This may not be the Champions League shootout we’d hoped for, but it’s still an intriguing encounter as Sheffield United welcome Chelsea to Bramall Lane. The Blades seem to have rediscovered their form in recent games, while their visitors this weekend have looked in great nick since the restart.
Where and when: Bramall Lane – 11 July, kick-off 17:30
Where you can see Sheffield United vs. Chelsea: Sky Sports
Last time: Tammy Abraham struck twice early on to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead when the teams met at Stamford Bridge in August, but Sheffield United pulled it back to claim a point courtesy of a 2-2 draw.
Sheffield United v Chelsea Predictions and Preview
Before the coronavirus pandemic brought the sporting world to a shuddering halt, Sheffield United were right in the thick of it in terms of Champions League qualification. They may have dropped off the pace now, but the Blades could still have a major say in who qualifies for Europe’s premier club competition.
Sheffield’s last eight Premier League fixtures this season feature games against Manchester United, Tottenham, Wolves, Chelsea and Leicester City, with Frank Lampard’s side the visitors to Bramall Lane this weekend.
The Blades found their post-Covid feet with a 3-1 victory over Spurs last week, having slumped to three defeats and a goalless draw against relegation-threatened Aston Villa before that. That could spell trouble for Chelsea here, with the Blues still very much in the top four conversation.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Abraham to score first
The west London outfit may have slipped up with a late defeat against West Ham last week, but they’ve otherwise been impressive since the restart. The likes of Willian and Christian Pulisic have been bang in form, which has made up for the lack of goals we’ve seen from Tammy Abraham.
The young Englishman’s blank against Watford took him to 10 games without a goal, but he did hit a brace against the Blades earlier this season. Sheffield recovered to take a point from that game though, and they are 3/1 to get another draw against Chelsea here.
That would be a decent result for the Blades, as they go in search of a place in next season’s Europa League. Considering this is their first season back in the top flight, that would be a remarkable achievement for Chris Wilder and his players.
United have often upset the odds this season, and they are 6/1 to do so again with a victory here. They’ll have to do so without the injured quartet of John Lundstram, John Fleck, Luke Freeman and Leon Clarke though.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are likely to be without key midfielder N’Golo Kante. Although Mateo Kovacic’s return is welcome and Billy Gilmour has been enjoying a fine breakout campaign, the Frenchman’s energy will be missed. Even so, the Blues start as the 3/5 favourites for the win here.
One to watch for Sheffield: Although he’s still in single digits, Lys Mousset is Sheffield United’s top scorer this season. He was on target as the Blades beat Tottenham last week, and is 9/1 to follow that up by netting the opener on Saturday.
One to watch for Chelsea: With Timo Werner on his way to Stamford Bridge, Tammy Abraham needs to start scoring goals – and fast. The English striker bagged twice in the second half when these teams met at Stamford Bridge in the early weeks of the season, and he is 7/2 to break the deadlock in this game.
Long shot: Sheffield United have shown lots of character all season, including in their game against Chelsea when they recovered from a two-goal half-time deficit to claim a point. This match is 19/1 to also finish 2-2, rising to 89/1 if Abraham is the first scorer once again.