UEFA Super Cup 2019 Preview – Wednesday August 14th, 2019 at 8.00 pm
The first-ever all English UEFA Super Cup will happen on Wednesday night from Istanbul. This is the traditional annual match between the previous season’s Champions League and Europa League winners. After so much success for English sides in the UEFA competitions last campaign, European champions Liverpool will be looking to add more silverware to their cabinet.
The odds on Liverpool to beat Chelsea are at 4/7 making them red-hot favourites* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 12th, 2019 at 2:24 p.m.)
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 12th, 2019 at 2:24 p.m.)
Liverpool didn’t have an easy road to the Champions League final last season. Not by any stretch of the imagination. In the group stage, for example, they had to deal with some tough games against Napoli, PSG and Red Star Belgrade. Liverpool won three and lost three of those six games and were under some big pressure there. But they got out in second place behind PSG and that meant a tough draw was waiting for them in the round of sixteen.
Liverpool took on Bayern Munich but produced a show of strength away from home in the second leg to produce a 3-1 aggregate win. They sent FC Porto packing in the quarter-finals before their momentous semi-final tussle with Barcelona. Liverpool won through 4-3 on aggregate but that was remarkably only after having lost the first leg 3-0 away from home. It was a stunning response that they came up with at Anfield. In the Final, they met Tottenham, with Mo Salah setting the Reds on their way within two minutes and easing to a 2-0 success.
Because of the set up that Liverpool have under Jurgen Klopp, they are regarded as one of the best in Europe and would be even if they didn’t have that Champions League title to hand. Their form throughout last season both on the domestic and European front was remarkable. They lost the Premier League title by a single point of Manchester City but only lost one league game all campaign. Still, they managed to push the Citizens so close with the extra burden of having to deal with those big European nights in the Champions League.
The Reds didn’t strengthen their squad over the summer by throwing the cheque book around. They seem pretty happy with what they have got and it’s hard to argue with that. It’s hard to see a perceivable area in which they could really have improved, aside from potentially luring Philippe Coutinho back to the club on loan. That didn’t pan out though so the Reds are pretty much as they were. With their wonderful attacking arsenal, it’s not a bad place to be in at all anyway.
Mo Salah. Roberto Firmino. Sadio Mane. It was a front line which struck fear into the hearts of defences on the domestic and European fronts last season. Watching them it’s easy to see why. While the bulk of the goals came from Mane and Salah, Firmino plays such an important supporting role, creating space for others and creating assists. They have blended together so well that it is an enviable attack that the Reds have.
The odds on Liverpool to beat Chelsea and Mo Salah to score in a Score/Win Double is at 13/8* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 12th, 2019 at 2:24 p.m.). The speed and clinical finishing of Salah is their biggest asset of all. He is the star power of a star-studded trio of players and it is hard to imagine that they are not going to create chances against a Chelsea team who looked defensively fragile on the weekend.
Much has been made about Chelsea’s situation over the summer. They have an inexperienced manager at the helm in Frank Lampard. They have a transfer ban so haven’t been able to strengthen over the summer. Given the start that they had to the new Premier League season on the week, a bruising 4-0 loss against Manchester United, that just compound the problems that the Stamford Bridge club have at the moment.
Of course, Lampard is going to need time to find his feet in the top flight. His managerial experience extends to one Championship season with Derby. He clearly has some kind of plan to turn Chelsea into a young, exciting team playing attractive football. They looked decent in the attack, and if Tammy Abraham starts hitting the net, they should be fine, but there is the feeling that they are lacking a world-class number nine. They were defensively naive as well against Manchester United, boldly trying to play and open game which left them exposed to United’s counter-attack, which was just playing into the hands of the hosts.
Liverpool may have only won one of their last six games against Chelsea but that win was in their most recent league meeting from last season, a 2-0 success at Anfield. Liverpool looked as if they just picked up immediately from where they left off last season, whereas the Blues, despite some positive enterprise look to have a lot of cracks to fill in.
This could be another great European night in Istanbul for the Reds as they enter into their sixth Super Cup. They have won three of their five previous visits to the fixture and were the most recent English winners as well, beating CSKA Moscow in extra time back in 2005. It should be a comfortable ride for Liverpool.
