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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League fixture between Sheffield United and Chelsea, including team news and predicted lineups.

Chelsea travel to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United knowing that a sixth win in seven Premier League games will edge them a step closer to qualification for the Champions League.

However, the Blades welcome the Blues to Yorkshire having put together a three-match unbeaten streak, leaving the club just one point adrift of sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.


Match preview

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder on December 8, 2019© Reuters

After the resumption of the Premier League, Sheffield United looked like being one of the clubs who were struggling to adapt to the different surroundings, perhaps understandably having lost all momentum due to the enforced break.

However, the Blades have been excellent over the past week, with home victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers coming either side of a draw away at Burnley.

With all three of their last opponents acting as rivals in the race for the Europa League, each result has been recorded at the right time, leaving Chris Wilder's team on the brink of moving into the top six.

Although squaring off against Champions-League chasing Chelsea represents another tough test, there will be no shortage of confidence after the manner of their last-gasp triumph over Wolves.

United outlasted a team which have made a habit of late flourishes, and it will naturally lead to Blues boss Frank Lampard having concerns about how his players will handle their upcoming contest.

Despite edging out Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, Chelsea struggled to close out the 3-2 win, relying on an outstanding late save from Kepa Arrizabalaga and an even better goal-saving tackle from Kurt Zouma.

While Lampard would have been impressed and relieved in equal measure, he has acknowledged that his team cannot afford to keep putting themselves in such situations, particularly after squandering so many opportunities at the other end of the pitch.

That has been a common theme throughout the season, although Lampard can only be delighted with how Willian and Christian Pulisic have performed since the resumption.

Willian has four goals and three assists to his name, while Pulisic has netted in games against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Palace respectively.

Sheffield United Premier League form: DLLWDW
Sheffield United form (all competitions): LLLWDW

Chelsea Premier League form: WWWLWW
Chelsea form (all competitions): WWWLWW


Team News

Chelsea's Jorginho celebrates scoring their first goal against Ajax on November 5, 2019© Reuters

After a knee injury to Billy Gilmour, Jorginho is expected to be drafted back into the Chelsea starting lineup.

Should Lampard opt to stick with a 4-3-3 formation, that could prove to be the only change to the team.

However, with a switch to a back three a possibility, Marcos Alonso could be used at left wing-back, with Cesar Azpilicueta moving inside to a more central role.

N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic are bidding to shake off hamstring and Achilles injuries respectively.

Sheffield United are expected to be without Oliver McBurnie, who was withdrawn during the early stages of the second half against Wolves.

Lys Mousset is likely to come into the team, while midfielder John Lundstram is an option in place of Ben Osborn.

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

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Arrizabalaga; James, Zouma, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Barkley, Jorginho, Mount; Willian, Giroud, Pulisic


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We say: Sheffield United 2-2 Chelsea

Given Chelsea's performances at both ends of the pitch, we can only expect plenty of goals in this contest. All things considered, a draw appears to be the most likely result, with the home side coming on strong during the closing stages.


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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Sheffield United and Chelsea?

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Billy Gilmour in action for Chelsea on March 8, 2020
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd19124336251140
2Manchester CityMan City18115231131838
3Leicester CityLeicester19122535211438
4Liverpool1997337221534
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
6Everton1710252821732
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham199552722532
8Aston Villa1792631181329
9Chelsea1985633231029
10Southampton188552621529
11Arsenal198382319427
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Burnley185491022-1219
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle1954101832-1419
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
18Fulham1826101527-1212
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1925121543-2811
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225

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