Chelsea are back in action this weekend as they travel to Bramel Lane to face European hopefuls, Sheffield United.
The home team who currently occupy 7th place are part of up to nine teams jostling for the five available European spots in the table. This weekend they face a Chelsea side who are also keen to finish the season in a Champions League spot. They head into the tie on the back of an impressive win against fellow Europe hopefuls Wolves. They remain unbeaten in their last three league games (W2, D1) while they have not lost their last five home games.
Meanwhile, Chelsea were on the winning side in their last outing as they beat Crystal Palace in a five-goal thriller. They now occupy third-place with 60 points after Leicester’s recent draw with Arsenal left them with 59 points.
With as many as five teams still eyeing a top-four finish, Frank Lampard’s boys are aware that they must work hard to finish within the top four, and games like this are a must-win for them.
David McModrick is an injury doubt for this tie with a foot injury while Leon Clarke (muscle), Luke Freeman (ankle) and John Fleck (physical discomfort) are not expected to feature in this tie.
Chelsea still have Mateo Kovacic, Ngolo Kante, and Fikayo Tomori on the treatment table.
Had to Head
The last five meetings between both sides ended with four clean sheets across the board (two apiece for each team). However, four of the five games came in the 1991-1993 seasons. Chelsea did win the reverse fixture 2:0 back in October.
Sheffield last five games in all competitions: WDWLL
Chelsea last five games in all competitions: WWLWW
Sheffield United, who are still nursing European ambitions this season, head into this tie with three wins from their last four home games.
The Blades are among the three teams to have conceded less than 1.0 goals in the league this season. At Bramall Lane, their record stands at 14 conceded in 17 home games.
However, they don’t score a lot, giving that they have scored just 35 times in 34 league games this season. Since the restart, the hosts have scored just six times in seven league games, with just one of those games seeing them score more than twice. In that period, they failed to score in three games, although they have scored in each of their last four.
Chelsea meanwhile are still very much in the driving seat as regards a top-four finish. Their last outing saw them battle Crystal Palace and get all three points.
However, their susceptibility at the back doesn’t make their task very easy. Since the restart, The Blues have prevented their opponent from scoring in just of the five times they have played in the league. Overall, they have the worst defensive record for teams in the top half of the table, having conceded 46 times—level with ninth-placed Burnley.
However, they are still one of the best sides away from home this season, with only leaders Liverpool ahead on the away table. They have scored 36 times on their road trips, winning nine (D3, L5) in 17 games.
Both teams to score/Yes @ 19/20
Sheffield to win first half/Chelsea to win the second half @ 25/1
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1/1