The odds on Liverpool to beat Chelsea to nil are at 15/8 and doesn’t look like a bad price at all* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 12th, 2019 at 2:24 p.m.)
Sunday’s game at Old Trafford is going to be a situation of high pressure for both of the teams involved. They are still both in with a chance of securing a top-four finish, but at the same time, they will both be searching for a win in order to achieve that. Only one of them, of course, can pull that off.
Of the two it is the home side, Manchester United who are the more desperate. They are in sixth, trailing fourth-placed Chelsea by three points and are worse off than the Blues in goal difference.
The odds on Manchester United to beat Chelsea are 17/10* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on April 27th, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.)
Manchester United 17/10
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on April 27th, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.)
A lot of this game is going to be about a response from the Red Devils. They are badly out of form at the moment with four defeats in their last six Premier League games. After a 4-0 hammering at Everton last weekend, the Red Devils played host to rivals City in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford In midweek. They were brushed aside in the end by the Citizens, who claimed a 2-0 victory.
But that was the only defeat that the Red Devils have suffered in their last fourteen games on home soil in the top flight. So that at least is a pretty big positive for them and before the game against City they had put together a three-match winning streak at home in the top flight. That’s the form that they badly need to get back to try and keep their hopes for a top-four finish alive. Defeat in this one and that door would be pretty much slammed in their faces.
Given their drop in form, players have come under some heavy criticism and now the pressure has mounted on boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After such a positive start in winning his first eight games in charge, it’s certainly a more testing time for him. Manchester United have averaged 1.9 goals per home game this season which is good and 76% of games at Old Trafford have gone over 2.5 goals. However, United have managed a clean sheet in just 12% of home games and it’s that defence which has continued to leave them vulnerable.
Twelve of the last sixteen meetings between Manchester United and Chelsea have ended under 2.5 goals. This is likely to be another tense meeting given what is at stake. Manchester United picked up a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge earlier this season and then took a 2-0 win there in the FA Cup.
Manchester United have lost one of their last three now against Chelsea in all competitions (W2 D1) so they do have a bit of head to head form. The reading gets even better in their recent home games against the Blues. Manchester United are unbeaten in their last five home games against the Blues in all competitions.
The Blues occupy fourth in the table and therefore they are the ones in control. However, their season has not been great by their standards, certainly not away from home. Chelsea have lost five of their seven away games played in the league since the turn of the new year. They did win the other two but were made to work hard in those success against the already-relegated Fulham and the relegation-threatened Cardiff. Chelsea won both of those games by a 2-1 scoreline, not exactly the most convincing of results from the Blues.
Chelsea have also had a really poor time of things away from home against the strongest sides in the division. From their six games played against the other top-eight teams, Chelsea have lost all of those, scoring just the two goals in those six games. Their overall away record this season is W9 D1 L7 and most of the damage has come in the second half of the season. Chelsea have had their struggles at the back, conceding in each of their last seven on the road.
Of the seven away defeats which they have scored this season, only one of them have been by a one-goal margin. So it adds up to some really poor reading from them. But then there are positives for them of course. They have the fourth-best defensive record in the league and only four teams have better away records than they have. But it’s just their current away from and lack of defensive strengths which is going to leave them vulnerable for this trip to Old Trafford.
United have lost five of their last six games in all competitions, and so are really going through the wringer at the moment. But there could be a glimmer of hope for them in this one because they are facing a Chelsea side who have been so poor on their travels. The odds on Manchester United to beat Chelsea are 17/10* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on April 27th, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.) and actually that has some very nice appeal.
Of the five games that Liverpool have left in their campaign, this one on Sunday against Chelsea looks the toughest of them all. This is the last time this season that they will play one of the other Big Six. So more than ever they need to hold their nerve now as they try and strive towards the league title. The odds on Liverpool to beat Chelsea are at 17/4* (betting odds taken from bet365 on April 12th, 2019 at 4:20 pm)
It has not been plain sailing for Liverpool recently. Not by any stretch of the imagination. In the last four games played they have had to fight back from conceding the opening goal against Burnley and Southampton matches. Then they managed to benefit from mistakes made by Fulham and Tottenham to secure victories. Even though those struggles though, the Reds have managed to secure four straight wins.
