The outcome of the UEFA Super Cup could well rest on the fitness of N’Golo Kante.
He, along with the other defensive midfielder in Frank Lampard’s 4-2-3-1, will be absolutely key in stopping Liverpool ’s counter attack and superb front line.
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region.
Liverpool is on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary, and historically lay within the ancient hundred of West Derby in the southwest of the county of Lancashire. It became a borough in 1207 and a city in 1880. In 1889, it became a county borough independent of Lancashire. Its growth as a major port was paralleled by the expansion of the city throughout the Industrial Revolution. Along with handling general cargo, freight, and raw materials such as coal and cotton, the city merchants were involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In the 19th century, it was a major port of departure for Irish and English emigrants to North America. Liverpool was home to both the Cunard and White Star Line, and was the port of registry of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, the RMS Lusitania, RMS Queen Mary, and RMS Olympic.
Liverpool is noted for its culture, architecture, and transport links. It is closely associated with the arts, particularly music, and the popularity of the Beatles (who are regarded as the most influential band in history) contributed to the city’s status as a tourist destination. Since then, the city has continued to produce hundreds of notable musical acts—musicians from Liverpool have produced 56 No. 1 singles, more than any other city in the world. Liverpool also has a long-standing reputation as the origin of countless actors and actresses, artists, comedians, journalists, novelists, poets, and sportspeople. The city has the second-highest number of art galleries, national museums, and listed buildings in the United Kingdom, with only London having more. In sports, it is best known for being the home of Premier League football clubs Liverpool and Everton; matches between the two are known as the Merseyside derby. The Grand National horse race takes place annually at Aintree Racecourse.
Several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007, and was named the 2008 European Capital of Culture together with the Norwegian city of Stavanger. The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City includes the Pier Head, Albert Dock, and William Brown Street. Liverpool’s status as a port city has attracted a diverse population, which was historically drawn from a wide range of cultures and religions, particularly from Ireland and Wales. The city is also home to the oldest black community in the UK and the oldest Chinese community in Europe.
Natives and residents of the city of Liverpool are referred to formally as Liverpudlians, but most often as Scousers, a reference to “scouse”, a form of stew. The word “Scouse” has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect.
Liverpool vs Chelsea: Where the UEFA Super Cup can be won and lost
But whether it be Jorginho or Mateo Kovacic alongside him, neither can sniff out danger in the way Kante can.
So while Frank Lampard certainly won’t want to risk losing Kante for a period of time, especially after picking up a niggle at Old Trafford, he’ll know that he will have much more of a chance of winning his first trophy as Chelsea manager, with Kante in the side.
Liverpool vs Chelsea: Where the UEFA Super Cup can be won and lost
Frank didn’t deserve that 4-0 scoreline at Old Trafford. On another day, Chelsea would have scored first (Tammy Abraham was unlucky hitting the post early on), and the complexion of the game would have completely changed.
Then there was Emerson striking the woodwork and Kurt Zouma making the error for the penalty. Frank couldn’t do anything about that.
But he, and Jody Morris, will be concerned at how open Chelsea were to the counter attack against Man United.
Yes, they were chasing the game at the end. But chasing or not, United had enough chances to make the scoreline an even bigger one.
And United are not as good as Liverpool in breaking quickly. That’s where Kante comes in, even if he can only play for an hour. Chelsea need to be prepared for Liverpool on the counter even if they have the ball on the edge of their opponent’s box.
Just as it wasn’t all negative for Chelsea at the weekend, it wasn’t all positive for Jurgen Klopp, despite his side’s 4-1 win.
Norwich showed Klopp’s side can be vulnerable at the back. A strength can sometimes be a weakness too.
And with Liverpool‘s full backs looking to bomb on, there will be space in behind (in between the centre backs and full backs) for Chelsea to exploit, especially behind Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is not as good with his positional defending as he is with his attacking.
It’s a shame Willian isn’t fully fit as his pace, energy and skill is ideal for that..
Alisson will also be a miss for Liverpool. Not necessarily for shots saved (Adrian is a good shot stopper) but for the way they play out and use the keeper as another ‘outfield’ player to suck teams in and create more space to then counter quickly.
So while Chelsea need to watch for them breaking out, they also need to press the Liverpool GK/defence and put them under pressure at the right time.
When that happens, the midfield and defence both need to be high up too, to make the team compact, so that playing through them will be difficult and Liverpool will be forced to play long.
The gaps from front to back at Old Trafford were far too big.
Mirror Football’s Top Stories
Obviously deciding when to do this is crucial as they won’t be able to keep that up for the whole game.
This is a fantastic opportunity for both managers to make a statement.
For Klopp to continue the great momentum Liverpool currently have and show they want more titles.
It would be massive for Lampard to get his first trophy as Chelsea boss so soon into his reign.
Liverpool are favourites and I expect them to win.
But if Chelsea could nick it, we may well be looking back at the end of the season as this being the game that gave the young players the confidence of winning a big trophy and perhaps even helping them to end up with a top four position in the Premier League.
That would be a great success considering all that’s gone at the Bridge recently.