Premier League: Chelsea v Sheffield United Preview, betting, and probable starting teams with Chelsea looking to capitalise on Utd’s poor form.
Chelsea Team News
Chelsea clash with Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge in what is a must win for both teams. Frank Lampard’s side will be looking for victory to climb up to a potential top four spot.
His team are currently on a hot streak, finding themselves unbeaten in the last seven games in all competitions. The blues found themselves making headlines this summer as one of Europe’s big spenders.
A whopping 200 plus million was spent bringing in some of Europe’s top talent, strengthening key positions. This investment coming after a year in which Chelsea were banned from buying players.
The Blues brought in top attacking talent of Timo Werner, Kai Hazartz, Hakim Ziyech to freshen up their creativity.
Other signings included defensive reinforcements of veteran centre back Thiago Silva and Leicester City left back Ben Chilwell.
However, with the Coronavirus this year teams have not had much of a pre season to bed new in signings. Chelsea are no exception.
Early on in the season it seemed all though none of the squad were jelling, placing scrutiny on Lampard. His team were conceding far too many goals from leading positions against weaker opposition.
These results being a 3-3 draw with Southampton and West Brom. Having both lead 3-0 and been down 3-0 by halftime. Chelsea made two crucial changes to the team in order to change their defensive woes.
Lampard mixed up their formations, trying the 4-2-3-1and 5-4-1 defensive shapes to regain confidence in his side.
Mendy To The Rescue
Also, the signing of new keeper Eduard Mendy has been a key figure since arriving at London.
Since his arrival the defence look more solid than ever keeping 7 clean sheets in the league and in Europe. This aided by Chilwell’s return from injury and Silva finding his feet in a new league.
Chelsea’s forwards will be looking to get amongst the goals this weekend with Timo Werner on fire at the moment. Werner has scored 7 goals in his last 11 games and will no doubt be a threat at the weekend.
Chelsea, since their streak of clean sheets have moved away from their defensive formation. I predict them to line out in a 4-3-3 shape as they have done in their previous games.
Sheffield United Team News
Sheffield United are in a crisis at this very moment in time. They currently sit in 19th place on 1 point after 7 games. Wilders men have lost six of their last seven games.
Unlike most clubs, United’s board aren’t panicking as Wilder knows how to get the best from his players. He has proven himself at every level having gained back to back promotions from League one to the topflight.
So far, their start to the season has been well below par for their standards. United were one of the teams that took the league by storm last year having been favourites for relegation.
Centre Back Crisis
They silenced critics finishing in 9th position in the league. However, this season Sheffield have been struck by a defensive injury crisis. Jack O’Connell, a pivotal player at centre back in how United play is ruled out long term.
Wilder expressed to the media that he was more important to them than Van Dijk to Liverpool. Young Wales international Ethan Ampedu was loaned out from Chelsea this summer to help fill this void.
Unfortunately, his performances have been mixed as the 20 year old finds himself in and out of the starting eleven.
Henderson Jumps Ship
Another blow to the team was losing top keeper Henderson who was on loan from Manchester United.
The young keeper had an amazing season last year earning widespread attention from the media. This season Henderson saw the opportunity to fight for a spot at Manchester United leaving Sheffield scrambling for a replacement.
The Blades have not let this dampen their spirits as they soldier on with Egan filling in for O’Connell. Sheffield will feel hard done by as the fixture list has not been kind to them thus far.
Unlucky Run For United
In their opening games they have already faced Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Leeds and now Chelsea this weekend.
Despite this they have performed extremely well showing why they are still deserved of their 9th place finish last year. They have lost marginally by one goal to City and Arsenal and could have won the Liverpool game.
A win could be crucial for United to lift moral as a win would lift them out of the bottom 3. If results go the other way, heads may begin to drop as they would be 6 points off safety.
Sheffield United will not stray away from the system that has been so faithful to them regardless of results. They will lineout in their usual 5-3-2. Wing backs will get high up the pitch with an overlapping centre back.
Predicted Result – Chelsea 3-1 Sheffield United
I predict a long sided match. Chelsea will dominate the ball for most of the game with Sheffield implementing a high press. Chelsea with the midfield quality of Kante, Mount and Ziyech will pick holes in the United backline.
The speed at which Chelsea counter will be too much for Sheffield as Werner will get on the score sheet. Chelsea will be high in confidence playing with freedom having not conceded a goal in some time.
Their backline will be confident with Eduard Mendy in goal being in fantastic form.
The Blades will do their best to make it difficult for Chelsea putting in challenges and playing long balls. They will be organised in defence and attempt to counter Chelsea when they can.
Their best chances likely to come from their wing backs putting crosses into the box for Sharp and McGoldrick.
I see Chelsea’s firepower and recent form being too much for the depleted United and will be comfortable winners.
Saturday 5:30 pm Sky Sports Main Event/Football
Venue Stamford Bridge
Previous Meeting Sheffield United 3-0 Chelsea (Premier League 19/20)
Referee Johnathon Moss
Odds Chelsea Win 3/1, Draw 4/1, Man Utd Win 15/2
PREDICTED STARTING TEAMS
Starting Eleven: Mendy, R.James, T.Silva, K.Zouma, B.Chilwell, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, H.Ziyech, T.Abraham, T.Werner,
Subs: Rudiger, Alonso, Christensen, Caballero, Kovacic, Giroud, Hudson Odoi, Azpilicueta, Palmieri, Ziger,
Doubtful: Havartz (Covid 19 isolation)
Injured: Pulisic (Hamstring),
Discipline: 8 Y, 1 R
Top Scorer: Zouma/Werner/Jorginho – 3 goals (Premier League)
Starting Eleven: A.Ramsdale, Baldock, Egan, Stevens, Basham, Lowe, S.Berge, Osborne, Norwood, McGoldrick, Sharp
Subs: Lundstram, Burke, Robinson, Verrips, McBurnie, Brewster,
Doubtful: E.Ampedu (Ineligible to face former club)
Injured: J.O’Connell (Knee) , Mousette (Toe), Fleck (Back)
Discipline: 9 Y, 1R
Top Scorer: Berge/McGoldrick/Sharp – 1 goal
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