Having lost 4-0 to the sixth best team in England, Chelsea now get to take on the Champions of Europe, who may not be the best team in all of football, but are pretty darn close to it.
Then again, it’s a final, ostensibly, and in a one-off game, anything can happen. It would be fairly classic Chelsea to pull something magnificent out of the gather doom and gloom. But maybe it’s too early for that. We’re far from rock bottom. Things could get worse before they get better.
On the other hand, it’s just the Super Duper Cup, UEFA’s version of the Community Shield, and the least important competitive match on the schedule. Everyone will say so otherwise, but, in reality, you only care if you win. If we had to choose between winning today and winning on Sunday at the Bridge against Leicester City, I’d hope we’d choose the latter every time.
Date / Time: Wednesday, August 14, 2019; 20:00 BST; 3pm EDT; 12:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Vodafone Park, Istanbul, Turkey (home of Besiktas)
Referee: Stéphanie Frappart — the first female referee to take charge of a major senior men’s UEFA match; she was recently seen refereeing the final of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Forecast: Hot and humid
On TV: BT Sport 2 (UK); TNT, TUDN (née Univision Deportes) (USA); Sony TEN 2 (India); elsewhere
Streaming: BT Sport Live (UK); B/R Live, TUDN En Vivo (USA); Sony LIV (India)
Liverpool team news: The Champions of Europe flew under the radar a bit this summer, and as it turns out, actually made a grand total of zero new signings. Other than extending Divock Origi and switching backup goalkeepers from Simon Mignolet to ex-West Ham Adrián, their squad remains unchanged from last season.
On the one hand, it’s tough to improve a team as good as Liverpool. On the other hand, squad stagnation is an often overlooked negative factor for sustained success. That said, Liverpool showed little sign of slowing down by blowing away Premier League newcomers Norwich City 4-1 last weekend.
They are the overwhelming favorite for to win this silly trophy, even with Adrián getting the nod in goal by default after Alisson’s calf injury.
View from the enemy: The Liverpool Offside
Chelsea team news: Chelsea’s underdog status was confirmed with great clarity in Sunday’s 4-0 defeat, and the Blues will have to show a bit more than a few good passages of play to have a chance at nicking the trophy from underneath Liverpool’s noses.
Antonio Rüdiger and Willian should be fit enough for the bench, but N’Golo Kanté’s status is a bit more doubtful after picking up a minor injury in Sunday’s substitute appearance. Teenager Billy Gilmour was a late addition to the traveling squad and should be on the bench as well, having played for the Development Squad on Monday.
Previously: This is Chelsea’s third Super Cup this decade, after the 2012 Champions League win and the 2013 Europa League win. We were blown out by Atlético in the 2012 Super Cup and lost on penalties to Bayern the following year. Maybe this time we’ll do better, like in 1998?