Liverpool and Chelsea travel to Istanbul for this year’s instalment of the European Super Cup in what will be a first ever all-English encounter.
The Reds clinched a sixth European crown last term and will be hoping to add further silverware to their trophy cabinet when they take to the Vodafone Arena.
Frank Lampard, meanwhile, began his Chelsea tenure in the worst possible fashion, losing 4-0 to Manchester United on the opening Premier League weekend, and so, a win against the European champions would certainly go a long way to alleviating early frustrations.
The stage is set for an interesting encounter in the North West of Turkey but how are the teams shaping up? Well, we’ve tackled all of the major talking points…
Of course, we know Jurgen Klopp seldom strays from his much-beloved 4-3-3 system, and that will likely be the formation he adopts in Istanbul.
His fluid front three will look to unsettle Chelsea’s back line, and they will be supported in attack by Liverpool’s consistently onrushing full-backs and dynamic midfielders.
Lampard’s side struggled to cope when United poured forward at the weekend, so it will be interesting to see how he attempts to counteract an even more formidable attacking side on Wednesday.
Liverpool welcomed back Sadio Mane over the weekend after the Senegal international returned to pre-season training late following his involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations.
This will be welcome news to Koppites, but there will be no rush to reintroduce him back into the XI just yet, as his stand-in – and cult hero – Divock Origi flourished on the opening game of the season.
Klopp is all-but guaranteed to deploy a 4-3-3, meaning there is just one available slot on the left flank, though he may not risk playing Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all together.
Lampard will likely stay true to his 4-2-3-1, which worked a treat with Derby County last season, though we may see N’Golo Kante restored to a more deep-lying role in Chelsea’s two-man central midfield depending on his fitness.
Elsewhere, Lampard will likely hand Christian Pulisic a starting berth, dropping Ross Barkley from the unfamiliar wide role he played on Sunday in favour of a more traditional winger.
The key absentee for Liverpool is of course Alisson Becker, who will be sidelined for “a couple of weeks” after sustaining a calf injury on Friday, so Adrian will make a debut start for the Reds.
For Lampard, he may be tempted to field a more experienced first-team having left the likes of Kante, Marcos Alonso and Olivier Giroud on the bench on Sunday, though Fikayo Tomori could very well find himself in for some minutes following Kurt Zouma’s mistake-laden performance at Old Trafford.
Watch the video at the top of the article to see Statman Dave‘s tactical analysis in full.
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