Date: Saturday 31st August 2019
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
After our first win of the season against newly promoted Norwich last week, this afternoon’s game sees us up against the Premier League’s other new boys, as we welcome Sheffield United to Stamford Bridge.
Sheffield United have made a decent start back in the top flight although lost last week at home to Leicester. Our start under Frank Lampard has been more enjoyable to watch, for the most part, although we’ve looked defensively suspect and the absence of Kante again this afternoon is unlikely to help us in that department.
We do have plenty going forward though, with Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham both showing us how much making it into the first team means to them, whilst players like Kovacic and Jorginho have had new life breathed into them under Lampard. It would be good to see the same happen for Willian, who looked a bit out of sorts last weekend.
Either way, the Blades will be happy to take a scalp today if we fail to keep it together in all departments.
Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says “They [Sheffield United] have started well. I was very impressed with them last season, the job Chris has done can’t be underappreciated. He feels deeply about the club and I felt that last year. I look forward to going up against them.
In terms of the Premier League, we will see if they adapt slightly [tactically] and how people adapt to them. There is not just a tactical edge, but a physical edge and that might have grown slightly. I like the style of letting last season’s players have a go.”
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder meanwhile, says “We recognise that we’re up against elite footballers but we’re here to compete. It’s not a free hit, we want to put in consistent performances.
He [Frank Lampard] worked under some great managers at Chelsea and he’ll have picked up lots from them. He went there [to Derby], changed things around, and now has got the job I think most of us knew he was always destined for given his history with the club and legendary status there.”
For Chelsea, N’Golo Kante, Pedro and Reece James all remain out and whilst Callum Hudson-Odoi and Antonio Rudiger are back in training, they’re not yet considered ready for a return.
For Sheffield United, Kean Bryan (ankle) is a doubt although John Fleck (hamstring) could return.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Emerson; Jorginho; Kovacic; Barkley, Mount, Pulisic; Giroud.
SHEFFIELD UNITED (Possible line-up): Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Freeman, Stevens; McGoldrick, Robinson
CURRENT FORM (PL)
SHEFFIELD UNITED: DWL
- The clubs last met in 2006-07, with Chelsea winning both.
- United are looking to win at Chelsea for the first time since October 1992.
- The Blades have conceded in each of their last 30 trips to Chelsea.
- Victory last weekend was only Chelsea’s second in eight league matches.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in 10 home league fixtures.
- Chelsea have lost just three of their 80 home Premier League games versus newly-promoted sides.
- Defeat last week was Sheffield United’s first in 10 league matches.
- United are winless in 11 Premier League away matches.
- United have scored in all three league games so far this season.
- Two of the Blades’ three league goals have come from substitutes.
- United have only won two of their last 22 top-flight matches in London, both wins were at Chelsea.
BBC Sport: Chelsea 2-0 Sheffield United
Sky Sports: Chelsea 3-0 Sheffield United
Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-1 Sheffield United