Super Cup: Liverpool face Chelsea tonight

Liverpool enter the game as Champions League winners after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the June final, while Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 to win the Europa League.

Today’s Super Cup will be the 183rd time these two sides have met and the 11th in Uefa competitions.

Liverpool holds the overall advantage, winning 78 to Chelsea’s 63, but the Blues do have the edge in Europe with three wins to two and five draws.

For the first time since 2013, there will be no Spanish team present in the Uefa Super Cup final.

In Prague in 2013, Chelsea as Europa League winners were one of the two non-Spanish teams, losing to Bayern Munich on penalties for their second Super Cup defeat in as many years after being humbled 4-1 by Atletico Madrid.

The back-to-back defeats are sandwiched between two Manchester United losses in 2008 and 2017 as English teams are currently without a Super Cup win in four attempts. The last English team to win the Super Cup was, in fact, Liverpool, who beat CSKA Moscow 3-1 in 2005.

But the 14-year wait will come to an end on today with the first-ever all-English Super Cup final, as Liverpool and Chelsea face off.

Jurgen Klopp

Both teams do have Super Cup successes to their name, with Liverpool adding to their 2005 glory with wins in 1977 and 2001, while Chelsea’s solitary victory came in 1998. However, both sides have also tasted defeat with two each, Chelsea losing the aforementioned 2012 and 2013 finals and Liverpool losing in 1978 and 1984.

So, who will make history as the winner of the first all-ever English Super Cup final?

Many Chelsea fans were full of optimism when Frank Lampard was named as Blues manager over the summer, ready to herald in a new era.

But they were brought back down to earth with a bang in Lampard’s first competitive match, being beaten 4-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Chelsea actually enjoyed the better spells of possession throughout the match but were let down by abject defending and United’s clinical finishing and fast counter-attacking.

On the back of the defeat, the one team Chelsea would least like to play would be Liverpool, a team who counter-attack for fun with devastating effect.

But not only that, Chelsea only have three days to wait until they do play Liverpool, giving Lampard a very short time to work out the kinks and pick the 11 players he feels can stop the rot.

Although the Champions League is the continent’s premier club competition, and thus its winners are usually European giants, the big clubs have not always had their way in the Uefa Super Cup.

In fact, Champions League winners have won 23 of the 43 Uefa Super Cup finals to date, only just edging out the champions of the second-tier competition, be it the Cup Winners’ Cup, Uefa Cup or Europa League.

And that edge has only come in the past decade, with Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid last season ending a run of five straight Super Cup wins for Champions League sides. At the start of that run in 2013, Champions League winners trailed 18-19.

As well as being the first all-English final, the Super Cup will also be making history with the officials. For the first time ever, the final of a Uefa men’s competition will be refereed by a woman.

French referee Stephanie Frappart will be the one to take charge in Istanbul, fresh off officiating in the 2019 Women’s World Cup final. She will be joined by Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neill as her assistant referees, while experienced Cuneyt Cakir is the fourth official.

Liverpool will go into today’s game without their first-choice goalkeeper after Alisson had to be substituted in their 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday with a calf injury. Reds’ manager Klopp later confirmed the setback, quickly ruling him out of the trip to Istanbul.

“This evening he will not play,” he said. “With all my experience I can say that already.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea will be hoping N’Golo Kante will be fit to start after he had to make do with a substitute appearance against Manchester United.-Squawka

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