One of the quirks of Chelsea’s season is that the fixture list is a little busy at the start, and on Wednesday night, Chelsea take on Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul.
It could be a very good thing or it could be a very bad thing to have to play Liverpool on Wednesday. After a harrowing 4-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, Frank Lampard and his squad will probably be eager to get back on the pitch and put on a more clinical display.
However, Liverpool present a unique problem, one that exposes a weakness that Chelsea showed on Sunday, in the form of their ability to counter attack.
One of Chelsea’s issues in the 4-0 defeat was individual errors leading to goals and United’s ability to counter attack swiftly and beat Chelsea’s initial press.
Liverpool’s front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mo Salah is one of the most potent counter attacking trios in football.
It won’t make it any easier for Chelsea that N’Golo Kante will be unavailable for the match after picking up a small injury against United.
But Willian is back in training and will likely start on the bench, as might Antonio Rudiger who has also returned to training.
That experience could prove vital for a squad that still looks a little naïve and inexperienced at times, though many of Sunday’s mistakes came from players with more experience.
Liverpool have their own injury concerns. Alisson limped off in the first half of Liverpool’s win over Norwich and will miss the next few weeks with a calf injury. Adrian arrived from West Ham to replace Simon Mignolet and will be making his first start for Liverpool on Wednesday.
Dejan Lovren has also not travelled with the Liverpool squad as he looks to make a move away before the European transfer window closes.
Even though the Super Cup is a one-off match, it still presents a chance for a trophy, and Chelsea could get some of the confidence they may have lost by winning.
But another heavy defeat against another top English club might bring more doubts about the quality of the squad and the manager, and that’s the sort of momentum that can quickly send a club on a negative spiral.