Frank Lampard believes Chelsea can shock Liverpool and lift the UEFA Super Cup if they play to their “maximum”.
The Blues, last season’s Europa League winners, face European champions Liverpool in the Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Lampard’s first competitive match in charge of Chelsea ended in a chastening 4-0 defeat at Manchester United, and the manager admits a slightly different approach might be needed.
But the former Blues midfielder is confident that if they cut out the errors they made at Old Trafford, his side can be a match for Liverpool.
“I’m optimistic because I believe in the players and the fact that we are here in the final because we deserve to be,” he said.
“I’m very understanding of the quality of the opposition in Liverpool, the team that deservedly won the Champions League, who have a fantastic manager and group of players, but if we play to our maximum we can win the match.
“I’m very proud to be managing this team. But we know it’s going to be a big test.
“It means a lot to the club, I know that because I lost two finals. I understand the feeling of when you work hard to get into this game, that you give your all to try to win it.
N’Golo Kante will face a late fitness test
“It’s another trophy for the club and will give us a feeling that if we can beat Liverpool and win a cup, we can go on from there.
“I really liked some of our aggressive, off-the-ball work against Manchester United. We have to be slightly adaptable, respect the strengths of the opponent.
“Liverpool is a different challenge to Manchester United. There may be subtle changes in how we approach it.”
Lampard will hand a late fitness test to midfielder N’Golo Kante, who is carrying a slight injury.
Spanish midfielder Pedro will be playing in his fourth Super Cup, having won three with Barcelona.
He said: “We need to read the game well, and when we create chances we need to score. It’s a great opportunity to win a trophy for us.”
Defender Cesar Azpilicueta added: “This is a trophy, a European trophy, you don’t have a chance to be here unless you win the Europa League or the Champions League.
“We lost the finals in 2012 and 2013 so hopefully we can change that. We know it’s an important trophy. It’s a great way to start the season and hopefully we can win it tomorrow.”