Liverpool, Chelsea battle in UEFA Super Cup

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The Premier League takes a stranglehold of the latest UEFA competition as Champions League winners Liverpool meet Europa League title holders Chelsea in the Super Cup on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. ET.

The matchup is the first between two Premier League clubs in the Super Cup, and represents the first time since 2013 that a Spanish side will not be competing.

The two clubs come into the matchup on very different ends of the spectrum. Liverpool obliterated Norwich City 4-1 in its Premier League opener, looking to kickstart a league campaign they hope will see them end up on top of Manchester City in the title race. Chelsea, meanwhile, was hammered 4-0 by Manchester United in Frank Lampard‘s competitive debut over the weekend, although Blues fans will be encouraged by the bright moments in the match as Chelsea struck the post twice and were only beaten against the run of play.

While history will see the first English Super Cup winner, they will also witness the first female referee in a major UEFA final as French official Stephanie Frappart will take charge of the match.

Liverpool has some key missing parts as goalkeeper Alisson who is out with a calf injury suffered in the Norwich win. They are also without defender Dejan Lovren who is officially ill, although his absence is due to his reported upcoming move to Roma. Jurgen Klopp will also have to decide whether to start Sadio Mane, who made the bench against Norwich City after en extended summer participating in the Africa Cup of Nations. European hero Divock Origi started in his place over the weekend, and he could be in contention to contribute to another European success.

The Blues, meanwhile, are hoping to have a key contributor back to full participation as N’Golo Kante could start after he was on the bench for the Manchester United loss. Kante’s ability to break up counter-attacks was sorely missed against the Red Devils, and while he could return to full fitness for the match, Lampard may also look to ease his star midfielder back in with a Premier League game against Leicester City coming up on Sunday. Antonio Rudiger is still injured, and Christian Pulisic could get a chance to start his first competitive match in Blue.