Chelsea’s appearance in the UEFA Super Cup not only provides Jose Mourinho with an immediate chance to celebrate his return by adding to the Stamford Bridge trophy cabinet, but also ensures that the club sets a challenging pace in the race to be Premier League champions.
The showdown with Bayern Munich in Prague on August 30th has resulted in some early tinkering with the Premier League’s fixture list, with Chelsea’s home clash with Aston Villa now moving forward to August 21st.
Therefore, Chelsea now start with two home games, with their opener against Hull, and a great chance to get six points on the board before any of their anticipated title rivals have been able to play their opening two fixtures. Chelsea remain slight favourites at 11/5 to win the Premier League.
The Super Cup brings many sub-plots, including the latest showdown in the rivalry that developed in Spain between Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, despite this encounter not involving a Spanish club.
Then there is the opportunity for a slight measure of revenge for Bayern, after their undeserved Champions League final defeat to Chelsea at the end of the 2011/12 season.
However, Chelsea have two big reasons to be confident – the record of English clubs against German opposition in UEFA finals and in particular Bayern’s performances in past Super Cups.
English clubs have come out on top in 10 of the 12 career UEFA final with their German rivals, with Bayern winning only one of their five, against Leeds in 1975.
Meanwhile, Bayern have previously appeared in three Super Cups finals and lost the lot, including a 3-2 defeat to Liverpool in 2001.
Bayern are understandable favourites to lift the Super Cup at 2/5 given their European dominance last season, but Chelsea have tended to find a way to win such matches in recent years and are 7/4 in this market. It is 3/1 that Chelsea beat Bayern in the 90 minutes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.