Chelsea and Villarreal meet for the first time as the two club’s face-off in the UEFA Super Cup final at Windsor Park, Belfast on Wednesday.

It will be a fifth appearance for the Blues in the annual season-opening battle between the two champions of Europe. For Villarreal, who beat Manchester United in last season’s Europa League final, it will be their Super Cup debut.

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Blues hoping to pick up where they left off

The omens for Champions League winners have been good as they have beaten the Europa League winners in seven of the last eight years, with the only ‘upset’ coming when Atletico beat Real 4-2 in a Madrid squabble in 2018.

Chelsea have lost their last three Super Cup clashes and you have to go back to 1998 for their only win when a late goal from Gus Poyet was enough to beat Real Madrid but they go into this one as 4/9 favourites to lift the trophy, with Villarreal 13/8.

Thomas Tuchel’s team have enjoyed a decent pre-season with wins over Bournemouth and Arsenal plus a draw with Tottenham, but this game takes place just three days before their Premier League opener against Crystal Palace so extra time will be the last thing Chelsea want.

Chelsea averaged just a goal a game under Tuchel last season but will surely open-up more this coming season.

Tuchel has won 19 and lost just five of his 30 matches since taking over from Frank Lampard and much of that success has been built on the granite foundation of a rock-solid defence, with a hard-working midfield and lightning-fast breaks.

Yet, the stats would have been even better if they had taken a bigger percentage of the chances they created last season. Perhaps now, with Lukaku back in blue, they will. (Although he is unavailable for this match having not been registered in time).

Murky waters for the Yellow Submarines?

Villarreal appear to still be suffering a hangover after last season’s emotional first-ever European trophy and have failed to win any of their pre-season games.

The Spanish league also kicks off this weekend so their manager Unai Emery, like Thomas Tuchel, will have more than one eye on their first game against Granada. They do however have a few extra days to prepare for that as La Liga have switched their opener to next Monday.

Gerard Moreno is the 30-goal season striker every team needs and can be found at enhanced odds of 5/2 to score anytime, and it would not be a surprise if he did find the net on the day.

However, in their run to Champions League glory, Chelsea picked up the good habit of leading at half-time and closing out the game, as they proved in their deserved 1-0 win over Manchester City in last season’s final when Kai Havertz scored just before the interval.

In contrast, Villarreal have only come from behind to win a match once in the last 12 months.

Either side certainly won’t want extra time and Chelsea are 3/4 to win inside 90 minutes, with Villarreal 4/1 and the draw priced at 13/5. Would you like to work out your potential winnings? Try our online betting calculator.

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