Liverpool v Chelsea – Super Cup Final Preview

Within the space of less than two weeks we are provided with a second opportunity to win a trophy and to start the season with a proper bang. We face Chelsea in Istanbul for the Super Cup tie on Wednesday 14 August 2019, kicking off at 8pm BST. A game that sees Liverpool, Champions League winners, take on Chelsea, Europa League winners, in what is promised to be an absolute thriller of a match.

Form

Based on last weekend’s Premier League matches, both teams come into this game with a mixed view on their form. Considering that form, Liverpool will obviously go into the game as strong favourites after a near flawless performance against a resistant Norwich side which saw Liverpool finishing the game as 4-1 victors. Unfortunately for Liverpool though we saw our first choice goalkeeper, Alisson, limp off the pitch with what has now been confirmed as a calf injury that could see him sidelined for up to 8 weeks. This means that our new signing, Adrian, now has a chance to be the main man between the sticks until Alisson is fit again. Adrian didn’t have much to do during the Norwich match although he did make a couple of textbook saves as well as looking calm whenever on the ball.

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The rest of the Liverpool outfit looked incredible considering it was only our first competitive game back. We completely controlled the match and although Norwich did have a handful of chances that they were unlucky not to convert, it never looked like Liverpool were going to do anything but control the game and stroll on to a win. Our defence was quick to react when called upon; our midfield was industrious as they set the pace; and our front three, which included a back-up Divock Origi, looked as if they would score every time they touched the ball. Special mention of course has to go to Roberto Firmino who Thierry Henry once labelled as “the most complete striker in the Premier League”. Although he failed to get on the scoresheet against Norwich, his sublime touch to put in Mo Salah for his first goal of the season was a sight to behold. Also, his off-the-ball work was as incredible as it usually is and he is a true testament to the way Klopp sets out for this Liverpool team to play.

Looking at Chelsea, there’s not much positives to take from their 4-0 thumping against Manchester United. Although Chelsea did have a few chances that probably would have been goals on any other day, their defence looked shockingly poor. This poor defensive display from the Blues was highlighted by a what can only be described as a brain snap by Kurt Zouma as he gave away the strangest penalty you’d see for quite some time. Although it is still very early days, such a defeat against a United side that has plenty of question marks against its own quality only exposes the flaws and problems for Chelsea. Frank Lampard faces a long season ahead of him where he will feel as if his hands are tied as he was denied the chance to bring in any players over the summer window and as well as the upcoming winter window. If the same Chelsea team that showed up at Old Trafford on Sunday shows up in Istanbul on Wednesday then they may be facing another heavy defeat.

With that said, this is Chelsea we are talking about and it is a cup final. It will be difficult to assume that Liverpool will walk right over Chelsea given that they need to bounce back after a humiliating defeat and what better way to bounce back than to defeat Liverpool and claim their first trophy of the season. But Liverpool are in the same boat and, form wise, we are absolutely flying already. We go into this match as the clear favourites and if we show up and play the way we know we can then nothing but a win will be the outcome. The only question marks against this Liverpool side going into this game will be the obvious change in goalkeeper with Adrian having to step in for the injured Alisson. The good news is that this season, as well as last season, our goalkeepers have had a lot less to do in games than our keepers in the past. With the addition of Van Dijk as centre-half and the commanding Fabinho as our defensive midfielder, teams have struggled to even get a shot off on target against us. Regardless of that fact, I have complete faith that Adrian can get the job done until our main man is fit again.

Lets win this game and lets win this comfortably. Lets get behind Klopp and the boys and show the rest of Europe that we are only getting better after our incredible Champions League win last season.

Predicted XI for LFC

Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Djik, Robertson, Fabhino, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Frimino, Mane.

Let us know who you think should be starting in the comments!

Tom Schembri