The Super Cup is more than just a chance for Liverpool to win more silverware, it’s an opportunity to declare themselves as Europe’s best, writes Sam Patterson (@sam0007ster).
A modern-day European rivalry is renewed this Wednesday as
Jürgen Klopp’s all-conquering continental kings face the Europa League winners Chelsea and a familiar foe – Frank Lampard. But this time, as a manager and not a player.
It’s destination Istanbul – yes Istanbul – and both clubs will be hoping to win the first trophy of their respective seasons.
A Solid Start
The game against Norwich was by no means Liverpool’s finest defensive display, but the Reds were scintillating going forward.
Mohammed Salah and Divock Origi got off the mark inside thirty minutes, whilst Roberto Firmino’s performance – one filled with tricks, flicks and intelligent pressing play – got fans off their seats.
If Chelsea’s defending is anything like what we saw at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, they could be in trouble early.
Alisson’s calf injury, however, was a dampener on what was a brilliant opening day win. Various reports suggest the Brazilian goalkeeper could be out for up to 3-6 weeks.
Itching for More Silverware
Now is the time to build on Madrid. Liverpool would take a lot of confidence from a win this week and title-tilts are, of course, built on momentum.
Klopp’s men will also be especially fired up for this one given they narrowly missed out on the Community Shield earlier this month.
Liverpool’s last appearance in the Super Cup came in 2005 where Djibril Cissé scored twice in a 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow that night.
It also presents Lampard with an opportunity to win the first trophy of his managerial career.
In fact, Chelsea’s previous two appearances in the final, in 2012 and 2013, were consecutive defeats. So there will be an eagerness, especially on Lampard’s part, to put things right.
Liverpool Team News
Alisson misses out with Adrian set to take his place. Full-back Nathaniel Clyne is Liverpool’s only other long-term absentee.
Klopp may be tempted to rotate in midfield given the game is sandwiched between two important Premier League match-days.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a full pre-season under his belt and then there is Naby Keïta who is in need of game time. Both men – injured for much of last season – will be desperate for a starting berth.
Sam’s predicted XI: Adrian; Trent, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Chamberlain, Keita; Mané, Salah, Firmino
KO: Wednesday 20:00PM UK Time
Up the Reds.