So they have had luck on their side, they have shown a bit of character as well along the way to keep the pressure on Manchester City at the top. All that Liverpool can keep on doing now is win all of their remaining five games and hope that the Citizens slip up somewhere in the run in. So far this season the Reds are W3 D1 in their four games against the other Big Six sides at Anfield. Can they make it count in this one?
The home form of Liverpool has been fantastic. They remain undefeated at Anfield in the Premier League, winning all but two of their fixtures there. The Reds have scored an average of 2.9 goals per home game this season and they have netted at least two goals in each of their last four there. The Reds have scored in each of their last twelve on home soil as well.
They have been a defensive rock as well with a clean sheet having been earned in 56% of their home league games. They have shipped just the ten goals in total, an average of 0.6 per game against at Anfield. Still, with their own scoring output, 69% of fixtures at Liverpool have gone over 2.5 goals. Liverpool have also been leading at the half time break in nine of their home fixtures.
Four of the last five league meetings between these two at Anfield have ended in a 1-1 draw. Liverpool are actually winless on home soil in their last eight against Chelsea in all competitions. That includes a home EFL Cup loss against the Blues back in September.
But then Liverpool are facing a Chelsea side who have been having a rough time of things away from home. Maurizio Sarri’s men have lost four of their last six games played now, winning the other two. The two wins in that sequence were against bottom-three sides Cardiff and Fulham, and the Blues only banked 2-1 wins against those opponents.
They didn’t score in any of those four defeats in that sequence either. So they have struggled to prove themselves against the better teams in the division all season. Away from home, this season Chelsea have lost all five away games played against sides in the top half of the table. They produced just the two goals in those matches as well. So while they remain the biggest obstacle between Liverpool and a perfect run in, the Blues aren’t in great form.
This should be Liverpool’s day. Chelsea do have a top-four finish to play for so have to be hungry for this. But they have produced some really flat and uninspired displays recently and they don’t have the clinical finishing touch about them that Liverpool have.
This may well end up being another tight battle between the two of them, but maybe this time Liverpool can get over the finish line and the odds on Liverpool to win to nil are at 15/8* (betting odds taken from bet365 on April 12th, 2019 at 4:20 pm).
A fierce London rivalry will kick up again on Wednesday night as Spurs make the trip to Stamford Bridge. This is a big game for both of the sides as Tottenham will be looking to recover after a shock defeat against Burnley last weekend.
Chelsea have to pick up the pieces as they try to keep themselves in the hunt for a top-four finish this season. With the difficulties the Blues have been having recently, the odds on Tottenham to beat Chelsea are at 9/4* (betting odds taken from Bet365 on February 26th, 2019 at 3:53 pm)
* (betting odds taken from Bet365 on February 26th, 2019 at 3:53 pm)
Spurs were on a four-match winning streak in the Premier League before their trip to Burnley on the weekend. Spurs kicked off as favourites for the fixture, but they were stunned in a 2-1 reverse. To be fair to the Lilywhites they were catching Burnley at the wrong time. The Clarets have been in fantastic form themselves lately as they have staved off the threat of relegation. But will Tottenham be able to muster up a response to that defeat?
This is going to be a test of their character and those dropped points were a missed chance to put some pressure on the top two over the weekend. Spurs are six points off leaders Liverpool as the midweek round of Premier League action kicks off again. There is little more margin for error for the Lilywhites from this point on.
That loss against Burnley was just Tottenham’s third away defeat of the season. They have won all of their other eleven road games this season, so they have once again proved to be a very strong road team. They were on a four-match winning streak on their travels before that trip to Turf Moor as well. So they have been fairly consistent and their goal scoring has been on point as well away from home.
