A chance to begin the season with a trophy!
Champions of Europe Chelsea take on Europa League winners Villarreal in Belfast for the Uefa Super Cup. Villarreal are coached by Unai Emery and beat Manchester United on penalties to win their first European trophy.
Villarreal have played 6 friendlies so far this summer drawing 3 and losing 3. They have brought in Foyth permanently while forward Dia and midfielder Morlanes have also come in. Villarreal showed good intensity in their games last season and are defensively solid under Emery. Emery has managed in a few Super Cup finals but has failed to win any.
Chelsea go into this having had a good pre-season. 4 official friendlies with three wins and one draw. This is Chelsea’s 5th appearance in a Super Cup game having won in 1998 and lost in 2012, 2013, and 2019. It’s a trophy I really want the club to win because they haven’t it on the 3 occasions since I have been supporting the club. Those losses came to Atletico, Bayern, and Liverpool so it’s safe to say that the competition was stronger than Villarreal. That is no reason to underestimate the Submariners who will be up for the game and will like the underdog tag. Tuchel was back in front he of the press and talked about juggling several players and different levels of fitness. Tuchel said that the team goes again and is hungrier than ever to win more trophies because this is the start of something special and not the end. There was an initial question about one Romelu Lukaku who has still not been announced and Tuchel said that he doesn’t want to talk about rumours etc.
Chelsea Team Preview
Tuchel has taken the usual player from the last 6 months to Belfast for the final but joining them are Chalobah and Loftus-Cheek. Mendy should be in goal with a back 3 of Zouma, Chalobah and Rudiger. Hudson-Odoi should start as the right wing back while Alonso should start as the left wing back. Kante and Kovacic in midfield with Ziyech, Werner and Havertz up top. I feel this is the lineup that is truly fit to start the game. Some players that have recently come in could feature of the bench or maybe they could start but I will go with this lineup. We have done well in pre-season with these players and Ziyech is looking very confident up top. Werner did well against Spurs and hopefully he has his finishing boots while Havertz also looked good. Hudson-Odoi has had a full pre-season while the midfield is as active as ever. Chalobah deserves his place in the back line for this game. There is plenty of depth on the bench and there are 5 substitutes as well so there are options available to Tuchel.
Villarreal Team Preview
Villarreal have some exciting players in the team but players like Pau Torres while having travelled won’t start having just returned to training. There’s Raul Albiol, Foyth, Pedraza, Moreno and Alcacer who are top strikers. There are also players like Chukwueze, Parejo, Iborra etc who could also feature. Much like Chelsea’s squad the Villarreal players have also filtered in over the duration of the last month and are at different levels of fitness but there were very few players involved on international duty so they are fitter than some of the Chelsea players.
Starting XI Prediction
The Super Cup doesn’t come around all that often and it’s a great chance for this Chelsea to win a trophy that no one bar the 98 team could. It’s going to be a tough game and Emery is a tactically astute manager but the players and Tuchel should be ready. Around 10,000 fans will be in the stadium as well. Hopefully a trophy to kick start the season for Tuchel and co. COME ON CHELSEA!!!