Super Cup: Liverpool v Chelsea, Istanbul (Wednesday, 20:00 BST)
The Uefa Super Cup takes centre stage on Wednesday with Champions League winners Liverpool taking on Europa League victors Chelsea at the Besiktas Park in Istanbul.
It is a big opportunity for one of these two sides to win their first piece of silverware this season, but just how much should you care about the game?
Here are five reasons why it is a fixture worth your time.
English sides meet for first time in competition’s history
The Super Cup has effectively made its home in the trophy cabinet of a Spanish club in recent years, with the past five winners all from Spain.
But it will, for the first time in 14 years, be heading to England this year, with this game being the first time it has been contested between two Premier League sides.
In total seven Super Cup finals have been between domestic rivals – five involving Spanish teams, including four since 2014, and two all-Italian ones.
History will be made
There will be extra focus on the person in the middle for this game because, for the first time in history, a woman will referee a major European men’s game.
France’s Stephanie Frappart will be in charge and the 35-year-old said: “I’m very happy, and it was really a surprise.
“I didn’t expect to be given the Super Cup assignment – it’s a great honour for me, and for female referees as well.
“I hope it serves as an example to female referees, and to any young girls who may aspire to be a referee.”
Frappart is already accustomed to making history. In April, she became the first woman to take charge of a French domestic men’s Ligue 1 match when she was the referee for the game between Amiens and Strasbourg. She has been included in the pool of referees for the 2019/20 Ligue 1 season.
In addition, Frappart was the referee for the Women’s World Cup final between the Netherlands and the USA and on Wednesday will lead a team made up mostly of female officials. Manuela Nicolosi from France and the Republic of Ireland’s Michelle O’Neill will be the assistant referees.
The first Premier League weekend suggests there will be goals
It was raining goals in the opening round of Premier League games and both Liverpool and Chelsea were involved in high-scoring games.
The Reds kicked off their domestic campaign with a 4-1 thumping of Norwich in the season opener on Friday, while Chelsea lost 4-0 to Manchester United on Sunday.
A leaky defence versus a free-scoring attack suggests at least one goalkeeper could be busy scooping the ball out of the back of his net on Wednesday.
Historically, though, games in Europe between these two sides have been tight affairs.
This will be the 11th time Liverpool and Chelsea have met in a Uefa competition, with five of those matches ending in a draw. Liverpool have two wins to Chelsea’s three, with only one game having been won a by a margin of more than one goal.
First of potentially six for Liverpool this season?
Liverpool had started the season with the chance to win an incredible seven domestic trophies but were denied a first piece of silverware for 2019-20 when they lost to Manchester City in the Community Shield.
Still, six trophies would be unprecedented in England. The best previous haul was Manchester United’s four of Premier League, League Cup, Community Shield and Club World Cup in 2008-09.
Few people are more excited for the Super Cup than Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
This is his fourth major European final in three years and it will also be the first time he has managed a team in a Super Cup after twice missing out in the past because he was on the losing side of a Champions League final as manager of both Borussia Dortmund and the Reds.
He said: “The Super Cup itself is not a cup that I’ve really loved to watch in the past.
“The Super Cup is the final proof; if you are not in that game, it means you didn’t win the final. That’s completely different this year, so we’re looking forward to it. It’s a big one.”
Lampard could win his first trophy as Chelsea boss
Frank Lampard had a debut in the dugout to forget on Sunday.
The new Chelsea boss watched his young side go down 4-0 to rivals Manchester United, although the scoreline was harsh on the Blues.
They dominated in the first half with 55% possession and hit the woodwork twice but perhaps paid the price for a relatively inexperienced forward line that included Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, who were making their first Premier League starts for Chelsea.
Lampard is keen to put his faith in the club’s young players but forward Willian is set to return from injury and the former England midfielder may opt for more experience on Wednesday to counter the threat of Liverpool’s lethal attack.
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