra-time in 2005.
Rafa Benitez’s side overcame a 1-0 deficit thanks to Djibril Cisse’s double and a further effort from Luis Garcia.
Did You Know?
Wednesday’s game is a significant moment in officiating, as a female referee takes charge of a men’s European game for the first time.
Stephanie Frappart is the official in question, having taken charge of the Women’s World Cup final between the USA and the Netherlands in July.
Frappart will also be joined by two female assistants: Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neill.
Speaking in Tuesday’s press conference, Klopp dismissed claims his side were strong favourites for the match:
“If people really think Chelsea are not a real challenger, I can’t help these people. You only have to watch that team and what they have – they are really strong, young and fresh and everything is exciting in the moment because Frank is there new, the club legend, [and can] make himself a name as a manager, which will happen 100 per cent.
“You could see that immediately when he took over at Derby and now doing the job at Chelsea, so it will be really interesting.
“For us, it is a really important game tomorrow night because we don’t have to play any other game tomorrow night! That’s the only one and so we are completely focused on that and hopefully everybody can see that.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Liverpool vs. Chelsea is live on BT Sport 2 from 7pm (BST), with kickoff in Istanbul at 8pm.
Chris Williams is in charge of This is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, keeping you entertained from 7.15pm.