ISTANBUL, BALIPOST.com – Liverpool and Chelsea are eyeing some early-season silverware as the Premier League rivals meet in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday in what will be the first major men’s European encounter to be refereed by a woman, with France’s Stephanie Frappart taking charge.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have a settled look and are hoping momentum will carry them through this campaign on the back of their victory in the Champions League final in June, a triumph which ended a seven-year trophy drought.
In contrast, Chelsea have lost star man Eden Hazard since winning the Europa League and replaced the departed Maurizio Sarri with the relatively inexperienced Frank Lampard in the dugout.
Lampard’s managerial career at the club he served with such distinction as a player began with a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Manchester United on Sunday.
It is little wonder that Liverpool are favourites to win the Super Cup for the fourth time in Wednesday’s match, at the home of Besiktas on the European side of the Bosphorus, which kicks off at 1900 GMT.
Their last victory in the one-off showpiece came in 2005, just after their stunning win over AC Milan to win the Champions League in Istanbul.
– Lampard praised –
“We won one competition last year, that’s all. This team is built for being successful and that is what we try to do. Tomorrow (Wednesday) night is another chance for us,” insisted Klopp.
However, the German warned his team to be wary of a new-look Chelsea, whose performance against United was generally accepted to be far better than the final result suggested.
“If people really think that Chelsea is not a real challenge then I can’t help these people,” Klopp said.
“They are really strong and young and fresh, and everything is exciting in the moment because Frank is there, new, the club legend.
“It will be really interesting, and for us it’s a really important game.” (AFP)