Match Preview: Liverpool vs. Chelsea

Liverpool have the opportunity to win the second piece of silverware of Jurgen Klopp’s tenure as manager. The Reds take on Chelsea in Istanbul this Wednesday in the UEFA Super Cup.  The two teams had opposing fortunes in the first game of the Premier League season. Liverpool beating Norwich 4-1 and Chelsea getting thumped by Manchester United 4-0.
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Liverpool will be looking to keep us this momentum by beating Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to win their second European trophy this year.

Team News

Dejan Lovren has not travelled with the Liverpool squad to Turkey. The club website said this was down to “illness.” This effectively translates to “we’re selling him to Roma.” Naby Keita looked in major discomfort as he walked away from training at Vodafone Park on Tuesday. There should be an update on his condition before the game on Wednesday.
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This will be the first of a few games that Liverpool will be without number one shot-stopper Alisson Becker. The Brazilian has a suspected torn calf muscle and will be out for at least a month. Nathaniel Clyne is also unavailable. The English fullback will continue recovering from his anterior cruciate ligament injury. He’s due back sometime in the new year. Andy Lonergan will be named on the bench on Wednesday, with the veteran goalkeeper being signed to a short term contract to aid Liverpool in this so-called “goalkeeper crisis.”
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Sadio Mane has claimed that “tiredness is in the mind” and that he is ready to start for the Reds this Wednesday. It will be interesting to see if Jurgen Klopp agrees with the Senegalese forward. Antonio Rudiger, Willian and N’golo Kante have all travelled with the Chelsea squad despite injury fears. They should all start on the bench for Chelsea.

Predicted Line-up

The way that Liverpool line-up this Wednesday will largely depend on the fitness of certain players. If Naby Keita is 100% fit, chances are he starts in the midfield. Same goes with Sadio Mane. The only contentious decision in defence will be if Jurgen Klopp decides to go with Joe Gomez or Joel Matip to parter the Dutch colossus Virgil van Dijk.
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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may be given a start in the absence of Naby Keita in the midfield. Alternatively, Jurgen Klopp may go with the experience of James Milner. Liverpool: Adrian; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Andrew Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi.

What to expect…

A wounded animal

After suffering their biggest ever opening-day defeat in their history, Chelsea will be looking to bounce back with emphasis against the Reds. Jurgen Klopp will be more than aware of what Frank Lampard’s team can do and the challenges that they will pose for the Reds. Even if this is Frank Lampard’s first major final as a manager.

A better game than Madrid

If you haven’t heard, Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur at the Wanda Metropolitano in June to win their sixth European Cup.
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The main criticism was that the game itself didn’t live up to expectations. Obviously, that didn’t matter to Liverpool fans. The game in Istanbul has a much better chance of being an awesome game of football. Both teams are well-rested and raring to go ahead of the new season.

Liverpool to equal Real Madrid

Real Madrid have won four Super Cups in their history. Second only to Barcelona and AC Milan, who both have five Super Cup wins. Liverpool are in such a good position heading into the game and Jurgen Klopp will be chomping at the bit to get another chance at European glory. Five of Liverpool’s 11 European games with Chelsea have ended in draws. With the Blues winning three of the other games. We’re backing the Reds to equal out that figure.

Prediction

It will be a shock if Chelsea lift the Super Cup this Wednesday. The start to life as Chelsea manager for Frank Lampard hasn’t exactly been easy and it doesn’t look like it will get any easier. Liverpool should have more than enough quality to beat a Chelsea side that are weakened by injuries and have only had two days rest compared to Liverpool’s four. Frank Lampard also currently has a 0% win ratio as Chelsea manager. Which is wild. The Englishman was the last Chelsea player to be sent off against Liverpool. He saw red against Liverpool in 2009. With all factors considered, we’re going for a 2-1 Liverpool win. Let us know what you think @TheAnfieldTalk

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