Soccer

UEFA Super Cup Final: Chelsea vs Villarreal game preview

Champions League winners Chelsea Europa League winners Villarreal will meet Wednesday evening in Belfast to face off in the UEFA Super Cup final.

Chelsea beat Manchester City in the Champions League final, with Kai Havertz scoring the first goal to secure the 1-0 win. Villarreal beat Manchester United on penalties to win the Europa League final.

How have Chelsea and Villarreal been doing in preseason?

Chelsea is undefeated in the preseason. The Blues have won three of the four games and tied one. The first game was a 6-1 win against Petersborough which was played in private before the second game, a 2-1 victory against Bournemouth, played in front of a crowd. They beat Arsenal in the Mind Series, 2-1 before heading home for a tie with Tottenham, 2-2. Villarreal on the other hand has not won a game since before the Europa League final. They started with a loss of 3-2 to Valencia before going on to two ties with Lyon and Levante, and then finally two more losses to Marseille and Leicester City. The last game was another 2-2 tie with Leeds United.

Who can we expect to play in the Super Cup?

Expected to play at least part of the game for Chelsea are Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Emerson Palmieri, Jorginho and Thiago Silva after returning from international duty. Top goalscorer this preseason, Hakim Ziyech, is also expected to play from the start. The arrival of Romelu Lukaku means we’ll likely see Timo Werner playing hard. Kai Havertz will be out due to Covid-19. Trevor Chalbaj ad Ruben Loftus-Cheek are two players to watch for, too, as they have been catching eyes this preseason. The Blues lost their last two Super Cup games against Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Villarreal will see nearly every player in attendance at the game, though there are several who can’t play. Injuries have Dani Parejo( hip injury) and Samuel Chukwueze (calf problem) out and Covid concerns make it uncertain if we will see Etienne Capoue, Francis Coquelin, Geronimo Rulli or Vicente Iborra. Juan Foyth looks okay to play and Pau Torres will likely play as well, even after not having rested all Summer. We will likely see Raúl Albiol, Alberto Moreno, and Paco Alcácer.

Midfielder for Chelsea Kovačić has won the Super Cup twice when playing for Real Madrid and he is determined to bring the trophy back to Stamford Bridge.

Villarreal head coach Unai Emery is motivated to win too, saying that playing against the “best club in the world” should make the players even more eager to win.