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Spanish sides have won this competition in nine of the last 12 seasons, though these were garnered by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid three times each.
Europa League kings Sevilla are the only other Spanish side to have made an appearance over this spell, losing on all four occasions in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020.
Chelsea have themselves finished as runners-up in 2012, 2013 and 2019, going down to Atletico Madrid, Bayern and Liverpool respectively, but on paper Villarreal appears a kinder assignment.
The Blues will also take encouragement from the fact that the UEFA Super Cup has been won by the holders of the Champions League in seven of the last eight seasons, though six of these games went to extra time and two went as far as penalties.
Both teams have scored in eight of the past nine editions, though Chelsea have been impressive defensively under Thomas Tuchel and so Villarreal will have their work cut out getting onto the scoreboard.
Both Teams To Score
Unai Emery could potentially have winger Samuel Chukwueze back, but he’s hardly without firepower with key man Gerard Moreno available to him.
He may have endured a poor Euros with the national side as he failed to register a goal, but he hit the net 30 times in all competitions last season, including seven goals in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
It’s also worth noting that Chelsea have failed to keep a clean sheet in pre-season friendlies with Bournemouth, Arsenal and Tottenham.
Moreover, at the back end of last term, the Blues’ clean sheet against Man City in the Champions League final was preceded by a run of five games without a shutout.
Tuchel’s defensive options are a tad thin on the ground with Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva, Reece James and Ben Chilwell all given extended breaks following their international exploits in the summer, while Kurt Zouma continues to be linked with a move away.
Chelsea could see their forward options bolstered if a deal for Romelu Lukaku can be struck in time, though the likelihood is that even if the paperwork can be completed, the turnaround will be too quick for the Belgian to be thrust straight into the limelight.
Jorginho and Mason Mount are also back available to Thomas Tuchel, though the latter could have to settle for a place on the bench with Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz in pole position to start.
Chelsea To Win
Given Chelsea have a number of players returning to boost the ranks, they should be backed to come out on top here.
Villarreal have found themselves depleted as it remains to be seen if Francis Coquelin, Etienne Capoue, Geronimo Rulli and Vicente Iborra can feature after coronavirus scares, while key centre-back Pau Torres is missing having featured for Spain in both the Euros and Olympics.
Meanwhile, the Spanish outfit have suffered some disappointing pre-season results, losing three of six winless games ahead of this clash, though they have been entertaining affairs as all but one of those saw both teams score, with these averaging 3.5 goals per game.