UEFA Super Cup
The 2019/20 football season may be less than a week old but next Wednesday will see the first piece of major silverware up for grabs as Besiktas’ Vodafone Park hosts the UEFA Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea.
Now in its 44th year, the UEFA Super Cup is contested by the winners of the previous season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions.
The bookies make Jurgen Klopp’s side hot favourites to claim a fourth Super Cup title next week and history is certainly on the side of The Reds. Liverpool finished a massive 25 points ahead of Chelsea in last season’s Premier League and have won three Super Cup titles compared to Chelsea’s solitary win back in 1998.
In recent head-to-head meetings, Liverpool won 2-0 at Anfield in April, halting a run of five games with a win against Chelsea (drawn 3, lost 2). Another 2-0 win for Liverpool can be backed at 33/4 with Netbet.
Host city, Istanbul, was the setting for one of Liverpool’s greatest ever European nights back in 2005 as they overturned a 3-0 half-time deficit against Italian giants, Milan. The Reds came back to draw 3-3 before going on to claim a famous penalty shootout victory. A repeat of that 3-3 scoreline is a generous 50/1 with Gambull.
The all-English affair will also be the first UEFA Super Cup to include a Video Assistant Referee (VAR). VAR’s place in the game continues to be the subject of fierce debate despite being used in the 2018 FIFA World Cup as well as both the Champions League and Europa League last season.
The controversial new technology has left no hiding place for defenders and many fouls that would’ve previously gone unnoticed are now being picked up by the watching cameras. Therefore, penalty takers now hold a greater value in the first/last/anytime scorer markets. James Milner is Liverpool’s main penalty taker and if the former England international is selected next Wednesday, he will offer superb value for money in those particular markets. With VAR in use, Paddy Power’s offer of 17/10 on a penalty to be awarded could be the game’s stand-out bet.
Not since Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Sevilla in Cardiff back in 2014 has any side kept a clean sheet in the UEFA Super Cup and incredibly the four subsequent games have seen a massive 23 goals scored. With the squads of both Liverpool and Chelsea possessing a tremendous amount of attacking talent, we could see plenty goals in this year’s fixture. InterBet are offering unbeatable odds of 8/11 on both teams to score in 90 minutes.
It's been a quiet summer of transfers at Anfield with just three players through the door so far, none of which will be expected to feature against Chelsea. New back-up goalkeeper, Adrian, should be on the bench whilst neither of their other two signings, youngsters, Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott, are likely to travel.
Having claimed a sixth Champions League title and losing just once in the Premier League last season, Liverpool are hardly in desperate need of reinforcements. They have however been linked with former player, Philippe Coutinho. The Barcelona man is 7/1 with Betfair to join Liverpool before the transfer window slams shut.
Chelsea were hit with a transfer embargo earlier this year but that hasn’t stopped last season’s Europa League winners drafting in a handful of new recruits on and off the pitch. Club legend, Frank Lampard, has been brought in to replace Maurizio Sarri as manager whilst Christan Pulisic has completed his move from German giants, Borussia Dortmund. American international, Pulisic, has big boots to fill at Chelsea with talisman, Eden Hazard, departing for Real Madrid last month.
Chelsea’s transfer ban will also see several loanees play a prominent role at Stamford Bridge during the forthcoming season. Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi return from successful loan spells at Aston Villa and Crystal Palace respectively. However, Olivier Giroud’s reward for finishing as top scorer in last season’s Europa League could be a starting berth in the Super Cup.
Liverpool - 7/10 (William Hill)
Draw - 3/1 (Betway)
Chelsea - 7/2 ( Karamba )
Super Cup Winners
Liverpool - 20/49 ( Fansbet )
Chelsea - 2/1 ( SportNation )
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