Frank Lampard will be looking for his first competitive win as Chelsea boss, when his team face off against Liverpool on Wednesday in the UEFA Super Cup clash.
After a disappointing start to his reign as Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard will be hoping that his team produce a strong response, when they take on Champions League winners Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup contest in Istanbul on Wednesday night.
Chelsea go into the game on the back of Sunday’s 4-0 drubbing at Manchester United but will be aiming to bounce back with a victory against Liverpool and lift their first trophy under the new manager. And, their preparations have been boosted by the return of Willian and Antonio Rudiger, both of whom missed the United fixture with an injury.
The duo has been named in the squad for the trip to Istanbul by Lampard and speaking about their condition in his pre-match presser, the manager said, “Willian and Rudiger are here with us but they’re in different stages of recovery.
“Willian is not far from being fit, his injury has healed but it’s tough to bring him back for such a high-intensity match. He’ll be working through this week to build his fitness and will be on the bench tomorrow. It’s a similar situation with Rudiger but we felt it was important for us to bring them here because they were a big part of the success last season.”
As indicated by Lampard, the pair are unlikely to be named in the starting lineup on Wednesday night though. That would mean Andreas Christensen will start alongside Kurt Zouma at the heart of the defence once again, despite the latter’s horror show against Manchester United at the weekend.
Captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Emerson Palmieri are both expected to hold on to their slots in the full-back positions, while Kepa Arrizabalaga is a guaranteed starter between the sticks for the Blues.
The midfield is also not likely to be altered, after Lampard confirmed that N’Golo Kante had picked up a fresh injury and might not be risked against Liverpool. “He actually picked up another small injury in the game, which is always a danger when you’re trying to bring players back, so we’re assessing that and I have to make a decision with him this evening,” Lampard said on Tuesday.
Kante’s latest injury setback would mean the pair of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic should continue in the midfield double pivot for Chelsea against Jurgen Klopp’s side in Turkey. Mason Mount made a solid impression against Manchester United at the weekend and is likely to be given another opportunity in the No. 10 role by the manager.
With Willian still not ready to start, Pedro is expected to hold on to his spot on the right flank. But, there is likely to be a change on the left side, with new signing Christian Pulisic set to make his full debut, replacing Ross Barkley in the starting XI. Olivier Giroud, who was the Europa League top scorer last season, should come in for Tammy Abraham to lead the line.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson; Jorginho, Kovaciac; Pedro, Mount, Pulisic; Giroud