Frank Lampard and his Chelsea troops will face their second heavyweight clash in the space of four days when they lock horns with Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night.
The Blues endured a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Manchester United on Sunday, goals from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James suggesting they may struggle to cope without superstar winger Eden Hazard after the Belgian departed for Real Madrid during the summer.
Contrastingly, Liverpool made an impressive start to their 2019/20 Premier League campaign. Jurgen Klopp's men c
Mere days before that showdown in Madrid, Chelsea emerged 4-1 winners versus Arsenal in the Europa League final in what proved to be Hazard's final game for the club - as well as former coach Maurizio Sarri's - to set up this meeting with Liverpool in Istanbul.
Here's our preview of the all-English affair.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Wednesday 14 August|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Vodafone Arena|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 2 (UK) - FuboTV - Free Trial (US)|
Lampard is deprived of two of the Blues' foremost academy graduates in Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi. The England internationals are both recovering from Achilles tendon ruptures, with the latter expected to return within a month, whilst his counterpart may be out until November.
Central defensive linchpin Antonio Rudiger is likewise unavailable due to a knee injury that he sustained against Liverpool last April, though Willian is a potential option on the wing as he nears full fitness.
Klopp may have significantly fewer injured personnel to deal with than his Stamford Bridge counterpart, but the German still has a few pressing issues. Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson hobbled off during the Norwich encounter on Friday with a calf complaint and could be out for up to eight weeks.
The remainder of the starting lineup are all fit to face the west London outfit, but the 26-year-old will be joined on the sidelines by back-up right back Nathaniel Clyne after he was ruled out with a knee issue.
|Liverpool||Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita; Origi, Firmino, Salah.|
|Chelsea||Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho; Pedro, Barkley, Pulisic; Giroud.|
Head to Head Record
A sumptuous long-range rocket from Mohamed Salah sunk the Egyptian's former employers when these two last met, the 27-year-old doubling the Reds' lead as they recorded a hard-fought 2-0 victory in April.
Mane had nodded them ahead moments before as he latched on to a delightful clipped cross from captain Jordan Henderson, though the win was ultimately in vein as Manchester City held their nerve in the title race and marched to their second successive league triumph.
That result took Liverpool to a total of
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.
A hat-trick of losses to Napoli, Sevilla and Klopp's old team Borussia Dortmund looked like bad omens ahead of what is likely to be another straight shootout with City for Premier League supremacy. Incidentally, it was a penalty shootout that decided the Community Shield, the Sky Blues holding their nerve to down the Reds and earn yet another trophy.
Did that unfortunate defeat to the Citizens damage their confidence? The 4-1 dismissal of Norwich - when all of Liverpool's goals came in a thrilling first-half performance - suggests it has them fired up and ready to go, rather than feeling sorry for themselves.
|Liverpool 4-1 Norwich (9/8)||Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea (11/8)|
|Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool (5-4 on Pens) (4/8)||Borussia Monchengladbach 2-2 Chelsea (3/8)|
|Liverpool 3-1 Lyon (31/7)||Red Bull Salzburg 3-5 Chelsea (31/7)|
|Liverpool 0-3 Napoli (28/7)||Reading 3-4 Chelsea (28/7)|
|Liverpool 2-2 Sporting CP (25/7)||Barcelona 1-2 Chelsea (23/7)|
Given the results of last weekend, it is difficult to see anything except a Liverpool victory in a city that already has a place in Reds folklore. Istanbul was the place where the impossible happened as Steven Gerrard led a remarkable fightback from three goals down to hand his beloved side a Champions League final victory over Milan in 2005.
It is doubtful whether they will need such miracles this time around. Chelsea are reeling and proved have a soft underbelly on Sunday. They weren't a shambles against the Red Devils, but Liverpool should easily expose their weaknesses and leave Turkey with the UEFA Super Cup.