Friday, August 7, 2020

Prediction: Sheffield United vs Chelsea

Prediction: Both Teams To Score and Chelsea to Win

Odds: 13/5

Bookmaker: Betfair

A huge clash in the race for European football takes place on Saturday afternoon at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United host Chelsea.

The Blades are enjoying a wonderful season back in the top-flight of English football and whilst their chances of a place in the UEFA Champions League have faded away in recent weeks, they are still firmly in the hunt for a top-six finish. Meanwhile, Chelsea have moved ahead of Leicester City into third and are in a firm battle to finish in the top-four.

Sheffield United

Despite kicking off their return to football in a horrendous way with three consecutive defeats and a draw, Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United are back on track in the race for European football. The Blades are undefeated in their last three matches, overcoming Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out thanks to a late goal from John Egan. That means the team now sit in seventh in the table, only one point behind Wolves. With eighth position potentially being enough to earn a place in the Europa League, it is entirely feasible that the Yorkshire club could be playing European football for the first time in their history next term. Their form on home soil coming into the clash at the weekend will give them a lot of encouragement that they could well achieve that. The Blades are undefeated at Bramall Lane in their last five matches, winning their last three. Should they beat Chelsea, it will be the first time since 1991 that they have won four consecutive home matches in the top flight.

Team News

The aforementioned John Egan has been the hero on the last two occasions for Sheffield United having scored a late equaliser at Burnley as well as the winner against Wolves last time out. He is a certainty to be included once again. However, the Blades are still missing Luke Freeman and Leon Clarke who are not yet ready to return. In better news, John Fleck and David McGoldrick could potentially make their returns from respective hip and ankle problems.

Chelsea

Surprisingly just nine points clear of Sheffield United in third, sit Chelsea. Dependent on the result of Manchester City’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport relating to their European football ban, the Blues could secure their place in the UEFA Champions League next season this weekend. Even without that, Frank Lampard’s men are the favourites to book their place. The Londoners have won five out of their last six matches in the Premier League, the only blot on their copy book being the 3-2 defeat to West Ham United at the London Stadium. That means they are just two points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United. Despite their positional advantage in the table, Chelsea do have some weaknesses compared to their competitors. Only Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur have lost more matches than Chelsea in the top-half of the table, whilst no side in the top ten have conceded more goals than the Blues’ 46 so the Blades will hope to exploit that advantage during the match.

Team News

Olivier Giroud has found excellent form since getting back to action, having scored in each of the last two matches. Meanwhile, Christian Pulisic will also be hoping to continue his electric form since the restart. The American wideman has netted three goals and provided two assists in his last five Premier League games. Despite the great form of both Pulisic and Giroud, the Blues could have a few significant losses in midfield. N’Golo Kante is out with a thigh injury and joins Mateo Kovacic on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Billy Gilmour has been dealt a blow with a knee injury and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Chelsea have the better all-time head-to-head record between the two sides (W38, D16, L27)
  • The last match between the two this season ended 2-2 at Stamford Bridge
  • The Blades have not beaten Chelsea since November 1993
  • Only Liverpool and Leicester City have a better defensive record than Sheffield United
  • In all the clashes between the two sides, there has only ever been two 0-0 draws

Conclusion

Considering the positive form of both sides and the motivation to secure a European place, the match at Bramall Lane should be a great watch. The Blades of course will go all out to earn a victory, whilst the result in Yorkshire could be key for Chelsea. There could potentially be goals but this one will just swing the Blues’ way.

Prediction: Both Teams To Score and Chelsea to Win

Odds: 13/5

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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