Liverpool and Chelsea meet in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday evening and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has plenty of nice things to say about his side’s opponents.
The annual clash between the Champions League and Europa League winners is an all-English affair for the first time in history as Klopp and Frank Lampard take their teams to Turkey.
Lampard will be looking to bounce back from a nightmare start to life as Chelsea boss which saw his side downed 4-0 by Manchester United on Sunday at Old Trafford.
Klopp will be looking to see the former England international endure more misery in Istanbul, but recognises their threat and expects them to challenge this season.
‘If people really think Chelsea are not a real challenger, I can’t help these people,’ Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
‘You only have to watch that team and what they have – they are really strong, young and fresh and everything is exciting in the moment because Frank is there new, the club legend, [and can] make himself a name as a manager, which will happen 100 per cent.
‘You could see that immediately when he took over at Derby and now doing the job at Chelsea, so it will be really interesting.’Lampard was not afraid to unleash young players from the start at Old Trafford, with Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham starting the game against United.
In a time of significant change at Stamford Bridge, Klopp sees Lampard’s legend status at the club and a focus on homegrown, young talent is a good formula for success.
‘We know and we respect Chelsea a lot,’ Klopp continued. ‘We saw the game against Manchester United and if you only saw the result then you have no idea how the game was because they played a good game.
‘They’ve had a few changes, they have a new manager, lost Eden Hazard, brought in Christian Pulisic, brought in all the young boys like [Tammy] Abraham and Mason Mount.
‘They are a really interesting team [with a] good plan. Frank did an outstanding job last year at Derby, he changed the football there – in the Championship with a football-playing side being successful is really difficult, but he did it.
‘They were unlucky in the end against a strong Aston Villa team not to get promoted.
Now he is at Chelsea, his club, everything is fresh, everybody will be ready, everybody will be on their toes.’ Chelsea and Liverpool play at 8pm UK time on Wednesday, live on BT Sport 2.