Date: Saturday 11th July 2020
Venue: Bramall Lane
Kick-off: 17:30 BST
Today’s game sees us in Yorkshire to face a refocused Sheffield United. The Blades are unbeaten in three games, having beaten Wolves and Spurs at home and drawn away at Burnley in the last week to put them on the heels of Wolves going into this one.
We managed to get ourselves into third spot with a win over Crystal Palace during the week, but it wasn’t a game for those of a nervous disposition. After the defeat to West Ham, maybe it’s not surprising we look edgy when we concede but there’s still four games to play and it’s tighter than Boris Johnson with NHS car parking charges. With injuries creeping in again, there isn’t time to think about growing in confidence, so we’ll just need to dig in and battle.
Strap yourself in, it’s Chelsea so you can guarantee a bumpy ride.
Going into today’s game, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder, says “They’re an outstanding team and it is a huge challenge against a rejuvenated Chelsea under the manager this year. Frank has gone into a club as one of the best players in their history and to take on that role as manager takes some bottle and takes some doing, but he has attacked it and grabbed it like in his playing career. I know Frank through our tussles in the Championship. Two really tight games at their place at Derby when they were outstanding in the second half and deservedly beat us and then we had to be at our best to turn them over at Bramall Lane. The introduction of the young players, the freedom that they play with all comes from the manager. They have also had to dig in at times and see games out and turn games around and they have had to change the way they play sometimes. That all comes from Frank. I never thought they would struggle, and I am being totally honest about that. You have a manager who knows his way around a football pitch and players who are highly talented and some of the best players in the Premier League. It was always going to be a combination of that that would make Chelsea successful and go well this season and they certainly have done. I am sure their target is Champions League and they are set well to achieve that aim.”
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, meanwhile, says “I didn’t know where the expectations would be. The destiny is in our hands. But we have seen in the last few weeks how things can change. I have tried to believe in myself in football. Otherwise others won’t. I think we can do more. I have seen Chris Wilder from League One and what he has done now. He has to be in the frame for manager of the year.”
For Sheffield United, Luke Freeman and Leon Clarke are still out. John Fleck (groin), David McGoldrick (ankle) should be available and Oli McBurnie could face a late test before a decision is made on his inclusion.
For Chelsea, N’Golo Kante and Fikayo Tomori remain out. Gutted for Billy Gilmour who now misses at least three months following knee surgery. Mateo Kovacic has returned to training and is available.
SHEFFIELD UNITED (Possible line-up): Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Lundstram, Stevens; McGoldrick, Mousset
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso; Barkley, Jorginho, Mount; Willian, Giroud, Pulisic
CURRENT FORM (PL)
SHEFFIELD UNITED: DLLWDW
- Chelsea are unbeaten in four against Sheffield United, having lost the four previous league meetings.
- Sheffield United have won five of their past seven home matches against Chelsea
- Chelsea won their last visit to Bramall Lane in October 2006.
- Sheffield United are unbeaten in three league matches
- Sheffield United have lost just one of their last nine league fixtures at Bramall Lane
- Sheffield United are looking to record four consecutive Premier League home wins for the first time
- Sheffield United are without a win against the league’s current top five clubs
- Sheffield United have conceded just 33 league goals this season
- Chelsea have won six of their past eight Premier League fixtures
- Chelsea have accrued 30 points in away matches this season
- Chelsea have kept just one away league clean sheet this season
- Chelsea have scored two goals or more in 10 of their last 11 top-flight fixtures
BBC Sport: Sheffield United 1-1 Chelsea
Sportsmole: Sheffield United 2-2 Chelsea
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