Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool are eager to capitalise on ‘another chance’ for silverware in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night – but has stressed why any external suggestion his side are favourites against Chelsea is misplaced.

The Reds go head-to-head with Frank Lampard’s side at Besiktas Park in Istanbul aiming to clinch the first European trophy of the season.

They do so on the back of a resounding 4-1 victory over Norwich City in their Premier League opener on Friday, while the Blues arrived in Turkey following a 4-0 reversal to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Nevertheless, Klopp is anticipating a keenly-fought encounter against Chelsea as Liverpool go in search of the fourth Super Cup of their history.

The manager addressed journalists in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday night, during which he tackled a wide range of subjects from the assembled media. Read on for a summary of what he had to say…

On whether winning the Super Cup can have a positive impact on Liverpool’s other ambitions this season…

I don’t know about the influence of one game on all of the other games, but winning football games always helps. It always helps winning titles; it is what everybody is asking us for, so it helps as well – but it has nothing to do with the start in the Premier League. Our start was absolutely OK. We played a good game against Man City, we gave them a proper game which is difficult enough against them. We could draw the game and lost on penalties and now we won 4-1 against Norwich with a very strong 60 minutes and a less strong last 30 minutes. Now, tomorrow night is a different competition, everything is different, everything is prepared for a final so obviously we have to make sure we are ready for a final. We have to make a few decisions about [the] line-up and stuff like this. It can be kind of a little bit unpredictable for the opponent as well because we don’t know how they [will] play, so why should they know how we [will] play, especially in the early stages of the season? We are here, everything is prepared: let’s go.

On Liverpool being ‘favourites’ to win the game in Istanbul…

Actually I didn’t know that – that everybody "expects" us to win – so far we could avoid that information, until you told me. It is absolutely no problem for us what people think around us. We know and we respect Chelsea a lot. 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. This is the first title they can win together, they will be 100 per cent ready – but we have to be ready as well. What people think before the game isn’t important – everything that doesn’t help you in the game, you have to ignore and that’s what we do, actually.

On how Liverpool will cope with many players’ seasons being extended by international football at the end of last term…

That’s the challenge for all of us. We are not the only club who has that problem, but when I get asked I answer it. It was a difficult pre-season, not only for us but for us as well and you never know exactly how it will work out then, especially in the early games of the season. I was really happy about the game against Man City; first half obviously we had some problems, not too many but some because they are so strong, and then second half we were really there. That was an important sign for us.

Physically, we are there now, exactly where we want to be. Not at 100 per cent – we will have that in probably September, October, whenever, but again it is the same for all the teams. All the rest is no problem, We won one competition last year, that’s all, [so] how could we change our mentality? We are there, this team is built for being successful and that’s what we try to do. Tomorrow night is another chance for us. For me it was very important we showed in the Man City game that we went there to win the game – and that was obvious. A bit more luck in that game we could have won it, we had the bigger chances – especially close to the full-time whistle [when] we had a really big one. Now tomorrow we have to prove that again.

If people really think Chelsea are not a real challenger, I can’t help these people. 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. For us, it is a really important game tomorrow night because we don’t have to play any other game tomorrow night! That’s the only one and so we are completely focused on that and hopefully everybody can see that.

On the significance of Liverpool playing in Istanbul, where they lifted the Champions League in 2005…

I know about the special importance and what a special place Istanbul is for every Liverpool supporter. Of course, 2005 nobody will forget that. But we are different people, we are not the same – we are now the team for 2019-20 and that’s a pretty good one as well. Istanbul is always a good place for football. I played here once with Dortmund against Galatasaray and the atmosphere was brilliant until we calmed it a bit down with the result. If I’m right, there is a pretty big community of Liverpool supporters in Turkey and that makes it special for us. So everything is how it should be, apart from the flight which was three-and-a-half hours, but both teams are here now, we are fresh, we want to play it and I hope we can make it special for ourselves. About next year [reaching the Champions League final in Istanbul], what can I say? I have no clue about that. If you had asked me last year after the first pre-season games after the Kiev final if I thought we would be in the final again, I would have probably said, ‘I don’t think so’ – but we were there anyway.

On the game being refereed by female officials for the first time in European competition…

My answer would be: finally. I think it is time it happens. I have not a lot of experience with female referees. In Germany, Bibiana Steinhaus is doing them and it took a while until she was considered to be ready. Not by the professionals, more by the referees. Now she is settled and that’s really good. I am happy we can be part of that historical moment. I think there are still so many things in the world out there that we are obviously not smart enough to make the right decision, so it is a very, very smart decision that we can finally bring a woman to be the referee of a very, very important game, a big game in front of millions of people. We all, I am pretty sure – with all the emotions involved – will try to help tomorrow night and not to make it more difficult than a game is itself anyway. It’s the first one so maybe that makes it a bit more special but I hope it’s not the last one, that’s all I can say.

Get the latest LFC news direct to your smart speaker
Never miss a beat Google Amazon
Liverpool v Chelsea, UEFA Super Cup

Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea (5-4 pens): How the Super Cup unfolded