Chelsea travel to Yorkshire to face a Sheffield United side who look to be finishing their Premier League return in good fashion. Frank Lampard knows that a sixth win in seven Premier League games will edge them a step close to qualification for the Champions League.
However, the Blades welcome fourth placed Chelsea having put together a three-match unbeaten streak, leaving the club just one point behind sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The previous encounter between these two finished in a 2-2 draw with Tammy Abraham scoring a brace at Stamford Bridge. Despite edging out Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, the Blues struggled in the remaining minutes relying on an outstanding save by Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has come into heavy criticism this season. Kurt Zouma made a last ditch tackle which closed out the 3-2 win at Selhurst Park.
If the Blues are to get all three points tomorrow evening, they cannot afford to keep putting themselves in these situations defensively, and at the other end of the pitch where many chances were squandered before the interval.
Kepa, James, Christensen, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, Willian, Abraham, Pulisic
With N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic aiming to be fit for tomorrow’s fixture, Billy Gilmour won’t be available after sustaining a knee injury. For that reason alone, Jorginho is expected to be drafted back into the starting line-up after impressing during a brief cameo in Chelsea’s last league match.
Sheffield United have been a revelation this season under Chris Wilder. Their three at the back works to good effect, and Lampard may switch to the same formation to counter their pressing along with very attack minded full-backs. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta would move into the back three, allowing Marcos Alonso to deputise at left wing-back – without question his best position.
One strength that Lampard offers in the Chelsea dug-out is his ability to alter his team’s formation to solidify the opposition. But, it seems he has one in mind for the foreseeable future, the 4-3-3 system. Since the resumption, the Chelsea boss has used this in every game so far and it is benefiting majority of the players on the pitch. Furthermore, this formation signifies how Chelsea will line-up next season with the additions that have been made so far in the transfer market.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in four meetings between the clubs (W3, D1)
- Sheffield United have won five of their past seven home matches against the Blues, although Chelsea did win on their last visit to Bramall Lane in October 2006.
- Previously, this fixture has produced 24 goals in the last seven Premier League encounters.
Goals will come in this fixture for sure. A draw seems to be the result that everyone would be suggesting, with the home side coming into good form a the season is nearing its completion.
Optimistic as ever, Chelsea need to win this if they are to remain on course for a top four finish. However, their performance in midweek made sure of what we have come to expect under Frank Lampard this season – we are very good going forward, flawless at times, but we are very poor at the other end of the pitch.
This will continue for the remainder of the Premier League season. It is a matter of outscoring the opposition in the last four fixtures which are now cup finals if we are to get Champions League football next season.
Result Prediction: Sheffield United 1-2 Chelsea