Spurs have averaged 2.2 goals per road game this season and along the way, they have taken a clean sheet in 43% of their away fixtures. So their numbers really do stack up. Of the eleven wins away from home that they have recorded, six of them have been by a one-goal margin. The odds on Tottenham to beat Chelsea by a one-goal margin in this meeting is at 15/4 odds* (betting odds taken from Bet365 on February 26th, 2019 at 3:53 pm)
The game against Burnley on the weekend also saw the return of striker Harry Kane from injury. That is a massive boost for the Lilywhites as they thought that they would have lost him for a bit longer. Immediately he got into action and immediately Kane was back among the goals. He got Tottenham’s only goal in their loss at Turf Moor. The fact that he is back and scoring again though makes a tremendous difference to Tottenham.
Last season Tottenham snapped a long a long winless streak of form at Stamford Bridge which stretched to over twenty games. They finally managed to snap that exhausting record with a 3-1 win and that is the scoreline by which they beat Chelsea at home this season. It will be fascinating now to see if they can really start shifting the power their way in meetings at the Bridge.
Spurs did go there in this season’s EFL Cup and suffered a 2-1 loss in the second leg of their semi-final tie. But that was after beating Chelsea at home in the first leg so Spurs are W2 L1 in three against the Blues this season. When they hosted Chelsea in the league back at the end of November, Spurs were just phenomenal and barely gave the Blues a kick of the ball, in one of their best performances of the season.
The Blues have been having their problems. It remains to be seen whether keeper Kepa will play or not. He refused to be substituted in their EFL Cup Final loss against Manchester City on the weekend. While the Blues have held their own pretty well at home this season, they have lost three of their last four games, home and away combined. There have been defensive vulnerabilities from them.
Also in facing the better sides, they have to try and be conservative a bit because their defence has been vulnerable. That takes even more away from them as an attacking unit and their attack has not been a major threat recently. There has been a lot of possession and a lack of end product from the Blues. They lack the incisiveness that the slick, creative Tottenham manage to play within their games. Stamford Bridge will be under siege once again by the Lilywhites.
The odds on Tottenham to beat Chelsea do appear to be some value at 9/4* (betting odds taken from Bet365 on February 26th, 2019 at 3:53 pm). If you look at the bigger picture of Tottenham’s away from this season it has been good. They have gotten Harry Kane back in action and this is a good time to be meeting Chelsea, who have been having been showing a lot of fractures.
Will the EFL cup final on Sunday, being played at Wembley, simply be a matter of it being Manchester City’s game to lose? With the Citizens in hot winning form and Chelsea team lacking confidence and direction at the moment the odds on Manchester City to beat Chelsea sees the reigning champions are 4/7 odds* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on February 22nd, 2019 at 5:52 p.m.)
Man City 4/7
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on February 22nd, 2019 at 5:52 p.m.)
The form of Manchester City is so strong at the moment. Aside from their blip in a loss against Newcastle in the Premier League at St James’ Park, Manchester City have won thirteen of their last fourteen games played. That’s in all competitions. In midweek they fought back from 2-1 down away at Schalke in the Champions League to win 3-2 and that was with ten men as well.
So the form of City is right on point. They have won their last five games played in a row. They have scored at least three goals in four of their last five victories as well. So they are in top gear at the moment and with their recent power showing of a 6-0 Premier League win over the Blues, the odds on Man City to beat Chelsea to nil are as short as a 13/8 option* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on February 22nd, 2019 at 5:52 p.m.).
Manchester City are the reigning EFL Cup champions having taken a 3-0 win over Arsenal in last season’s showcase match. of the Citizens do go out and take a win over the Blues on the weekend, then it will be Manchester City’s fourth EFL Cup title in the last six editions. So even though this title is low down the pecking order of things that they want to win, they still go hard at it.
That also is a nod towards their depth as well. They haven’t sent out their strongest sides of course for the EFL Cup, but still have scored a total of fourteen goals in four matches, conceding just the one. They are capable of their power showings and they blew Chelsea away at the Etihad when they recently hosted them, within the first twenty minutes. Are things going to be much different for this next clash between them?
Manchester City now have some good head to head form going against Chelsea. This will be the fourth meeting between the two clubs this season actually. They met back at Wembley prior to the start of the season in the Community Shield, with City breezing to a 2-0 success.
Chelsea then became the first team to inflict a domestic defeat on Manchester City this season as they took a 2-0 win over them at Stamford Bridge. That was the first Premier League meeting between them this season, just back at the start of December. Then they met in early February at the Etihad which Manchester city producing their big 3-0 win.
