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Match Preview – Liverpool vs Chelsea

Liverpool and Chelsea meet in the first all-English UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The match pits last season’s Champions League winners (Liverpool) against last season’s Europa League winners (Chelsea). Liverpool started their Premier League campaign with a 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday evening before Chelsea lost 4-0 at Manchester United on Sunday.

What changes will both sides make and how will they approach the game? We look at the key points around the blockbuster clash in Istanbul…

Will Liverpool rotate?

Last season’s success has meant a busy start to the season for Liverpool.

Having played in the Community Shield, the Reds then opened the Premier League season on Friday Night Football against Norwich. Their trip to Istanbul is followed by a Premier League match at Southampton at 3pm on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp named the same starting XI for the clash against Norwich as he did against Manchester City in the Community Shield, but will he make changes and potentially prioritise the Premier League?

There will definitely be a change in goal as Alisson is out with a thigh injury, meaning summer signing Adrian will make his first start.

Adrian is set to start for Liverpool due to Alisson's injury

Adrian is set to start for Liverpool due to Alisson’s injury

The 32-year-old probably did not expect to be thrust into first-team action so quickly after joining from West Ham, as perhaps shown by his beaming smile as he came on as a substitute against Norwich.

Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri, James Milner and Naby Keita could be in contention to start while Sadio Mane might be pushing for a place after coming on as a substitute against Norwich, having returned late from the Africa Cup of Nations.

If Mane returns, that means Divock Origi – scorer of the second goal in last season’s Champions League final and one of the top performers against Norwich – is likely to drop to the bench.

This will be the 11th European meeting between Liverpool and Chelsea. The previous 10 were all in the Champions League, with Chelsea wining three, Liverpool two, and five draws. Only one game was won by a margin of more than one goal.

Gary Neville has called Origi the “perfect” fourth striker for Liverpool and the Belgian says there is a “hunger” for more success this season.

“We have a very talented group and there is good energy around the place and we still have a lot to play for,” Origi told Sky Sports. “We are very hungry, and personally I am as well. I want to help this team however I can to help it reach its full potential.”

Istanbul holds fond memories for Liverpool after their memorable Champions League victory in 2005.

They have also fared well against English sides in Europe in recent years, having gone unbeaten against Premier League teams in six matches since a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-final in 2009.

New signing Andy Lonergan has been included in the squad, but Dejan Lovren, who could be set to join Roma, misses out due to illness.

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Divock Origi says his instinct told him to stay at Liverpool when he was deciding his future at the end of last season

Divock Origi says his instinct told him to stay at Liverpool when he was deciding his future at the end of last season

Klopp was full of praise for new Chelsea manager Frank Lampard ahead of the game, and is looking forward to an ‘interesting’ game.

He said: “I think Frank showed last year with Derby that he’s a very, very, very good manager because he changed Derby pretty much overnight. I didn’t know Derby too well but what I heard about it and when I saw them playing last year, especially against United if you want, it was: ‘What a game!’

“So, proper football, really high intensity, all that stuff, it’s all there, what you need. Good defending [and] high defending, so it will be a challenge. It will be a really interesting game and for us a proper job to do.

“But it’s a final, both deserve to be there and both, for sure, want to win it desperately and I think that’s a big part of the game plan as well because you have to be lively, but you have to be calm as well. All these things, we have to see who can do them better.”

Will Chelsea bounce back?

“A reality check” was how Lampard described Chelsea’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

Chelsea had chances to score – hitting the woodwork twice – but were undone on the counter-attack in the second half, leading to questions about Lampard’s team selection and approach.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Lampard’s side were “too soft” and “not aggressive” enough while Paul Merson suggested the pressure is now on.

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Chelsea arrived in Istanbul in the early hours of Tuesday morning ahead of their UEFA Super Cup showdown

Chelsea arrived in Istanbul in the early hours of Tuesday morning ahead of their UEFA Super Cup showdown

“It was the way they capitulated at the end which was worrying,” said Merse on The Debate.

“It’s a big game on Wednesday and a massive game on Sunday [against Leicester, live on Sky Sports]. People will be watching and starting to ask questions like ‘what’s Brendan Rodgers doing at Leicester and why isn’t he at Chelsea’. This becomes a big game.”

Lampard has played in two European Super Cups with Chelsea and was on the losing side on both occasions in 2012 and 2013. He says it is a competition the club is “desperate” to win.

“We need to be absolutely ready. It’s a cup that the club desperately wants to win.

“Every player in there needs to be aware of the importance of the game to this club and we have to give everything, because it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be tough, but we cannot walk off the pitch and think “oh, we could’ve done that” or “we missed that opportunity” or “we weren’t quite ready” or make any excuses for ourselves.

Chelsea vs Leicester

August 18, 2019, 4:00pm

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“This final means a lot to the club, it’s another trophy and I know how much it means having lost two finals. It would be nice for me personally to start with a trophy but more importantly is it would show to the players that they are capable of competing against a team like Liverpool.”

With Sunday’s clash against Leicester in mind, what team will Lampard pick against Liverpool?

He opted to go with Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham in attacking positions against Manchester United while N’Golo Kante, who recently returned from injury, came off the bench in the second half.

Chelsea could also be boosted by the return of Willian and Antonio Rudiger, who have travelled with the squad after missing the trip to Old Trafford with injuries.

Who’s the referee?

The Super Cup will be the first major UEFA men’s match to be officiated by a female referee.

Stephanie Frappart, the 25-year-old Frenchwoman, will lead out a team of predominantly female officials. She will be accompanied by Manuela Nicolosi of France and Michelle O’Neal from the Republic of Ireland who will be the assistant referees for the match. They also took charge of the women’s World Cup final on July 7.

Stephanie Frappart will be the first female referee to take charge of a major UEFA men's match

Stephanie Frappart will be the first female referee to take charge of a major UEFA men’s match

“I’m very happy, and it was really a surprise,” said Frappart. “I didn’t expect to be given the Super Cup assignment – it’s a great honour for me, and for female referees as well. I hope it serves as an example to female referees, and to any young girls who may aspire to be a referee.”

How to follow the Super Cup

You can follow all of the action from the European Super Cup on the Sky Sports app and skysports.com with our dedicated live blog, which will feature the best build-up, commentary and reaction.

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