Chelsea Seek to Break Super Cup Jinx Against Villarreal

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Champions League winners, Chelsea, will be hoping to break a 16-year jinx as they take on Europa League winners, Villarreal, on Wednesday night in a UEFA Super Cup match at the National Stadium, Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

A Premier League side has not beaten non-English opponents in the UEFA Super Cup since Liverpool’s 2005 victory against CSKA Moskva. England has since suffered five defeats, only claiming the trophy in 2019 when Liverpool beat Chelsea in the first all-English UEFA Super Cup match.

The game will be officiated by Russian referee, Sergei Karasev and will be supported by fellow national, Igor Demeshko and Maksim Gavrilin. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be German, Marco Fritz while Aleksei Kulbakov will be the fourth official.

The fixture kicks off Chelsea’s start to the season ahead of their Premier League opener on Saturday, August 14 against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

The Thomas Tuchel coached side will be looking for their first Super Cup triumph since 1998 and have lost three times in the match since their 1-0 victory against Real Madrid in Monaco.

Chelsea claimed their second UEFA Champions League title in 2020/21, beating Manchester City in an all-English final in Portugal to add to their 2012 triumph.

Villarreal also overcame Premier League opposition to claim European silverware last season, eventually defeating Manchester United in a marathon penalty shoot-out in the UEFA Europa League final in Poland to secure the first major trophy in their history.

They are now looking to become the 25th club – and the sixth from Spain – to win the UEFA Super Cup, and the first new name on the trophy since holders Bayern München claimed the first of their two titles in 2013.

The last three UEFA Super Cup matches, and six of the last eight, have gone to extra time.

This is both sides’ first UEFA competition game in Northern Ireland.

Villarreal is the seventh Liga club to play in the UEFA Super Cup, after Barcelona (nine appearances), Real Madrid (seven), Sevilla (six), Atlético (three), Valencia (two) and Real Zaragoza (one).

Spanish sides have won 15 UEFA Super Cups (Barcelona – five, Real Madrid – four, Atlético – three, Valencia – two, Sevilla – one), more than any other country. This is Spain’s 29th appearance, also a competition record – 10 more than second-placed England.

Spanish sides won nine of the 10 UEFA Super Cups played between 2009 and 2018, with the exception of Bayern’s 2013 defeat of Chelsea, but have not lifted the trophy since.

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