Last season both Sheffield United and Chelsea managed to achieve their targets. Sheffield United having been just promoted, aimed for survival and they finished ninth. While for Chelsea under new manager Frank Lampard the aim was to qualify for the Champions League, the Blues finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League.
The next season both of them were supposed to build upon the previous season’s success. So far both of them haven’t been able to carry the momentum into the new season. Currently, the Blades are at the bottom of the table with just 11 points. At this point in time, it looks highly unlikely that they would be able to escape relegation.
While Chelsea acted swiftly at the first sign of trouble. Roman Abramovich sacked Frank Lampard and quickly appointed Thomas Tuchel as head coach. Under the German results have improved for Chelsea. The former PSG manager has been in charge of three games and the Blues are yet to concede a goal. Right now they are booming with confidence with a derby win over Tottenham.
Chelsea is clearly the favorite for the tie but Sheffield is very much capable of pulling an upset. Last season, they managed to beat the Blues 3-0 in the same fixture. The Blades also stunned Manchester United at Old Trafford with a 1-2 victory. Thus for Chelsea, it could be like a banana slip, on paper the game looks easy but it won’t be.
Sheffield United have won three games out of their last four games at home against Chelsea. However, out of the three wins, two of them were in 1993. Considering the history it promises to be an exciting one, at least on paper. In their previous 15 meetings at Bramall Lane, none have finished as a draw. The Blades have won nine times and Chelsea has won six times.
In their previous 23 games against Yorkshire teams, the Blues have only lost once. They have won 17 games and drawn the other 5 games. It was only last season’s 3-0 defeat at Bramall Lane when they lost the game to a Yorkshire team.
Chris Wilder will set up his team in a way by which he can frustrate Chelsea. Sheffield United would look to hit on the counter-attacks and set pieces to score goals. While Thomas Tuchel would want his team to suffocate the hosts with constant possession and attacking football. Under Tuchel not only have they improved defensively but in attack as well.
The Blades are likely to go for a 3-5-2 formation with two blocks. This will make it difficult for Chelsea to open them up. On the other hand, the Blues have so far used a 3-4-3 formation. They used this formation under Conte as well but this time it is different. At times it looks like a 4-5-1 as well.
Chris Walder will be without Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge and Jack O Connell as both of them are injured. It is still not clear whether George Baldock, Simon Moore, Enda Stevens, Ben Osborn, and Jack Robinson will be available for the game or not. Ethan Ampadu, on loan from Chelsea, won’t be available to play against his parent club.
Thomas Tuchel will be without Kai Havertz, Kurt Zouma, and Thiago Silva as all of them are injured. Apart from that Chelsea has no other injury or suspension concerns.
Ones to Watch out for
David McGoldrick has a good record of scoring goals against Chelsea. He is the player to watch out for in this game for Sheffield United. Bryan and Norwood will be the players to watch out for.
Callum Hudson Odoi’s stock has risen since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel. While Matteo Kovacic and Jorginho have again found their mojo back. Marcos Alonso and Recce James will be the players to watch out for.
Sheffield United vs Chelsea: Head to Head
Sheffield United and Chelsea have faced each other 83 times out of which Chelsea have won 39 times, the Blades have won 16 times and the rest of 28 games have been stalemates.
Predicted Line-Up and Prediction
Sheffield United Predicted XI (3-5-2): Aaron Ramsdale, Chris Basham, John Egan, Phil Jagielka, Max Lowe, John Lundstram, Oliver Norwood, John Fleck, Jayden Bogle, David McGoldrick, Oli McBurnie.
Chelsea Predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ben Chilwell, Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham.
Final Prediction: Sheffield United 0 vs Chelsea 2.