MX23RW : Friday, June 18 03:39:57| >> :120:19852:19852:
Aug 31, 2019 at 3pm UK at Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 40,560
Sheff UtdSheffield United
Abraham (19', 43')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Robinson (46'), Zouma (89' og.)

Preview: Chelsea vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Sheffield United, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

Chelsea will be looking to make it back-to-back victories as they face their second successive newly-promoted side, having got off the mark with their first Premier League win of the season against Norwich City last time out.

Sheffield United are the last of the promoted teams to play a top-six outfit and will hope to fare better than their counterparts when they visit Stamford Bridge.


Chelsea boss Frank Lampard pictured on August 24, 2019© Reuters

Frank Lampard got his first win as a Premier League manager in the Blues' last match as Tammy Abraham's double inspired Chelsea to a 3-2 win away at Norwich.

The young striker grabbed his chance with both hands after being dropped for Olivier Giroud in the previous game, while fellow young talent Mason Mount also found himself on the scoresheet.

Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki twice equalised for Norwich in the first half but they just could not see the game out.

Prior to that win, the Blues had endured a difficult start to the season, being thumped 4-0 by Manchester United on opening day and struggling to a 1-1 draw against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

Those disappointing results have left them 13th in the fledgling Premier League table, although they only trail fifth-placed United on goal difference.

Lampard will hope that last week's victory will prove a turning point, however, as they face another newly-promoted side - this time at home.

The Blues boss will expect another win, but the game will likely take on a very different shape to the end-to-end contest against Norwich, with Sheffield United having conceded just three goals so far, in comparison to Chelsea's seven and the Canaries' eight.

Abraham will expect to retain his place up front, but Lampard could look to use Giroud as a more physical presence against a different type of opponent in a game likely to be less open than their last.

Recent Premier League form: LDW
Recent form (all competitions): LLDW

Sheffield United

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder pictured in a fetching gilet on August 18, 2019© Reuters

Sheffield United suffered their first Premier League loss of the season against Leicester as they slumped to a 2-1 home defeat following a Harvey Barnes wonder-strike.

The Blades had made a solid start to life in the top flight before that, snatching a late draw against Bournemouth away from home on opening day before beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at home.

They have scored once in each of their three games so far, with Billy Sharp, John Lundstram and Oli McBurnie finding the back of the net so far.

Chris Wilder made wholesale changes for the Blades' most recent fixture against Blackburn Rovers in the EFL Cup, which they won 2-1 after scoring with their only two shots of the game.

Sheffield United recorded the joint-best defence in the Championship last term, conceding a miserly 41 goals from 46 games - the same record as Middlesbrough.

However, Wilder's side were also the fourth-highest scorers in the division, and he will hope they can continue to combine defensive solidity with efficiency in front of goal.

The Blades were tipped by many to go straight back down but they have shown so far that they are an effective side and are surprising their critics with the quality of football they have produced thus far.

Wilder's three-man defensive system off the ball features an innovative use of the wide centre-backs - Chris Basham and Jack O'Connell - who can often be seen marauding forward into wide areas and even into the box to provide overloads.

Sheffield United will certainly go into their next clash with Chelsea as underdogs, but they have the capacity to pull off a surprise result at Stamford Bridge - which would start to put pressure on Lampard in the Blues dugout.

Recent Premier League form: DWL
Recent form (all competitions): DWLW

Team News

Chelsea's Mason Mount celebrates scoring their first goal against Leicester on August 18, 2019© Reuters

Lampard has several injuries to contend with as he considers his team selection for the visit of the Blades.

Mount is a doubt with a calf injury, but he looks likely to recover in time to play a part as he hopes to score his third goal in as many games.

Pedro and N'Golo Kante are more serious doubts and could feature, but Lampard may prefer to play it safe and allow the pair to recover fully over the international break before including them.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Reece James remain long-term absentees for the Blues, but Antonio Rudiger and Callum Hudson-Odoi are working their way back to full fitness.

The Chelsea boss also has another dilemma on his hands regarding his choice of striker. It remains to be seen if he keeps faith with Abraham after his goalscoring exploits or opts to utilise the hold-up play of Giroud for a different approach.

For Wilder, Kean Bryan is out after sustaining an injury against Blackburn, while John Fleck is closing in on a return, meaning the same side that started against Leicester is likely to take to the field again at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Emerson; Jorginho, Kovacic; Mount, Barkley, Pulisic; Abraham

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Basham, Egan, O'Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Freeman, Stevens; McGoldrick, Robinson

Head To Head

This is the first meeting between these two teams since 2007 and just the second in the 21st century.

Chelsea have won both of those fixtures, doing the double over Sheffield United in the 2006/07 Premier League season with a 2-0 away victory and 3-0 triumph at home.

Prior to that, however, Chelsea had lost four of their last six clashes between 1992 and 1994.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Chelsea 2-1 Sheffield United

Chelsea's poor defensive record thus far and the likely absence of Kante means we think the Blades are likely to get themselves on the scoresheet at Stamford Bridge, but the Blues should have enough quality to see out the win at home and possess the likes of Willian and whichever striker is left out from the bench to make a late impact if needed.

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N'Golo Kante in action for Chelsea on September 15, 2018
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