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Aug 13, 2019, 6:30:00 AM

Key Battles that will decide who claims the 2019 UEFA Super Cup signals out the top player clashes in the upcoming all-English UEFA Super Cup 2019.

The 44th edition of the UEFA Super Cup marks the first instance of two English clubs clashing for the crown of Europe’s ultimate champion. Champions League winners Liverpool and Europa League champions Chelsea have had contrasting starts to their respective 2019-20 Premier League campaigns over the weekend.

Here we list out five mouthwatering battles you can witness in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Christian Pulisic

Chelsea’s prodigious talent recorded a pass success rate of 83.5% (Champions League) and 79.5% (Bundesliga) for Borussia Dortmund last term, a clear signal of a threat he poses to Liverpool on the left flank. Liverpool’s 20-year-old right-back will be tasked to keep the American winger in check, and Jurgen Klopp is quite confident of Alexander-Arnold in fulfilling that role. He has averaged 2.1 tackles per game in the Premier League last season and 1.6 successful interceptions in the Red’s triumphant European campaign.

Joe Gomez vs Tammy Abraham

Up-and-coming prospects for the English national team, the battle between Gomez and Abraham will prove their credentials of being regular selections for Gareth Southgate. The 22-year-old Gomez missed most of the previous campaign due to an ankle injury but has rekindled his partnership with Virgil van Dijk at the heart of a formidable Liverpool defence. Chelsea’s Abraham, on the other hand, is poised to be a prominent starter under manager Frank Lampard, given his goal return of 26 goals in 40 games for Aston Villa in the Championship last year.

Sadio Mane vs César Azpilicueta

Amongst the highlighted key battles, Mane and Azpilicueta will renew hostilities for the 11th time in their respective careers. Liverpool’s number 10 was their joint-topscorer in the Premier League last term with Mohamed Salah (22 goals) and will be tipped to spell trouble for a Chelsea defence currently under turmoil. Spanish international Azpilicueta bore the brunt of the fans’ harsh criticism after Chelsea’s 4-0 thrashing to Manchester United and manager Lampard hopes the Blues skipper will regain his best in time to lead the club to the first piece of silverware this season.

Words: William Paul

Images: PA