The Uefa Super Cup is played in its usual destination, in the tax haven of Monaco, this Friday as Chelsea get ready to face off against Atletico Madrid in the annual ‘Community Shield’ of Europe; as the Champions League winners face off against the Europa League winners.
Whilst Chelsea shocked everyone by winning the Champions League last season Atletico would have entered the Europa League confident of victory, especially with star man Radamel Falcao amongst their ranks. He became the competitions Golden Boot winner for the second season in a row last year and has committed himself to Madrid despite reported interest from the Premier League.
In another subplot to the game Chelsea’s currently in form striker Fernando Torres is of course a former Mattress Maker himself and would like to perform well against the team he spent 12 years at before signing for Liverpool in 2007.
But the biggest subplot of the night has to be between the two opposing goalkeepers; who are both Chelsea players.
Thibaut Courtois in the Atletico goal has been given permission to play despite being on a second successive loan deal from the Blues and will face off against his employers on Friday night, with the aim of preventing his parent club from collecting their first silverware of the season.
Petr Cech in the opposing goal has had a rough time of it this year. Critics have started to pull him up for some of the smallest of mistakes which is inevitable when you spend as much time in between the sticks as Petr has. Yet the confidence does seem to be going from his game slightly, with mistakes for the Czech Republic at Euro 2012 and a dismal error against Reading in the Premier League Chelsea do need to start considering life post Petr Cech.
Thibaut is a very talented keeper, the Belgian helped Genk to the league title at the tender age of just 18 and now aged 20, comes off the back of a supremely impressive season at the Vicente Calderon.
Thibaut will be keen to show the current Chelsea number 1 what he is capable of as he faces a battle for the number 1 jersey next season whilst Petr Cech will want to put his recent failings behind him and remember he is still the goalkeeper to reach 100 Premier League clean sheets the fastest as well going 1,025 minutes without conceding a Premier League goal.
His stats are quite remarkable and indicate he is still one of the world’s best, but Thibaut Courtois is fast becoming the heir apparent to Cech’s Chelsea throne.
Who do you think will come out on top tonight, Cech or Courtois?
image: © Ben Sutherland