EUROPE: UEFA Super Cup
Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Windsor Park (Belfast)
The 46th UEFA Super Cup (USC) final will be just the seventh to be contested between English and Spanish opposition when Champions League (UCL) winners Chelsea face Europa League (UEL) victors Villarreal in Belfast. Chelsea have lost their last three USCs (2012, 2013, 2019) from four appearances in total, previously winning this competition in their first appearance back in 1998.
It promises to be a thrilling encounter as not only have all but one of the last six USCs required extra time and/or penalties, but last year’s encounter between Bayern Munich and Sevilla was the only of those six to have featured fewer than 2.5 goals before the 90 minute FT whistle. Similarly, both teams have scored in all six and with both teams scoring in six of Chelsea’s last seven games, including friendlies, that appears set to continue.
Villarreal will look to replicate the feats of their compatriots Atlético Madrid (2010, 2012, 2018 winners) by becoming the second club in the last 13 years to take the USC as UEL champions. This might be their maiden USC appearance but Villarreal are not short of experience, with manager Unai Emery losing both cups in charge of Sevilla in 2014 and 2015.
Their Europa League campaign included three unbeaten efforts against English clubs (W1, D2 exc. extra time), starting as underdogs in the most recent two, which sets them up nicely for their inaugural meeting with Chelsea. Should they fall short, it will be the first time this century three consecutive USCs were won by non-Spanish clubs!
Players to watch: Timo Werner was one of two Chelsea players to score in three UEFA fixtures last season, including a match opener against Real Madrid. For Villarreal, Gerard Moreno opened the scoring in five of their eight most recent UEL fixtures.
- Chelsea’s form in last 5 matches: DWWWW.
- Villarreal’s form in last 5 matches: DLLDD