It leaves Manchester City with four wins in their last five games against Chelsea in all competitions including the Community Shield. It goes a little bit deeper than that as well because in each of those four wins over the Blues in that sequence, Manchester City collected a clean sheet as well.
The season has steadily gone downhill for Chelsea after what was a strong start under new boss Maurizio Sarri. Roll on to a 2-0 home loss against Manchester United in the FA Cup just last Monday and Sarri was being booed by the Stamford Bridge faithful. The Blues are W6 L5 in their last eleven games and each of their last six have gone over 2.5 goals actually.
Really tame and uninspiring performances, with the ball being passed sideways and offering little attacking threat have made Chelsea fans restless. Combined with some bruising results, particularly away from home (Chelsea have lost four of their last five games outside of Stamford Bridge) and players looking as if they are lacking fight, it’s not a great picture for them. They were hit with a year transfer ban as well this week.
A win for the Blues and a big upset it would be too, would at least ease some pressure on them. It would put a shine on their season at least as it’s the only shot at domestic silverware that they have. However, the odds on Manchester City to beat Chelsea in the EFL Cup Final paint as strong picture. They look to be head and shoulders above the quality of Chelsea at the moment.
The big tie of the FA Cup fifth round is going to the last one to kick off. On Monday night Manchester United will make the trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea. So another big name in the Cup will take a tumble. It’s an important game for both of these as they look to try and move towards securing some domestic silverware.
Manchester United 13/5
* (betting odds taken from Bet365 on February 14th, 2019 at 3:09 pm)
Manchester United won ten of their first eleven games under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who came in to replace Jose Mourinho last December. They had their first taste of defeat under him though in midweek, losing 2-0 at Old Trafford against PSG in the UEFA Champions League. But take out that result against a top team and Manchester United’s domestic form is sparkling.
Manchester United started their FA Cup campaign this season with a comfortable home win over Championship side Reading. That then set them up for a difficult away game at Arsenal in the fourth round. But the Red Devils didn’t blink an eye, they stuck to their new positive approach and got their just rewards of a 3-1 win over the Gunners. Now it’s back out on the road for them against another of the country’s top sides.
Manchester United earned a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea earlier this season in the Premier League. Things between the two sides are even with two wins each and that draw in their last five meetings. The Red Devils will arrive at the Bridge on a six-match winning streak away from Old Trafford. They have been scoring freely, a powerful counter-attacking plan helping them on that end. They have also taken four clean sheets in their last five away games.
Chelsea have lost four of their last nine games across all competitions. Last weekend they paid a league visit to Manchester City and were blasted out of sight in a 6-0 defeat. That heaped even more pressure on boss Maurizio Sarri in his first season in charge and you can see the frustration emanating from the manager. His team at times have looked unmotivated and Sarri hasn’t been quiet about holding the players themselves, including Eden Hazard, responsible.
But the interesting thing about Chelsea’s form is that their troubles have been away from home. Each of the four defeats in their last nine games have happened on their travels. Chelsea are actually on a five-match winning streak at the Bridge across all competitions.
But it is the lack of confidence from those away losses that could well have a knock-on effect. The Blues have made it to the EFL Cup Final where they face Man City soon, but they will be massive underdogs for that Wembley clash. The frailties that have shown up in their defence recently will come under some scrutiny.
Chelsea won the FA Cup Final last season against United thanks to an Eden Hazard penalty, the only goal of the match. Chelsea have won their last three FA Cup matches against the Red Devils by a 1-0 scoreline. In the last ten meetings in all competitions, it has been Chelsea in the ascendancy. The Blues have a W5 D3 L2 record against Manchester United in that sequence. The Blues are unbeaten in nine home games against Manchester United in all competitions.
Even though Chelsea boss the head to head recently over the Red Devils, the odds on Manchester United to beat Chelsea at 13/5 are pretty appealing* (betting odds taken from Bet365 on February 14th, 2019 at 3:09 pm). Chelsea rely heavily on one man (Eden Hazard) and their defence looks far from organised at the moment. They will be under pressure from a United side who have already proven themselves in a big FA Cup away match this season. Away win.