Jurgen Klopp and Frank Lampard have agreed that the UEFA Super Cup is a more significant trophy than many realise as they prepare to do battle on Wednesday night.
The Super Cup is effectively the continental equivalent of the Community Shield and, in theory, the Champions League winners should always be overwhelming favourites, but that hasn’t diminished its prestige.
It is, after all, a major honour and an opportunity to boost confidence levels in the camp in the early stages of the season.
As an all-English affair, there’s also an added edge to this particular instalment.
Klopp is after his second piece of silverware at Liverpool, just over two months after landing the first. He’s determined for the champions of Europe to lay down a marker.
“The Super Cup is the final proof,” Klopp said, as quoted by the Telegraph. “If you are not in that game, it means you didn’t win the final … it’s a big one.”
“We won one competition last season. This team is built to be successful and that’s what we try to do, and tomorrow night is another chance for us. With a bit more luck against City [in the Community Shield] we could have won it. Now we have to prove it again.”
Lampard’s motivation is slightly different. He’s looking to make amends for two Super Cup defeats as a player at Chelsea and score an early triumph from the dugout.
“It means a lot to the club,” he told the press.
“I know first hand because we lost two. We lost to Atletico Madrid [in 2012] in poor circumstances and we were far, far off and gave them the Super Cup.
“We were unfortunate to lose to Bayern Munich [in 2013] … when you work hard to get into this game between two champions it is important that at a club like Chelsea we give everything to win it.”
The levels of motivation might be similar, but the Reds may well have too much for their opponents. Though there were positive signs in their drubbing at Old Trafford, their second-half collapse illustrated that Lampard has plenty of work to do.
And it’s unlikely that, in the couple of days since, he has been able to make any significant progress in shoring his side up.