Chelsea vs Sheffield United Preview: Another of the new boys for the Blues
Photo Credit:(Gettyimages/Professional Sport)

Chelsea finally got off the mark in the Premier League under Frank Lampard, recording their first victory against last season’s Championship winners Norwich City.

With three points on the board, attention will turn to increase the tally on Saturday as Sheffield United set sail for Stamford Bridge. 

Chris Wilder has quickly settled United back into the top division after The Blades 12 years of languishing in the leagues below. 

Both Chelsea and United sit on four points apiece from their opening trio of domestic fixtures and are set to play out an intriguing tie. 

Match Information

What day is the match?  Saturday 31st August 2019
What time is kick-off? 15:00 BST
Where is it held?  Stamford Bridge, London
Is it on TV Sky Sports
Are there live updates? VAVEL live text commentary
Who is the referee? Stuart Attwell

Form

Lampard could finally breathe a sigh of relief as the Blues just nudged past Norwich, running out eventual 3-2 winners in a breathless afternoon at Carrow Road. 

This came off the back of a draw and defeat in the league, against Leicester City and Manchester United respectively, sandwiched by a UEFA Super Cup penalty loss to Liverpool.

Goals haven't been the issue for Chelsea- aided by the Tammy Abraham brace last weekend- it's their deficiency of keeping them out which is concerning.

In fact, just Norwich have conceded more thus far (Chelsea seven, Norwich eight), whilst the Blues 4-0 humbling at Old Trafford was the heaviest defeat for a Chelsea manager in his first match in charge since 1978.

If it is defence you desire, look no further than The Blades; nobody let in fewer goals in the Championship last term (41), whilst Dean Henderson topped the clean sheets chart (21). 

Despite sharing the same points, it is Sheffield United who will be happy with their one win, draw and loss since returning to the promised land.

A late Billy Sharp equaliser at Bournemouth began the campaign in energetic fashion, only to be topped by a resilient 1-0 win at home to Crystal Palace.

Leicester City did slow down the celebrations at Bramall Lane with a 2-1 victory, however, a similar scoreline in favour of the Blades against Blackburn in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening had the Midlands club in high spirits. 

Head to head

A fourth visit to the Bridge for the Blades in the Premier League will bring back unhappy memories for the travelling party. 

The previous meeting in the capital was back in 2007, shortly before Sheffield United's relegation, as Chelsea ran out 3-0 winners.

This meant the opponents had not kept a clean sheet away to the Blues since 1922, conceding in all 30 league and cup games to follow.

Chelsea have now recorded wins in the last three meetings between the two, all before it was United who went on an unbeaten streak, winning four on the spin between 1992 and 1993, stretching into the old League Division One.

Chelsea's record on home soil is certainly to be desired, having lost only one of 23 league games (13 wins, 11 draws) since December 2018. 

And against newly-promoted outfits, there appears no hope either; just one of the past 54 to try and conquer Chelsea at the Bridge have prospered.

Wilder will take optimism on his teams away form, unbeaten on the road in nine attempts, stretching back to Swansea City in January. 

Team news

Chelsea

N'Golo Kante did not feature at all against Norwich as he wrestles with a reoccurring ankle problem and hangs as a risk over Lampard's shoulders. 

Ruben Loftus-Cheek continues to live life on the side-lines after a ruptured Achilles tendon hasn't even allowed him to train until October.

He will be joined on the treatment table by Pedro, who pulled a hamstring in the warmup before Norwich so will certainly miss out. 

Mason Mount picked up a slight knock to his calf causing his substitution in the recent win, yet Lampard was confident he will recover swiftly. 

Chelsea have been boosted by the possible re-emergence of Antonio Rudiger to the heart of their defence, with the German fully recovered from a knee injury he sustained in April.

Callum Hudson-Odoi is also close to first-team action but Lampard wants to ease the youngster back into the swing of things. 

Predicted line-up: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson; Kovacic, Jorginho, Barkley; Mount, Abraham, Pulisic

Sheffield United

Wilder confirmed before the Blackburn Rovers match he had no long-term injuries and managed to freshen up his team before they face Chelsea.

Ravel Morrison was handed his debut in the cup, along with starts for veteran Phil Jagielka and club-record signing Ollie McBurnie.

John Fleck may be a doubt after hobbling off after 30 minutes against Palace, before missing the Leicester game, however, Wilder was hopeful he will be fit again for Saturday. 

Predicted line-up: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O'Connell; Baldock, Lundstrom, Norwood, Freeman, Stevens; McGoldrick, Robinson

 

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