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Istanbul Showdown: Liverpool, Chelsea Battle For UEFA Super Cup Title

Istanbul Showdown: Liverpool, Chelsea Battle For UEFA Super Cup Title

By Augustine Akhilomen

After a disastrous start to their Premier League campaign, where the team was scandalously thrashed 4-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, Chelsea face another stiff test against a Liverpool side that trounced Norwich 4-1 an Anfield in Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup clash that will be officiated by female referee,Stephanie Frappart at the Istanbul Stadium.

The Super Cup, setting the winners of the Champions League and Europa League against each other, has been running since 1972 and will be visiting Istanbul for the first time this year. No English side has won the trophy since Liverpool’s 3-1 extra-time win over CSKA Moscow in 2005, although Chelsea are looking to avenge defeats in two successive attempts to do so in recent years.

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.

There will be rather different moods in the two camps after their respective starts to the new season. Things had been rosy at the Bridge following the return of fan favourite Lampard and while he will still have the backing of supporters, the crushing defeat at ​United will no doubt have left the Chelsea faithful feeling uneasy.

Nevertheless, the England centurion was able to get a tune out of his side during their pre-season preparations. Despite an underwhelming draw with Irish battlers Bohemians and a disappointing 1-0 loss to Kawaski Frontale of Japan, the Blues were able to sink ​Barcelona 2-1 before hitting Reading and Red Bull Salzburg for four and five respectively.

Still, the balloon was burst with the horror show at the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday, whilst Liverpool have done the opposite and put a poor pre-season behind them to begin the 2019/20 campaign in fine fashion.

Team News

Liverpool will go into Wednesday’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.

“Wednesday 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.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:

Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Milner; Salah, Origi, Mane

Chelsea possible starting lineup:

Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson; Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Mount, Pulisic; Giroud

Head To Head

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

Liverpool hold 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.

Centre Referee

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 the first female referee to officiate a major male football match.

She will be joined by Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neill as her assistant referees, while experienced Cuneyt Cakir is the fourth official.

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