A huge match in the race for European football takes place on Saturday evening as Sheffield United host Chelsea at Bramall Lane.
The two teams are firmly embroiled in the battle to get into Europe, with Chelsea sitting third and aiming to return to the UEFA Champions League. Meanwhile, Chris Wilder’s Blades are enjoying a stunning first season back in the Premier League and will be hoping to be playing Europa League football next season. Having already squared off this season, that previous match at Stamford Bridge producing a 2-2 draw, a win for either side could be vital to achieving their aspirations.
The Blues will of course take confidence from their current form in the Premier League. Frank Lampard’s troops have won five out of their last six matches in the top-flight, the only blot on their copy book being the 3-2 reverse at the hands of West Ham United. Having said that, the Blades too are in excellent form. Despite a difficult start following the resumption of the Premier League, the Blades are undefeated in their last three matches, winning last time out against Wolves 1-0. Chris Wilder’s men also have a great opportunity to make history by aiming to win four consecutive top-flight home matches for the first time since 1991.
The Blades sit at odds of 11/2 with William Hill to win the match, whilst Chelsea are available at a price of 4/7. Meanwhile, a draw is at 29/10.
There does however seem to be a trend at Bramall Lane whenever these two come together. In four out of the last six clashes, the scores have ended 1-0, three times for Sheffield United and once to Chelsea. The Blues to win 1-0 this time around sits at 5/1 with Betfair, whilst the hosts to secure that slender advantage is at 13/1.
It would be fair to say that both sides have players who have found their best form coming into this clash. Following a slow start at Stamford Bridge, Christian Pulisic has really announced himself as a Chelsea player with three goals and two assists since the restart. The American sits at 6/1 with Paddy Power to net first in Yorkshire. Elsewhere, John Egan has been the hero for the Blades in recent weeks with his equaliser at Burnley, as well as the winner against Wolves last time out. The defender is at huge odds of 33/1 to score first for the second game in a row.
Despite the great form of both Pulisic, Chelsea 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. The Blades, meanwhile, 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.