Chelsea are back, and also back in the UEFA Super Cup specifically for the fourth time in the last ten years, a testament to our success on the greatest European stage – 2 Champions League and 2 Europa League, if that is counting. but contrary to popular belief (like this hilarious oversight by the Times, even), we’ve actually been here before Abramovich’s billions made us come true in 2003. In fact, our appearance in 1998 is still the only time that We have won this great show among the champions of the two biggest European competitions last season.
Win or lose, this game is unlikely to have the magnitude and impact of that 1-0 win over Real Madrid, but starting the new season with a win is certainly better than starting without a win. Plus, it’s a real trophy, albeit one that alone won’t be a hit at the end of the season. However, we have a lot of time to worry about that. Let’s get it!
Chelsea vs Villarreal, UEFA Super Cup: Preview, team news, how to watch
Date / Time: Wednesday, August 11, 2021, 20.00 BST; 3pm EDT; 12:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Referee: Sergei Karasev (on pitch); Marco Fritz (VAR)
Forecast: rain rain rain go away
Chelsea team news: Despite many players returning recently, the 24-man traveling squad is made up of all first-team players, with just a couple of fringe players and returnees on loan such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah. This game primarily as a fitness exercise or as a chance to win a real trophy or simply as a reward for dedication and professionalism (one final pass for Tammy Abraham, for example?), or a little bit of all three, will determine who starts and play (we get five subs on this one).
Tuchel has already hinted at the difficult task he faces in terms of rotating the team while challenging on all fronts (especially in the Premier League) – that work begins with this game, the first of possibly more than 60 this season. (including the Club World Cup). Good luck to all of us.
Villarreal team news: The Yellows have filled their Submarine with almost all the players for this trip to Belfast, although of course, not all can play. Injuries have also ruled out Dani Parejo and, once, Samuel Chukwueze, linked to Chelsea. Former Spurs loser Juan Foyth was hit yesterday, but he seems fine to play. Pau Torres (briefly also linked to Chelsea) has not rested this summer, but apparently, he will play too.
Other household names may include Étienne Capoue, Raúl Albiol, Alberto Moreno (once from Liverpool), Paco Alcácer, and Francis Coquelin, presumably still on the road after THAT Hazard goal against Arsenal.
Villarreal finished seventh in La Liga but beat Manchester United in the Europa League final thanks to one of the most notable penalty shootouts ever witnessed on that stage.