Lampard's Chelsea will be tough challenge in Super Cup - Klopp

Wednesday, 2019-08-14 06:21:24
 Font Size:     |        Print
 

Soccer Football - UEFA Super Cup - Liverpool Training - Vodafone Park, Istanbul, Turkey - August 13, 2019 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp during training Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley
 Font Size:     |  

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp says Chelsea will present a real challenge to his team in Wednesday’s Super Cup, despite their 4-0 loss to Manchester United in their Premier League opener.

Lampard’s competitive debut on the bench turned sour with United scoring three times in the second half but Klopp is under no illusions that the Europa League winners are quality opponents.

“If people think Chelsea aren’t a challenge then I can’t help these people,” Klopp told a news conference ahead of the game against Frank Lampard’s side at Vodafone Park.

“We respect Chelsea a lot. If you saw their result against (Manchester) United you’d have no idea how the game was.”

Klopp said Chelsea have a clear way of playing.

“It’s a football-playing side, it’s flexible, they have different formations and I like what I saw to be honest, but yeah, they lost 4-0 - that’s then a really hard lesson,” he said in comments to Liverpool’s website.

“United was pretty clinical and that’s how football can be, but of course we don’t have lesser respect because they lost 4-0 against Man United. No, it’s the other way around - especially in the first 60 minutes they were just really good,” he added.

Lampard had just one year as a manager – in charge of Championship side Derby County – before taking over at the club he played for with such distinction and success, following the departure of Italian Maurizio Sarri.

But Klopp said Lampard had shown in his first season what he is capable of producing.

“I think Frank showed last year with Derby that he’s a very, very, very good manager because he changed Derby pretty much overnight,” he said.

“So, proper football, really high intensity, all that stuff, it’s all there, what you need. Good defending and high defending, so it will be a challenge. It will be a really interesting game and for us a proper job to do,” he said.

“They are different (from last season), that’s clear, because I think Maurizio Sarri has a very dogmatic style and that’s exactly what they had. Now the set-up is slightly different but it’s still a proper plan there, you can see it,” he said.

Chelsea to 'move on' from Hazard exit

Soccer Football - UEFA Super Cup - Chelsea Training - Vodafone Park, Istanbul, Turkey - August 13, 2019 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard with Kepa Arrizabalaga and team mates during training Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Lampard said there was no individual that could replace winger Eden Hazard, urging the club to move on from the loss of one of their greatest players.

Hazard moved to Real Madrid in June with the Spanish club reported to have paid around 100 million euros for the Belgium international.

Former England international Lampard says the team can collectively thrive despite losing Hazard, just as they did after the departure of other club favourites.

“I was a huge fan of Eden Hazard, as a Chelsea fan. I played with him. For me, clearly (he’s) one of the best in world football, over his time at Chelsea one of the most productive in the team generally and a leader,” Lampard told a news conference.

“You can’t replace him individually, because of the high level he is at now. But the good news and the positive news is that we have a group of players... that can step up. The answer is that as a team we have to find a way to carry on. Hazard, (John) Terry, (Didier) Drogba, move on.”

Lampard said he would continue to play the club’s young players despite criticism from former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho on Sunday.

The Chelsea manager started with a young side at Old Trafford, including Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham and Mourinho suggested he might have gone for a more experienced line-up for such a game.

“I pick the best team to win the game, regardless of age,” he said.

“If young players are showing what they can do in training and deserve their chance, for example Mason Mount deserves his chance completely on absolute merit as opposed to age, I will have no fears to play young players because it’s important for a club like Chelsea that we do that. But they need to deserve their chance.

“I was pretty proud of how we played on Sunday but we have learnt a few lessons which will serve us well in the future,” he added, before insisting the Super Cup was a game that meant a lot to the club.

“I am optimistic about tomorrow’s game and proud to be here managing the team. We know it’s going to be a big test but if we play to our maximum we can win the match.”

The former midfielder said German defender Antonio Rudiger and Brazilian winger Willian would not be ready to start against Liverpool while N’Golo Kante, who came off the bench at Old Trafford as he continues his road back to full fitness, would be evaluated.

“Kante was (a substitute) purely because he had an injury. I am very aware of how important he is. He picked up another small injury in the game, so we are assessing that. We have to make a decision this evening,” Lampard said.

“Willian and Rudiger are with us, Willian not far from fit, it’ll be tough to put him in an intense game like this. He is on the bench tomorrow. Similar with Rudiger.”

Reuters