Frank Lampard’s in-form Chelsea side host Sheffield United in the Premier League this weekend, with the visitors still looking for their first league win of the season.
Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s clash at Stamford Bridge:
After an indifferent start to the season the Blues are beginning to look a much more competitive and complete force, having scored ten in their last three fixtures in all competitions as well as registering five successive clean sheets.
Such an upturn in form has been no doubt aided by the performances of summer signing Hakim Ziyech, with the former Ajax playmaker starting the last three matches after having initially been out of action with a knee injury picked up in pre-season.
Another man who’s also beginning to look an astute purchase is ‘keeper Edouard Mendy, with the Senegal international making it a sixth clean sheet in just seven appearances for the club in the 3-0 win over his former side Rennes in the Champions League in midweek.
That victory saw Timo Werner net twice from the penalty spot, while Tammy Abraham continued his impressive return to the starting XI with a neatly taken finish from close range to seal all three points. The Blues are now in a strong position to make it to the knockout stages of the competition after picking seven points out of a possible nine with three games left to play.
As for the league, Chelsea followed their drab draw at Old Trafford with an excellent 3-0 win over Burnley at the weekend, a victory that moves them up to seventh in the table and just four points behind league leaders Liverpool.
Lampard’s men will go into the weekend’s fixture full of confidence, although will have to do so without new man Kai Havertz after the German international tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week. Fellow forward Christian Pulisic is still a doubt after suffering a hamstring injury in the warm-up at Turf Moor last weekend, while young Billy Gilmour continues his recovery from a serious knee injury.
Sheffield United: LLDLL
While the Blades continue their desperate run of form, they can take heart from their most recent displays against Liverpool and Manchester City, with both fixtures seeing Chris Wilder’s men only narrowly defeated.
Much like last season Sheffield continue to look like a solid outfit, but it’s been the inability to find the back of the net that has really being their downfall this season, with just three goals scored in their opening seven Premier League fixtures.
With a number of striking options to choose from, Wilder is yet to find his preferred pairing and will be hoping to see more from £23.5m man Rhian Brewster in the coming weeks after his high profile move from Liverpool.
The Blades have registered just a solitary point so far this term and will need to find some form quickly or risk another spell back in the second tier. After such an excellent campaign back in the top flight last year, a relegation would be a bitter pill to swallow for all those at Bramall Lane.
Any sort of result at Stamford Bridge will be more than welcome, although they will have to do so without Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu and midfielder John Fleck who misses out through injury. Forward Lys Mousset and defender Jack O’Connell are both long-term absentees.
Last Meeting – Sheffield United 3-0 Chelsea, 11 July 2020
Despite the two sides contrasting form at present, the visitors will no doubt take some encouragement from their performance when the two sides last met at the back end of last season.
The hosts that day weren’t exactly at their best post-lockdown, but still had hopes of an unlikely European qualification going into the match, while Chelsea were also pushing to secure a coveted top-four spot.
Sheffield took the lead early in the first-half through David McGoldrick, before fellow forward Oli McBurnie headed home to make it 2-0, the Scotland international having been left unmarked inside the Chelsea box. That shaky Blues defending continued into the second-half as Wilder’s men made it 3-0, with McGoldrick netting his second after a comical clearance from Antonio Rudiger gifted the ball to the Blades striker.
The home side would hold on for all three points and ended the season in ninth place, while Frank Lampard’s side did manage to secure a fourth-placed finish on the final day.
Chelsea: Mendy; James, Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Jorginho, Kante, Mount; Werner, Abraham, Ziyech.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale; Egan, Basham, Stevens; Baldock, Norwood, Lundstram, Berge, Lowe; McBurnie, Brewster.
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish readers can watch on Sky Sports Premier League.
What time is kick off?
Chelsea – 4/11
Sheffield United – 15/2
Draw – 4/1
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